Share your thoughts on how we can tweak the ATC swaps to make them everything you've been dreaming they could be! No idea is foolish, so don't hold back!

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This is very helpful Gloria. We are strongly considering moving to a swap structure where all cards are sent to one host who then circulates the cards the ATCs to all involved. This seems to be the best way to resolve the issue of people not receiving cards.

The private swaps sound like a nice option too, for people who want to swap ATCs outside of a specific theme. Thank you for sharing these ideas!

This sounds fair enough if "non-sending" is the only problem. 

It also means double handling taking double the time and double the postage costs. 

Yes, it does complicate things a bit to send all of the cards to one person and have them redistribute them Jo, but this does seem to be the way other groups have addressed similar issues with people not sending cards. I am offering to co-host the ATC swaps with Susanne and share some of the workload with her.

Susanne has been an amazing hostess who has set up and managed our ATC swaps with a tremendous amount of skill and care. If we make some thoughtful adjustments at this point i think we can get things back on track! The hosting job has turned into a full time job for one person, which is a lot to ask for folks who are volunteering their time. And since all of us are in this boat, it only makes sense to spread the workload and try to balance things out a bit. We're hoping our ATC swaps will only strengthen and grow with these changes.

Ok, just a vent here. If eveyone would just do as they committed to do we wouldnt have a problem. Im so shocked!! I dont mind sending to one person but that does increase our cost and alot of trouble for one person.

This all is just a shame. It really is. When you commit to doing the atc's you have literally over a month to make and mail. More time than that to make since the list is already out.

Ok, im done. Id be glad to help in anyway i can!! :)

Thank you Christina. I understand your frustration. Had we not run into people not getting cards in a swap we would not be in the position of feeling the need to make some changes. Imagine if you were one of those people who sent out three lovely ATCs and only received one? This would be so heartbreaking!

We are looking for a way to address this issue. Another idea we have been knocking around is having the people who did not receive ATCs in a swap let the host know the names of the people who did not send the cards. This way we are not casting blame on someone who may themselves be the victim of lost mail or an addressing problem that resulted in a card going missing. 

Then the host can contact the person and find out if the card was sent. This is also more work for the host, but it would help us get to the bottom of the missing cards. We can offer information on how to address the mail for different countries and "ban" people who truly do not send cards in a swap. This is another reason I am offering to cohost, so one person does not have to take on added work.

These are additional solutions to the missing cards we are thinking about. What are your thoughts about these ideas?



The second option gets my vote.

Thank you Jo. I think the second option is a better one too.

Thank you so much for popping in and giving us your insightful ideas Susanne! The "middle man" (or middle woman!) idea is not my favorite idea either. I had not considered the thoughful relationship building aspect of our current swaps, and I have to agree with you that this is rare and precious thing. It is the goal of every community! We do not want to lose this.

I would love to have the names of the people who have not responded to your attempts to contact them. Once we have established that cards were not lost in the mail we would have every right to ban these people from future swaps. I appreciate all of the hard work you have done to attempt to resolve the missing card issue.

And no worries, we will not make any changes to these delightful swaps that would cause heart failure or anything like it! We want to inspire creative expression, not cause fear and panic! Your input is fabulous. Can't wait to have you back with us! ; >

Hey there,

I just had a tiny idea....what if those who sign up state how many ATC's they'd like to do?  I don't know if that would get too confusing, but I know there are some months I could do a bunch, and others it takes all I have to get 3 made.  I don't have to receive as many as I give, and this way if I can make extra, it would fill in any gaps.  Now that I'm thinking about it, whoever ends up arranging swap partners might get a migraine.  But maybe this idea will get another one started.  :-)

This is a brilliant idea Marcia. We can start a list of people who are interested in donating ATCs and how many they would like to donate. We can post the list and ask people who want cards to contact the folks who are willing to donate the cards. That way there wouldn't have to be any middlemen or headaches!

Hi Suzanne -- I'd be happy to help if you are still in need.

Christine

Suzanne Vadnais Monson said:

This feels like a great place to put a call out to see who can help manage the swaps as we move forward. The swaps are getting very popular and we would love to have a team of helpers to manage the mailing list of people participating, sharing of swapped ATCs and all of the little things that go into making a swap a success. Let us know if you are interested in helping with this!

What a cool idea!  You know, Marcia, I had the same feeling this month.  Last month, I could have made a dozen, this month it was all I could do to do three.  Dovetailing with this discussion when Suzanne was asking for volunteers to manage the swaps, perhaps two or three other people could be called upon to be the clearinghouses for the "extras" that way we can be sure that everyone who wants to participate and swap can.  

Of course you realize this is said in blind ignorance of what actually needs to happen to make these work.  But I thought perhaps, like Marcia, it would get ideas flowing.


Marcia Campbell said:

Hey there,

I just had a tiny idea....what if those who sign up state how many ATC's they'd like to do?  I don't know if that would get too confusing, but I know there are some months I could do a bunch, and others it takes all I have to get 3 made.  I don't have to receive as many as I give, and this way if I can make extra, it would fill in any gaps.  Now that I'm thinking about it, whoever ends up arranging swap partners might get a migraine.  But maybe this idea will get another one started.  :-)

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