Idle Canada Post trucks sit in a parking lot as rotating strikes continue. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)

Postal strike affects charities at critical fundraising time

Canadian fundraising professionals and charities join call for fast resolution

With no resolution to the postal strike in sight after the Canadian Union of Postal Workers rejected a “time-limited” contract offer from Canada Post that expired Sunday, fundraising professionals are joining the call for the two sides to reach a negotiated settlement quickly.

“Direct mail continues to be the leading way that most donors give to charity. We are concerned that donors who typically give in the fall might receive their donation requests too late – or their donations will be received too late by the charity to help people this year,” said Scott Decksheimer, Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Canada board chair, speaking of the postal strikes rotating across Canada since Oct. 22.

RELATED: CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

The last quarter of the year is an important time for giving to charities. Past surveys from AFP have shown that many charities receive at least half of their total annual giving during the last three months of the year, with December being the most critical month.

“A postal delay or interruption seriously damages a charity’s ability to provide the critically needed services to the community,” said Decksheimer.

The Mustard Seed in Victoria sends out a call for support every December in a newsletter to 7,000 donors, and it receives 70 per cent of its annual fundraising dollars at that time of year due to donors giving before year-end.

“Our biggest concern is not getting the donations in time. It is nerve-wracking,” said Janiene Boice, director of Development for Mustard Seed. “I honour the postal workers and have no opinion on the strike, but we rely on mail donations. Our donations are down 23 per cent this month over this time last year. There is no guarantee it is because of the strike but we are concerned.”

RELATED: Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson said the Foundation is largely protected from strike repercussions as it has moved to paperless transactions with direct deposits; however, she feels for the smaller charities.

“We are all impacted, but perhaps not to the degree that smaller charities are that may not have the technology in place,” said Richardson.

Because of current and potential delays, charities ask donors to consider other ways to give, including via the phone, online or at the charity’s location.

“We always encourage donors to be pro-active in their giving, but the reality is that the delay will likely have a tremendous impact on the work that Canadian charities perform every day, especially if giving is postponed, or even worse, never occurs at all,” said Mike Geiger, president and CEO of AFP.

“While first and foremost we are hoping for a quick settlement at Canada Post, we are readying ideas to support charities in Canada if there is a complete stoppage.”

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government could intervene in the strike if progress isn’t made soon in the talks, but did not say what action might be taken.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Opening night lineup for online Roots & Blues festival released

The first night of the festival on Aug. 14 will be stacked with favourites from previous years

Revelstoke’s forestry museum launches podcasts and new website

One of their summer students is working remotely

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 6

Chautauqua, CPR strike and destructive fire

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Local state of emergency declared near Okanagan home

Slope failure cited as City of Penticton issues notice at home in 600 block of Heather Road

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Therapeutic art for sale at Okanagan show

17th annual Awakening the Spirit Art Show and Sale presented by Vernon Canadian Mental Health Assoc.

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Tech mogul growing North Okanagan’s wine industry

The founder of online dating site Plenty of Fish is developing 900 acres in Vernon

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Most Read