Pandemic Fundraising Lifeline: Praise for the Post Office and Those Supporting Mail
This post is a little different. As we’re going into month five of the shutdown, I’d like to express my gratitude for the many everyday heroes — grocery workers, nurses, doctors, restaurant staff, construction workers, plumbers, electricians and more.
But today I’d also like to call out a few special groups of everyday heroes. My work wouldn’t be possible without them.
My first thank you goes to the post office workers. Can you imagine if they were not delivering the mail? If they were not out there seven days a week delivering packages? I’ve heard from my local post office that it’s been busier than it is during the holidays.
The mail has been a lifeline for so many of us. If we couldn’t visit, we were at least able to send a letter or a card. I’ve heard many stories of people sorting through photos and sending them to friends and family — to share a smile, a positive note.
While digital approaches have certainly increased over the past few months, the mail has not stopped. Mail is being delivered. Responses can go back to the organizations or to caging and data-entry facilities.
The second thank you is to the data clerks who have been going in, masked and socially distanced. They’ve deposited checks, tallied them and entered them into nonprofits’ databases.
My third thank you is to printers and letter shops.
Printers have been able to print everything: thank-you note, letterheads, newsletters, stewardship reports, direct mail letters, reply envelopes, mailing envelopes and more.
And mail houses or letter shops have been able to get the letters addressed and in the mail. The direct mail cycle hasn’t stopped.
My final thank you goes to copywriters, designers, direct response agencies and consultants who have been busy creating these mail pieces. The direct mail cycle starts there.
Most nonprofits that have been sending mail have been doing very well throughout these past few months. Donors want to give, but being able to receive the mail and read your stories is crucial. Not every donor is on email. Not every donor is on social media.
So, my kudos and heartfelt thanks go out to these everyday heroes: postal workers, data-entry clerks, printers, mail houses, copywriters, designers, agencies and consultants.
And YOU, working at your nonprofit, for keeping the mission going with direct mail efforts.
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals. She authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving — in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and a cat, Mientje.