Washington Nonprofit Conference Keynote: 'Will the Mail Be There in the Future?'
"In the postal world we've been hearing nothing but bad news."
Those were the words of Robert Taub, acting chairman of the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission, in his opening keynote at the DMA Nonprofit Federation's 2015 Washington Nonprofit Conference. And it's true. You can't go a month, let alone quarter or year, without hearing about the desperate times for the United States Postal Service, and the numbers back this up.
Taub himself relayed that the USPS suffered a net loss of $5.5 billion in 2014, and he admitted that total mail volume in 2014 dropped to levels not seen in 27 years. And it gets worse … that total volume is expected to reduce even more in 2015.
"But there is good news," Taub continued. "There is strength in our system."
Taub discussed how postal issues are one of the few issues that touches almost everyone, and that is especially true for nonprofits. It's been a vital cog allowing nonprofits to be able to do their good works, and Taub thanked the nonprofit sector for "always looking for solutions for the postal service and understanding the importance of the postal service."
He also said that the USPS facilitates trillions of dollars in business and commerce every year and employs almost 8 million people. It's good for the economy, good for fundraising and good for nonprofits.
However, while Taub focused as much as he could on the positives, the fact of the matter is things aren't going well for the USPS overall. People have fundamentally changed the way in which they consume media, and the USPS does not expect the volume lost in mail to electronic resources to come back. In addition, the USPS does not have the cash to pay down its debt or put into capital for its business, and while it is a government agency, the USPS receives no tax funds.