FYI Blog

Avalon Weekly Dispatch 7.14.20

Dear friends,

This week we are celebrating some good news at Avalon – and perhaps you are too! As fiscal years close for July-June organizations, SIX of our clients had record-breaking revenue years. If that doesn’t speak to the amazing work fundraisers have been doing – in a pandemic no less – I don’t know what does. Be sure to take a moment and celebrate the world-changing revenue you bring to your organizations. We love working with you to make that happen.

I have also been excited by ongoing museum advocacy. Two items of note from Avalon clients: NMAI director Kevin Gover offered unequivocal pushback on the use of derogatory words to describe Indigenous peoples in a WaPo op-ed on Washington’s football team. And, in a recent NYT interview, Lonnie Bunch, secretary of the Smithsonian and founder of NMAAHC, offered this inspiring call to action:

I’m not expecting museums to engage in partisan politics. What I’m expecting museums to be is driven by scholarship and community. I want museums to be a place that gives the public not just what it wants, but what it needs. And if that means that museums have to do a better job of explaining to government officials, funders, why they do the work they do, then so be it. I would rather the museum be a place that takes a little risk to make the country better than a place where history and science go to die.

For your fundraising toolbox, Kerri and I are encouraging our team to level up with The Nonprofit Alliance’s excellent suite of webinars.To track the macro climate, we also have an eye on Belardi Wong‘s industry updates. Their July fundraising report documents first quarter challenges, in particular an 11% decrease in March charitable giving compared to 2019. However, we know many organizations had a much stronger second quarter, so we look forward to the next edition. As I have mentioned, benchmarking from Merkle and Names in the News is more bullish, which aligns with Avalon’s real-time analysis.

Meanwhile, we continue to work as a company on resilience and wellness. To that end, I found this oldie-but-goodie article on the importance of silence helpful. That being said, I know many of us wish we could get a quiet moment, and others may be craving the noise of community! I hope you find what you need this week.

Finally, I am back from vacation and more convinced than ever of the value of time off. I encourage everyone to make it a priority, for the sake of your health and clarity. 2020 is a particularly limited year for travel, of course, but don’t let that stop you from recharging. For staycation inspiration, I love DCist’s weekly list of COVID-safe local activities and Travel and Leisure’s catalog of 100+ fun things to do at home.

Take care,