FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 11.24.20

Dear friends,

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are able to rest and restore a bit this week. I am celebrating at home with my sons Luca and Alex, which is different for us and a necessary precaution. However, we’re having fun with it. Luca is home from college through December, and (drumroll, please…) we have a new puppy. Cisco is an 11-week-old lab/hound mix, who fits right in with my other lab, Churchill. My quarantine bingo card is officially complete.

Welcome, Cisco!

In other animal cheer, Avalon has participated in Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt A Turkey campaign for many years. It is such a fun tradition, and it comes with the bonus of some delicious vegan recipes. Welcome to the Avalon team, Tutu, Sandy, Jackie, Ferris, and Venus!


Farm Sanctuary’s 2020 Spokesturkeys: Tutu, Sandy, Jackie, Ferris, and Venus.

After Thanksgiving, fundraisers enter the final stretch of year-end giving. We have been hard at work for months, of course: refining messages, designing campaigns, and preparing to implement strategies. First up is Giving Tuesday, and I am eager to see what 2020 donors will do. In 2019, Giving Tuesday organizers reported $511 million raised online, which reflected a 28% increase over 2018. Combined online/offline donations finished at just under $2 billion, and organizers reported over 20 billion social media impressions.

In other benchmark news, Avalon recently attended the Blackbaud DonorCentrics 2020 Q2 National Index presentation. I mentioned last month that the Index preview reported a 10.5% revenue increase over 2019 and a 6.9% increase in the number of donors. This incorporates a 23% lift in new donors, as well as strong retention, reactivation, gifts per donor, and planned giving. Due to the influx of new donors, nonprofits should carefully track both file composition and giving channel preferences as they evolve. In addition, leveraging momentum through second gifts will be key.

I hope you continue to feel healthy and strong as we move towards the end of this difficult year. If you miss the comfort of your colleagues’ presence, check out this collection of office sounds. You can turn up the volume on favorites like the coffee machine, printer, and keyboards, or check out Spotify tracks with oddly specific names like “Small Office Next to a Lush Garden” and “90’s Office with Landlines Ringing.”

And one last plug before I sign off: add me to the list of folks supporting small and local businesses this holiday season. I’m sure you have your favorites, but, if you need inspiration, Avalon VP Dara Igersheim shared this fantastic list of black-owned businesses, curated by the folks at Young House Love. It keeps growing with suggestions from their audience, and now it has over 500 entries!

Take care,