I hope that you enjoyed the Fourth of July weekend! Marking the birth of our country was very different this year as I continue to reflect on what it means to fulfill the American promises of freedom and opportunity.
In that spirit, I was delighted by Hamilton’s recent debut on Disney+. You may know that my boys and I are huge fans of this musical, and I’m thrilled for it to reach wider audiences. Smithsonian Magazine also had a fascinating article about why Eliza Hamilton deserves a musical of her own. Here’s a fun fact: her DC home (on H Street between 13th and 14th Streets NW) would have made her Avalon’s neighbor.
In industry news, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has reprojected financials based on more complete pandemic data, and the news is favorable. According to Steve Kearney at the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, “The Postal Service committed forecasting malpractice in April by predicting the agency would run out of cash by now. It has been forced to revise that forecast with one that gives much more breathing room for real reform to be implemented.”
Avalon is also watching congressional actions around tax deductions for charitable giving. The CARES Act legislated an allowable $300 charitable giving deduction for taxpayers who don’t itemize, and the Senate is currently taking up a bipartisan bill that would expand that amount to just over $4,000 ($8,000 for married couples).
For more good news, check out the Names in the News Summer 2020 Acquisition Advisor Report. It provides a ton of great benchmarking data, and it’s consistent with what we’re seeing at Avalon. The report concludes, “The consensus is better than expected results starting in March for a wider variety of mailers than originally anticipated.” Response rates are up across the board, and it is an especially opportune time for organizations whose missions connect to current events (health, social services, social justice).
This week I am writing you from one of my favorite places – Sconset Beach on Nantucket Island. I will close with a couple pictures that I hope will inspire you to plan some (appropriately-distanced) time off in your happy places. I would love to hear about your adventures!