Following months of uncertainty the Canadian Union of Postal Workers has finally given Canada Post 72 hour strike notice. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will go on strike, but it is likely there will be strike action by the union unless there is advancement in the negotiations.
If this does happen there are a number of things you can do to mitigate the impact on your organization
Re-assure donors that their mail donation will reach you
This is an important step as this ensures that donors aren’t putting off mailing you their gift. If donors decide to wait until the strike is over, there’s a chance they will forget to send you their donation.
Remove the dates on your appeals or revise the dates to be just the month rather than the day
This is particularly important if you have any time limited call to action – ‘please respond within 7 days’ for example. Just include the month (September 2016) rather than the specific day. Even if you have an appeal going out early next week (August 30 / 31) you still may want to do that to ensure your letters don’t look dated when they arrive.
Encourage your donors to go online to make their gift
This may seem like the best solution, but for many organizations this poses problems. Online gifts are often credited to online programs, and can have a substantial impact on your direct mail results. If you’re going to push donors online it’s important that you track which gifts were received from your direct mail donors so that you still have an accurate track of revenue for your programs.
Ideally all of your budgeting is already integrated with online and direct mail, but given that most organizations aren’t yet doing that you may need to find a workaround solution to ensure you can still credit revenue correctly.
We’ll have to wait and see how long the strike might last and how that will impact mailings in September. There’s still a chance of avoiding a strike too if Canada Post can come to an agreement with their union. But even if we avoid a strike this time around there’s likely to be another at some point in the future so keep these tips in mind to ensure that the impact on your organization is minimal.