Deadline Looms for Potentially Damaging Nonprofit Postal Ruling

Nonprofit mailers have until June 18 to protest an April 19 proposed rule by the U.S. Postal Service that looks to force nonprofits to classify their bulk mailings as first class if they personalize them with solicitations or other personalized messages.

If a nonprofit mailer includes any type of “joint” fundraising and educational mailings that contain “personal” information (such as providing instructions to volunteers or citing donors’ prior contribution history), “then the USPS-proposed rule will require you to send that mailing at first class rates instead of the preferred, nonprofit standard rate,” says Beth Colalella, policy and program assistant for the Washington-based Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers. That includes nonprofit catalogs featuring such messages.

If postal officials don’t hear from nonprofits, Colatella says, “they’ll assume that we are prepared to comply with these new restrictions.” She recommends that nonprofit mailers turn to the following Websites to become involved:

Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers http://www.nonprofitmailers.org/news/calltoaction.html

Independent Sector http://www.independentsector.org/programs/gr/USPSrule.htm

American Assn of Museum http://www.nonprofitmailers.org/images/aam.pdf