Nonprofit organizations that are organized and operated for the following primary purposes may apply for authorization to mail at the Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail (nonprofit) prices. Certain political committees (see 2-2.2) and voting registration officials (see 2-2.3) also may apply for authorization to mail at nonprofit prices.
The eight categories of eligible nonprofit organizations are as follows:
- Philanthropic (Charitable).
A religious organization is a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is one of the following:
- Conduct religious worship (e.g., churches, synagogues, temples, mosques).
- Support the religious activities of nonprofit organizations whose primary purpose is to conduct religious worship.
- Further the teaching of particular religious faiths or tenets, including religious instruction and the dissemination of religious information.
An educational organization is a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is the instruction or training of individuals, or the instruction of the public.
An organization may be educational even though it advocates a particular position or point of view, as long as the organization presents a sufficiently full and fair exposition of the pertinent facts to permit the formation of an independent opinion or conclusion. Conversely, an organization is not considered educational if its principal function is merely to present unsupported opinion.
Examples of educational organizations include the following:
- Organizations (e.g., a primary or secondary school, a college, or a professional or trade school) that have a regularly scheduled curriculum, a regular faculty, and a regularly enrolled body of students in attendance at a place where educational activities are regularly conducted.
- Organizations whose activities consist of presenting public discussion groups, forums, panels, lectures, or similar programs, including broadcasts of such activities on radio or television.
- Organizations that present a course of instruction by correspondence, television, or radio.
- Symphony orchestras.
A scientific organization is a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is one of the following:
- To conduct research in the applied, pure, or natural sciences.
- To disseminate technical information dealing with the applied, pure, or natural sciences.
A philanthropic (charitable) organization is a nonprofit organization that is primarily organized and operated to benefit the public. Examples are those that are organized and operated for the following:
- Relief of the poor, distressed, or underprivileged.
- Advancement of religion, education, or science.
- Erection or maintenance of public buildings, monuments, or works.
- Lessening the burdens of government.
- Promotion of social welfare for any of the above purposes or to lessen neighborhood tensions, eliminate prejudice and discrimination, defend human and civil rights secured by law, or combat community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.
If an organization that is organized and operated to relieve indigent persons receives voluntary contributions from those persons, it does not necessarily make it ineligible for nonprofit prices as a philanthropic organization.
If an organization, in carrying out its primary purpose, advocates social or civic changes or presents ideas on controversial issues to influence public opinion and sentiment to accept its views, it does not necessarily make it ineligible for nonprofit prices as a philanthropic organization.
An agricultural organization is a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is to better the conditions of those engaged in agricultural pursuits, to improve the grade of their products, to develop a high degree of efficiency in agriculture, or to collect and disseminate information or materials about agriculture.
An agricultural organization may further and advance such agricultural interests in the following ways:
- Sponsoring educational activities.
- Holding agricultural fairs.
- Collecting and disseminating information about the cultivation of the soil and its fruits or the harvesting of marine resources.
- Rearing, feeding, and managing livestock, poultry, bees, etc.
- Promoting other activities related to agricultural interests.
A labor organization is a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is to better the conditions of workers. Labor organizations include, but are not limited to, organizations (e.g., labor unions and employee associations) in which employees or workers participate, whose primary purpose is to deal with employers on such issues as grievances, labor disputes, wages, hours of employment, and working conditions.
A veterans’ organization is a nonprofit organization of veterans of the armed services of the United States, or an auxiliary unit or society of, or a trust or foundation for, any such post or organization.
A fraternal organization is a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is to foster fellowship and mutual benefits among its members.
A fraternal organization must also be organized under a lodge or chapter system with a representative form of government; must follow a ritualistic format; and must be composed of members elected to membership by vote of the members. Such organizations may have members of one sex or both sexes.
Examples of qualifying fraternal organizations include the following:
- Knights of Columbus.
- College fraternities or sororities.
Fraternal organizations do not encompass such organizations as business leagues, professional associations, civic associations, or social clubs.