It’s not news that we’ll be feeling the echoes of supply chain problems long after the issue begins to resolve. Many nonprofits are scrambling to cover year-end envelopes and paper. Mailing schedules are completely thrown off. Donors are receiving ask on top of ask since organizations have little or no control over supply and mail drops.
As usual, one of the best answers to the problem is transparent and honest communication.
The American Indian College Fund had problems ordering envelopes. This was going to cause three major mailings to arrive in home one right after the other.
In a smart, proactive move, they sent out this postcard. A simple explanation. A simple apology. A chance to say thanks.
Here are a few more ideas for dealing with paper shortages and supply chain issues over the next few months:
Get Your People Online. It’s counterintuitive to what we usually suggest, but if COVID showed us anything, it’s that people can adapt and change when they need to. Consider letting your direct mail donors know why it’s better for them and your organization if they get more comfortable with online giving.
Keep Your People in the Know. Unfortunately, people don’t always assume the best when the chips are down. Retool your communications calendar to include updates on what’s happening with supply chain issues and how it will affect your organization. Think e-news articles, social posts and short videos explaining the problem and how your organization is handling it.
Monthly Giving Angle. Everyone is looking for new ways to recruit monthly donors. Turn this roadblock into an opportunity. Add a quick, 3 email monthly donor campaign to your fall development plan and use the supply chain issue as your mini case for giving. Emphasize the reasons monthly giving is a smart way to bypass supply chain problems and provide immediate support to your organization where and when it’s needed most.
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