For my US-based readers, I’m sure by this point you’ve seen the drama. The good old steady US Postal Service is under fire. Pandemic-induced delays coupled with political issues leave us wondering about the long term viability of the organization.
However, as a fundraiser what it really should have you worried about is your year end appeal. The last few years have already brought issues with nonprofit standard mail delivery in late November / early December (our target window). From delays to batched delivery it has not been pretty. Now add on this drama and it isn’t going to get any better.
Here’s what I’m recommending:
1) Consider sending as much of your list via stamped first class mail as possible (at least your top 10-20%, or perhaps donors that gave $100+ last year);
2) Send the nonprofit standard mail portion of your list two weeks earlier than you normally would;
3) Increase the number of planned multichannel follow ups in case delivery is delayed or doesn’t happen at all (e.g. emails, second mailing to key donors, postcards, phone calls etc.).
It’s going to be a wild ride regardless, but these steps could help to protect your organization a bit. My friend and fundraising guru, Mary Cahalane, recently had a great post on the topic and I’ve linked that up here for those of you that want to dig a bit deeper.