FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch: Postage, Paper, and the Power of Metaphor


Dear friends,

First and foremost, thank you to everyone who responded to TNPA’s call to action by signing their donor privacy amicus brief last week. Your donors will thank you, and so do we.

In other news, the second impeachment trial is behind us. The outcome was frustrating and sadly predictable, and the process was a whiplash of emotions for many of us. Fortunately, the lawyer who couldn’t get out of the cat filter offered the country some nonpartisan comic relief. A small comfort, but I’ll take it. Meanwhile, the work of strengthening our democracy continues. Thank you to progressive nonprofits for leading the way.

The Avalon DEI task force has curated a list of resources that have been especially meaningful for both our company process and individual learning. The list incorporates a round-up of our clients’ Black History Month content, including events and campaigns by Bread for the City, the League of Women Voters, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Parks Conservation Association, and Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. We are in awe at your programming!

On a technical note, TNPA/ADRFCO’s Bob Tigner is preparing fundraisers for a 6%-8% increase in postage going into effect by July 1. Even though the USPS is currently earning net profit, they are pushing ahead with the second increase in a year. It’s not clear yet how the increase will break down across first class and nonprofit categories, but Avalon is watching closely.

In related news, our partner Production Solutions reports changes in the paper market that could increase costs. The driving forces behind this are price escalations in both raw materials and freight/logistics—both driven by increased package shipments since the onset of COVID-19. Rest assured, Avalon has processes for ensuring that these changes are carefully accounted for in your budgets and strategies.

Avalon VP Barb Perell shared a great article recently on the power of metaphor to engage people emotionally. There is also an interesting link within the article to another report that showed rough paper drove a higher response in a fundraising study. Touching the rough paper increased the recipients’ empathy and drove a higher response.

On pandemic and remote work fronts, we continue to learn and adapt. This week, we have worked on leveling up our Zoom chatsmaking the most of Google Formsgiving critical feedback remotely, and, when we leave our home offices, enhancing mask safety.

The Avalon team has also been sharing our favorite tools for task management: I love this weekly calendar notepad, SVP and Director of Client Services Jackie Biancolli Libby puts her sticky notes on this cool stand, and COO Kerri Kerr has a great to-do list that also functions as a mouse pad. I would love to hear what works for you!


Take care,