Is a Canada Post work stoppage guaranteed this Friday? No, of course not. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take some time to prepare just in case the worst happens.
Here are a few tips to help your nonprofit weather a Canada Post work stoppage:
- Yes, a work stoppage means your nonprofit won’t receive any donations through the mail. Let’s hope any disruption to the postal system is short lived. But a work stoppage also means your nonprofit won’t be able to mail gift acknowledgements and tax receipts. Do you have a pile of thank you letters stacked on your desk? Get ’em out Wednesday morning! Consider the following action items: a) post a notice on your homepage and on your social media platforms. Let donors know that they won’t be receiving mail from your nonprofit during the work stoppage. But don’t stop there. Take care to express gratitude and demonstrate the impact of gifts. b) Call donors. Call all of your donors. C’mon! When there’s no mail, there’s no better time to get on the phone and thank donors, acknowledge their recent gifts, and if the moment is right, ask for their email address.
- Email + video = a winning combination to keep some donors engaged. Show that your work still continues because of donors’ collective generosity. It’s the summertime. Fundraising is tough. But don’t be lazy. Don’t have an email marketing program? Let’s talk. You need one.
- Now, and I do mean right now, is the perfect time to review and test key pages on your website (e.g.: your donation page, email sign-up, stories of impact, volunteer, programs, etc.) Have you found out-of-date information? Update it. Did you find your donation page to be clunky, too long, or confusing? Update it—remove all barriers to making a donation online. If a donor’s birth date is a mandatory field, you’ve got barriers to giving. For bonus points, we want you to implement an email sign-up pop over. You know what’s impossible to lockout? Email.
- Put a PR plan into action. Public relations is like a middle donor or major donor program. We all talk about it, but how many nonprofits are actually doing it? We get it. PR is tough. It’s a little bit of luck, a lot of skill, and having positive relationships with your local media outlets. During the lazy, hazy days of summer, you can actually increase your nonprofit’s exposure by having thoughtful, interesting, and unique pitch ideas for reporters. Everyone is going to pitch the hardship of a Canada Post work stoppage on fundraising revenue. You should have that story too. But you should also have stories of recent, major impact. Or stories to help parents raise generous kids (along with family friendly volunteer opportunities at your nonprofit). Or a story about your youth programs. Show some hustle.
- Let your receptionist and/or donor relations folks know that the donor call volume will likely increase. Be prepared. And be nice. Just like your website, take this time to evaluate the offline donor experience, beyond the mailbox.
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