Only qualified non-profit organizations are eligible for the reduced rates. Types of organizations that may qualify include religious, educational, scientific, philanthropic, fraternal, veterans, labor and agricultural.
The discounted rates have been in existence since 1951, and today that rate is 40 percent. The financial situation of the United States Postal Service has caused the discounts received by non-profit organizations to come under scrutiny. Bills were presented in the House and Senate in 2011 to reform the USPS. Among the items included was a provision to reduce significantly the discounts received by nonprofits. The good news is that on April 25, 2012, the Senate passed a bill to maintain the current discount rate for non-profits.
The Independent Sector (IS), a leadership forum for non-profits and foundations, was active in engaging with legislators to underscore the importance of maintaining the current rates. The IS noted that non-profits are important to society and that Congress should ensure that as much of their funds as possible should be utilized for services and programs. The increased postage rates would have been a drain on the limited resources of non-profit organizations, especially in today’s economy that still sheds uncertainty.
Many non-profits use direct mail campaigns as their major way to raise funds. For those organizations, the increased postage rates would have detrimental to their financial situations, which are still reeling from the economic turndown. The savings produced by a postage discount allows non-profits to reach a larger audience by allowing them to send more direct mail. It also reduces the administrative costs of the organization.
Organizations that qualify should ensure they are taking advantage of the reduced rates to avoid wasting valuable dollars.
Non-profits also should continue to stay apprised of the financial condition of the USPS. Stay informed and connected with your legislators to let them know the benefit your organization makes in the community.