USPS Ends Saturday Delivery
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has announced that it will end Saturday pick-up and delivery of mail on Saturdays starting August 5th. CNN Money reports that the postal service will save $2 billion by making the shift, but accurately acknowledges that the savings is “a drop in the bucket compared to a loss of $16 billion the Postal Service reported for 2012.” The delivery of bulk items and boxes will not be affected by this change, so those shoes you order off the web will still arrive on time.
But what does this mean for the nonprofits that use bulk mailing to reach every household? It seems obvious that if the USPS is going to limit delivery, that nonprofits will move to web based ways of reaching out to possible donors, volunteers, activists, and clients.
Gizmodo’s Brian Barrett
approves of the postal service cutting delivery days, and he even suggests that the USPS “cut mail delivery to Monday-Wednesday-Friday.” Is he right? Does the mail have to be a daily occurrence? For those that do not depend on a paycheck in the mail, I guess it doesn’t.
“We live in a world of instant communication and endless options. We email, we tweet, we DM, we Facebook message, we chat, we text,” says Barrett. He’s right, in many ways that the instant, digital abilities to send messages have hurt the USPS, but many have opted to “go green” getting their bank statements, and tax documents emailed or downloaded from an employee website. All forms of communication and daily life are moving to the web.
Tony Conway, head of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers
has been a proponent for eliminating Saturday delivery and closing/consolidating excess mail sorting facilities. Conway appeared on a panel to discuss “The Postal Service’s Financial Crisis: What It Means for Nonprofit Mailers”
on November 16th
, 2012 hosted by Venable LLP.
In this discussion he said that 80% the operating costs of the USPS were labor related and this cost is translated back to the cost burden on the nonprofit customer. From a fiscal point of view, the only way to make the USPS viable for nonprofits is to streamline the process and cut costs.
The USPS does need to streamline its redundancies and maybe even its hours of operation in order to trim its bulging waistline of overspending, but for those nonprofits looking for a cheaper way to get the word out, the web is the way to go. A Facebook post, a tweet, or a blog post is much more long lasting and considerably farther-reaching than a USPS direct mailing. So, the final decision should be to create your online brand and get the word out through new avenues that are free.
An online identity is crucial, cost effective, and unlimited in its scope of possibilities for every nonprofit.