Nonprofit Mailers Get a Win

Senior postal officials gave nonprofit mailers a big boost in protecting their ability to send personal communications at lower rates. Effective June 1, nonprofit mailers will be able to send mail to prospects, constituents, members, and donors at the nonprofit standard rate instead of at the higher first class postage rates.

“Nonprofits need to use the mail for much more than asking people to write checks,” says Neal Denton, executive director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers. After a year of negotiations between senior postal officials and Capitol Hill, an agreement was reached that adds new rules on standard mail eligibility. Donation solicitations and other computer-prepared mail pieces disseminated by nonprofit organizations may include any request for monetary or nonmonetary support for a political cause or a nonprofit mailer’s exempt purpose.

A solicitation does not need to contain exact phrases such as “please contribute” or “please purchase,” but there needs to be content that indicates the action requested. And this content may be located in any component of the mail piece. Under the new rules, if the use of any personal information is related directly to the solicitation as defined above, then the mail piece qualifies for nonprofit standard rates. “If this decision hadn’t been made, it might have been catastrophic for nonprofit mailers,” says Denton.