What your charity can do in the event of a Canada Post strike

May 19, 2011

UPDATE: The CUPW has issued a strike notice. Industrial action will occur as of 11:59pm, 2 June should they not reach an agreement.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is threatening strike action, to take place no earlier than May 25th. At this stage, nobody is sure how long possible strike action will take – so we’d like to offer our clients and friends some handy tips on what to do should your mail program be interrupted by the strike.

Firstly, we recommend signing up to Canada Post’s information service: http://www.infopost.ca/customer

They will send an email or text alert to you 72 hours before any strike action will take place.

So how can you be strategic during a strike? Should you hold back mail or send it?

Both answers could be right depending on your program and schedule – we recommend taking a look at factors such as the urgency of a mailing, and the frequency of your mailings throughout the year.

There are also several tactical options for you to ensure you can still fundraise during a mail strike:

Include a buckslip

For any mailings going out in the next week, ensure there is a buckslip inserted explaining to donors that there may be a Canada Post strike coming up, and suggest alternative ways for them to make a donation to you should it go ahead.

Remember that typically, your mail donors will be older, so not everyone can visit your website to make a donation. Be sure to include a phone number (or numbers) of actual people in your organization who will take donations.


This tactic is great, because it’s a cheap and fast way for you to get a message out to your donors. However, it’ll only work for you if you have a file where the majority of donors have a listed email address.

You’ll also need to ensure that your website has an easy-to-use donate page.

Voice Broadcast

This is a good option, assuming that donors can be sent to a website or a phone number that will flawlessly take their gifts.


This is a great option, but very expensive.

We recommend only using TM as a last ditch effort, for example, if the strike goes on for a long time.

We invite all of our clients to explore ideas with your Good Works team. If you’re not a current client, but would like help, contact us to find out how we can help you through the strike.

4 thoughts on “What your charity can do in the event of a Canada Post strike

  1. What is your advice for charities that have recently sent out a mailout? Do you find that Postal strikes can hurt a response rate?

    1. Hi Emma,

      Postal strikes definitely impact on response – just the threat of a strike will impact negatively on response, as it causes donors to hold back on sending their gifts and it causes charities to hold back on sending appeals. The uncertainty that is created lasts long before and after the strike.

      As you’ve recently sent a mailing, depending on your program & the size of the mailing, we’d recommend following up with donors who haven’t yet responded using one of the methods listed above, letting them know other ways they can make a donation. Another option would be to segment out your higher end and loyal donors and call them.

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Jose Van Herpt, CFRE

Jose Van Herpt, CFRE

Fundraiser. Artist. Nature lover. Peacemaker. Experience junkie. Traveler. Philanthropist. Book enthusiast. Mom to all.