The RSPCA and its inspectors have been the defenders and protectors of the animal world for almost 200 years. From seagulls trapped behind car grilles and puppies abandoned in cardboard boxes to pets, livestock, and wildlife suffering from sickness, injury, neglect, or abuse, the organisation is there for every animal in need.
The U.K.’s largest and oldest animal welfare charity, this nonprofit Trailblazer works to protect all animals, rescuing and caring for those in need, advocating on their behalf, and campaigning for better legislation. And the need for its services has never been greater.
On average, the RSPCA receives a call for help every 30 seconds. In 2020, its frontline officers, who include 270 animal inspectors and 90 rescue officers, handled more than 93,300 complaints of alleged cruelty. Through investigations and prosecutions, it ensures those who deliberately harm animals are held to account, securing over a thousand convictions by private prosecution each year.
Recent campaigning successes include a ban on third-party puppy and kitten sales that came into effect in April 2020. Meanwhile, its work to end severe suffering by laboratory animals has already seen a 48% decrease in the number of such experiments in the U.K.
The RSPCA also works hard to raise awareness and change attitudes with initiatives such as its Generation Kind campaign. Celebrating its third anniversary in 2021, the campaign encourages children and young people to be kind and compassionate toward all animals.
As the U.K.’s largest and oldest animal welfare charity, RSPCA works to protect all animals, rescuing and caring for those in need, advocating on their behalf, and campaigning for better legislation.
Transforming Processes and Boosting Efficiencies
Despite these successes, there is more work to be done. The RSPCA’s strategy to 2030 includes the aspirational targets of cutting animal neglect and cruelty cases by half, securing legal protection for animals, and obtaining statutory powers for its inspectors in England and Wales.
With so many demands on its time and finances, the RSPCA has to be as efficient as possible. That’s why the organisation is revolutionising its most critical systems and processes, from caseload management to supporter engagement and communications with the public.
This revolution began in 2019 with an overhaul of the RSPCA’s workload management and supporter relationship processes, which saw the nonprofit shift to cloud-based platforms, automation, digital channels, and mobile apps. This has had a huge impact on its ability to handle such high volumes of animal protection cases and on inspectors’ workloads.
Better Outcomes for Staff and Animals
With a call for help coming every 30 seconds, reducing the workload for inspectors and minimising stress had become key priorities for the RSPCA, whilst enabling the team to ensure that every call gets the response it needs.
To take some of the weight off their shoulders, the RSPCA is one of the first nonprofit organisations to adopt a cloud-based workload management system that improves visibility of cases coming in, centralises their prioritisation, and automates their scheduling. This helps frontline workers by reducing paperwork and hours spent on record-keeping, freeing them up to spend more time doing the hands-on parts of the job they love most.
The new system has also resulted in major benefits for animal welfare by ensuring cases go to the most relevant person available at that time, whether it’s an agent in the National Control Centre or an inspector out in the field.
Shifting workload management to cloud-based platforms had a huge impact on RSPCA’s ability to handle high volumes of animal protection cases and on inspectors’ workloads.
Powering Through the Pandemic and Beyond
Making the move to digital platforms before the COVID-19 pandemic struck enabled the RSPCA to keep its control centre fully operational throughout 2020, with 95% of its agents pivoting to working from home.
The RSPCA is reliant on the public to alert it to animals in need, so next steps include expanding its communication channels to make it even easier for people to get in touch from wherever they are. Social media has become increasingly important, with nearly 500 reports of animal cruelty coming through social platforms in 2020 — more than triple the previous year’s figure. The nonprofit is now exploring omni-channel capabilities to further improve the experience.
As an organisation that also relies heavily on public donations and legacies, which account for around 90% of its total income, supporter relationships are key. Through its new supporter relationship management system, the RSPCA has gained deeper insight into supporters’ interests, giving history, and preferences. This helps it deliver more relevant communications and strengthen these relationships, all of which is vital to achieve its mission of ending animal cruelty.
Of course, as a publicly-funded organisation, tracking its performance and spend is a must. Cloud-based management systems have enhanced its visibility and reporting capabilities. Using the insights gained, RSPCA is also looking at where else it can embrace technology to create other efficiencies and further improve processes and transparency.
The RSPCA recognises the world is changing fast and that new challenges lie ahead, but by enhancing its agility and resilience and caring for its people, the RSPCA will be there far into the future for all creatures — great and small.
Download the Trailblazer Celebration eBook to learn more about how RSPCA has achieved better outcomes for staff and animals.
About the Author
Senior Product Marketing Manager at Salesforce.org
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