Charity Response Volumes – The Latest View
Last year it was Covid, this year we have been hit by severe disruption due to ongoing Royal Mail and ParcelForce strikes. With this in mind, we thought we would update you on how this has affected our charity response volumes and turnaround times.
With December traditionally being one of the busiest months for charity response, we always ensure that plans are in place well ahead of peak trading season so that processes, staffing, and leave are all managed during this busiest period of the year.
This year was no different, and we were fully staffed over peak, with our staffing levels based on campaign forecasts received from our charity clients.
In a normal year, our plans ensure that charity response post coming into Mosaic is opened and scanned promptly, and that donations are banked, and supporters thanked on time and as quickly as possible.
Another Exceptional Year
This December, however, our charity clients’ volumes did not come in as expected due to the ongoing CWU postal strike action during the height of peak season. The Royal Mail and ParcelForce strikes have not only severely impacted timely arrival of post into our mailroom, but they have also impacted volumes we have received.
Across our two response sites, at York and Slough, we have experienced several days without post followed by bulk deliveries into our mailrooms. This continues to be the case as of mid-January. At Mosaic, we are currently receiving 235% more post than forecasted for January, making 2023 another exceptional year thus far.
We understand that there are 50 million letters* currently still in the backlog and being cleared by Royal Mail.
Impact to our Charity Clients
We know that monitoring campaign performance and ability to track your Income in real-time has far-reaching impact across the many charities for whom we process donations. Whilst we have seen good service performance during December, we are expecting to see a lot more responses coming in throughout January, and accordingly we have plans in place to make sure we turn these around as quickly as possible as and when they do finally arrive.
One significant knock-on effect of the postal strikes is unfortunately that charities may not be able to review their campaign performance until the end of January, whereas in a normal year most campaign performances would have been known by now.
It is important that senior leaders in the charitable organisations are aware of these challenges so that decisions on programs and future campaigns can hopefully be reviewed when the actual facts are known. The reassuring news is that we are starting to see an increase in volumes coming in, far greater than we would normally see at this time of year.
Keeping you informed
With all the challenges that the charity sector and suppliers have faced since 2019, the postal strikes are just the latest in a long line of hindrances and service interruptions.
Certainly we’re already seeing charities experiencing delays in being able to monitor their campaign performance, and this is a direct result of the strikes. We sincerely hope that charity campaign performances are not too heavily impacted by the cost-of-living crisis as another fundraising hurdle to overcome.
We are acutely aware that monitoring your campaigns’ success in real-time is crucial for you, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure that we are on time at our end.
Rest assured that we will continue to keep you updated as and when information is to hand, and your Account Manager is also at the ready to support you with any information you need to, so don’t hesitate to contact them.