FYI Blog

Revisiting Bridge

We all know it affectionately as “Bridge”—the 12-year-old great idea hatched by AFP and the DMAW, which has evolved into one of the most exceptional, must-attend conferences in our industry. But it’s formally named Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising—an event purposefully designed to build a bridge between traditional fundraisers and their direct marketing counterparts.

Like every year, I’m looking forward to Bridge, coming up July 31 – August 2, and I am especially excited about this year’s theme, The Art and Science of Marketing and Fundraising: Discover the Best Mix. This nexus, where marketing and fundraising intersect, is where Avalon has been throughout our history. As we look back on 20+ years of success, we know that, for best results, we need to fully integrate marketing and fundraising—pulling them out of their standalone silos.

This year, Avalon is all over Bridge: we’re a conference sponsor; our staff are volunteering throughout the conference; Avalon Chief Operating Officer Kerri Kerr and Avalon clients will present two informative sessions: Perennial Favorites: Annual Fundraising Campaigns, FTW! and We Need to Respond Yesterday: How to Do Rapid Response Right. Additionally, Avalon Account Director Rebecca Shapalis proudly serves on the DMAW Board, and we are eagerly waiting to see what levels our three MAXI wins have achieved!

My excitement about attending Bridge in part reflects my focus on ongoing learning and professional development, which I believe is critical at every stage of one’s career. A major part of this is collaboration and sharing what we have learned with others—something I have encouraged my colleagues, and all presenters, to be more upfront about. Let’s get the stats out there so we can all learn from each other and improve our numbers.

I’m also all about networking—part of that is continuing ed, but it is also the fun of catching up with people we’ve grown up with in the industry: telling war stories, celebrating accomplishments, or reliving that mailing from hell. Bridge echoes how we all work in our corner of the industry—helping tremendously effective organizations fund their missions—and bringing us together to share wisdom only makes us all more successful.

I hope to see you at Bridge!

P.S. Check out our growing Avalon @ Bridge photo archive:

Bridge 2017

Bridge 2016

Bridge 2015

Bridge 2014

Allison Porter co-chaired Bridge 2014 with Nadine Gabai-Botero.