FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 11.30.2021

It’s Giving Tuesday, and that means go-time for fundraisers! We’ve got you covered in this week’s @AvalonConsultingGroup dispatch—with forecasts, messaging advice, tips for focus, and more.


Dear friends,

It’s go-time for Giving Tuesday and the final push of year-end fundraising. Let’s do it!

Here at Avalon, just about everyone touches Giving Tuesday campaigns for our clients. Our digital team is on point, of course, and our client service teams are involved at all levels. The copy and design teams provide creative, and our internal departments support us from behind the scenes. Last but certainly not least, Avalon Analytics informs your strategies and will track and evaluate everything once returns start coming in. THANK YOU to everyone stewarding this important time.

To start with some good news, the Nonprofit Alliance (TNPA)’s ADRFCO Council fundraising forecast for 2021 year-end is promising:

100% of respondents put their [2021 performance] expectations within striking distance of 2020, with 28% predicting a little higher, 24% a little lower, and 48% about the same as last year. Of those that expect some variance, 78% expect it to swing no more than 5%, and no one who responded expects more than a 10% change.

The forecast also outlines supply chain and USPS challenges and explores opportunities for growth in 2022. It’s a great read, and their findings resonate with what we’re seeing at Avalon. While you’re on their site, be sure check out TNPA’s recent public service announcement, which celebrates the incredible work of nonprofit organizations across the sector.

On the messaging front, Senior VP Margot O’Leary recently shared an interesting post on the difference between excitement and peacefulness phases in life. In it, Jeff Brooks points out that many donors are in their peacefulness phase, whereas many fundraisers are still in their excitement phase. What resonates with us personally may not be as meaningful to donors. It’s a good reminder to use data-driven strategies, which stay focused on the messages and techniques that actually motivate donors to give.

Speaking of focus, the Wall Street Journal published a good article on the distractions caused by notifications across the different messaging channels. Not only do I feel this pain, but I appreciate the data analysis and recommendations for minimizing unnecessary interruptions. This statistic is sobering: “[W]hen something external diverts our focus, it takes us an average of 25 minutes and 26 seconds to get back to our original task.”

In happy news, congratulations to the American Air Museum of Britain for their impressive Veterans Day event, A Sentimental Journey. In partnership with The Matrix Group/BeSpeake, the museum put on an elegant and meaningful virtual event. This observation from fighter pilot and 9-11 hero Heather Penney really struck me: “One of the reasons why these aircraft are so important is because, as the Greatest Generation passes, these aircraft are the last witnesses.”

Finally, I hope you all enjoyed the Thanksgiving break. I had a wonderful time in Charleston with my boys, and the beach was beautiful. Looking ahead, at the Avalon water cooler we’ve been discussing our favorite DC happenings of the season. We hope you’re able to enjoy some of these events!

Allison walking the beach with her dogs

Walking the beach on Thanksgiving with my dogs, Churchill and Cisco.

Take care,


Allison Porter headshot

Allison Porter, President
Avalon Consulting Group
202-429-6080 ext. 102