Planning an End-of-Year Mailing? What nonprofits need to know before sealing the envelope

For many nonprofit organizations, the last few weeks of the year signals the race for the final appeal. Reminding donor-prospects of the December 31st cutoff date, the last ‘ask’ of the year, the urge to consider a pledge or establish a lasting legacy.

Nonprofit communications to reach donorsNonprofit organizations oftentimes rely on traditional ‘snail-mail’ to communicate their message as the appeal letter is accompanied by a return envelope and perhaps, a marketing piece. Some organizations solicit to their entire database, leading to a mass mailing of the hundreds or thousands. This equates to time and quite a bit of money earmarked for a successful campaign. But before you round up the staff for a Saturday envelope-stuffing session, consider if your nonprofit truly qualifies for nonprofit postage pricing.

According to the requirements as listed on the USPS.gov site: 

Organizations that typically are eligible for Postal Service nonprofit privileges include:
  • Agricultural
  • Educational
  • Fraternal
  • Labor
  • Philanthropic
  • Religious
  • Scientific
  • Veterans
  • Some political committees

Individuals are NOT eligible for nonprofit prices; also, not every organization is eligible, even though you may think it qualifies based on the list above. For example, business leagues, chambers of commerce, social and hobby clubs, and certain political organizations usually are NOT eligible.

Your organization may apply for and receive nonprofit authorization, but you’re not quite finished — there are restrictions as to what may be mailed at those prices. For instance, there are restrictions on the amount and kind of advertising you can do. It’s always best to check with your local Business Mail Entry Unit staff before you design and print your mailpiece.

In addition to your local Business Mail Entry Unit, Publication 417, Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail Eligibility provides complete information about nonprofit eligibility, including the types of materials that may be mailed at the Nonprofit prices and instructions for applying for nonprofit mailing privileges

  1. How to apply for permission to use nonprofit prices?
  2. Calculate your nonprofit postage
  3. How to prepare a nonprofit mailing

If you have questions about your nonprofit mailing, marketing for nonprofit organizations, or ways your nonprofit can leverage its brand in the marketplace to donors, donor-prospects, or grantmakers, contact us. We’re happy to help and ready to start the conversation.

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