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Quick Service Guide 703

Special Standards

Standard Mail—Nonprofit Eligibility

January 2, 2011
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Eligibility Overview (703.1.0)

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Only qualified political committees, voting registration officials, and organizations that meet specific standards for qualified nonprofit organizations and that have received specific authorization from the USPS may mail eligible matter at the Nonprofit Standard Mail prices. Except for previously accepted mailings being deposited under a plant-verified drop shipment program (705.16.0), nonprofit mailings presented for USPS acceptance must include a properly prepared mailing statement bearing the national authorization number of the approved nonprofit organization. Pieces mailed at the Nonprofit Standard Mail prices must meet the general standards for Standard Mail (243.2.0 for letters, 343.2.0 for flats, 443.2.0 for parcels) and the standards specific to any other discount or price claimed.

Qualified organization: the organization is not organized for profit, and none of its net income inures to the benefit of any private stockholder or individual. Types of organizations that may qualify (703.1.2): religious, educational, scientific, philanthropic, agricultural, labor, veterans, and fraternal. Voting registration officials and national and state political committees may be qualified without regard to their nonprofit status.

Ineligible nonprofit organizations (703.1.4): service, social, and hobby clubs; citizens' and civic improvement associations; state, county, and municipal governments are generally not eligible.

Eligible and ineligible matter:

  • Prohibitions and restrictions: Nonprofit prices are not permitted for mailing promotional material for credit cards, and promotional material for commercially available insurance and travel arrangements is restricted. Authorized organizations may not let any other person or organization use their authorizations to mail at Nonprofit Standard Mail prices.
  • Cooperative mailings: Mailable at Nonprofit Standard Mail prices only if each cooperating organization is individually authorized to mail at Nonprofit Standard Mail prices where the mailing is deposited.
  • A cooperative mailing involving the mailing of any matter on behalf of or produced for an organization, not itself authorized to mail at the Nonprofit Standard Mail prices at the Post Office where the mailing is deposited, must be paid at the applicable regular Standard Mail prices.
  • Exception: Approved nonprofit organizations entering into a cooperative agreement with a professional fundraiser, or similar organization, must mail at the regular Standard Mail prices unless each of following criteria are met:
  • � Mailings must be soliciting monetary donations to the authorized mailer and not promoting or otherwise facilitating the sale or lease of any goods or services.
  • � The organization authorized to mail at Nonprofit Standard Mail prices is given a list of each donor, contact information (e.g., address, telephone number) for each, and the amount of the donation (or waives in writing the receipt of this list).

Authorizations: PS Form 3624 with supporting documentation is required to be submitted and approved prior to mailing at Nonprofit Standard Mail prices; PS Form 3623 is required for any mailing office without PostalOne! access.

Annual presort mailing fee applies. Destination price eligibility: standards in 246 for letters, 346 for flats, or 446 for parcels.

Addressing (602.1.0)

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Name and return address on outside of mailpiece must be that of the authorized organization; pseudonyms or bogus names of persons or organizations prohibited (703.1.5). All matter mailed at Nonprofit Standard Mail prices must identify the authorized organization. The authorized organization's name and return address must appear in at least one of two places: on the outside of the mailpiece or in a prominent place on the material mailed.

Physical Standards

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Same as Standard Mail generally; some restrictions on promotional material (703.1.6).

See Quick Service Guide for the specific type of matter you wish to mail.

Mail Preparation

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See Quick Service Guide for the specific type of matter you wish to mail.

Marking: "Nonprofit Organization" or "Nonprofit" or "Nonprofit Org."

Postage statement: See individual Quick Service Guides.

Identification: The name and return address of the authorized nonprofit organization must be either on the outside of the mailpiece or in a prominent location on the material being mailed (703.1.5).

For mail preparation graphic, see the appropriate Quick Service Guide.

For specific prices and preparation standards, see the following Standard Mail Quick Service Guides:

240a, Nonmachinable Letters

240b, Machinable Letters

240c, Automation Letters

240d, Carrier Route Letters

340a, Nonautomation Flats

340b, Automation Flats

340c, Carrier Route Flats

440a, Machinable Parcels

440b, Irregular Parcels

440c, Carrier Route Irregular Parcels

440d, Not Flat-Machinable Pieces

Postage and Payment Methods

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Precanceled stamp (604.3.0), meter (604.4.0), or permit imprint (604.5.0); applicable conditions and restrictions.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Q. What is Nonprofit Standard Mail?

A. Nonprofit Standard Mail is printed matter such as pamphlets, newsletters, direct mail, or merchandise that weighs less than 16 ounces and is eligible for nonprofit prices mailed by an authorized nonprofit organization.

Q. What can an authorized organization mail at nonprofit prices?

A. An authorized organization can mail only its own mail.

  • A product may be mailed at Nonprofit Standard Mail prices only if it meets one of the following requirements:

� The product must be a low-cost item. "Cost" is based on the price paid by the nonprofit organization to acquire the product, and not the sale price. (At the beginning of each calendar year, the value of low cost is adjusted for the cost of living (see 703.1.6.11 for current cost)).

� It must be a gift or donation obtained by your organization at no cost or,

� It must be a periodical publication of a nonprofit organization. (If any eligible product contains advertising, it is also subject to the information provided below.)

Q. What types of advertising are not eligible?

A. The following types of advertising are not eligible:

  • Any advertisements that promote credit, debit, or charge cards are always prohibited at Nonprofit Standard Mail prices.
  • Advertising that promotes or offers any insurance policy is ineligible for Nonprofit Standard Mail prices, unless it is promoted to members, donors, supporters, or beneficiaries of the authorized mailer and provided the type of insurance is not generally, otherwise, commercially available.
  • Advertising or announcements that promote the availability of any travel arrangement are ineligible unless the arrangement is promoted to members, donors, and supporters of the organization, and the reason for the travel must contribute substantially to the organization's qualifying purpose.

Q. How can I make sure my newsletter meets the content requirements of a Periodicals publication?

A. To meet those requirements, a newsletter must:

  • Have a title printed on the front cover.
  • Consist of printed sheets and not be reproduced by stencil, mimeograph, or hectograph processes.
  • Contain an identification statement within the first five pages. This statement must include the title; issue dates; publication frequency; name and address of the organization; issue number; International Standard Serial Number, if applicable, and the subscription price, if applicable.
  • Have contents that are at least 25% nonadvertising.

Q. I want to hire a mailing house to print and mail my organization's newsletter. We are authorized to use Nonprofit Standard Mail prices, but the mailing house isn't. Is the mailing eligible for Nonprofit Standard Mail prices?

A. As an organization authorized to mail at Nonprofit Standard Mail prices, you can use a commercial firm to prepare and present your mailing for you at those prices. The issue is whether the arrangement is a legitimate "principal-agent" relationship. If you are paying a fee to the mailing house to prepare your mailing, and the mailing house has no other interest in the mailing, it should be eligible for Nonprofit Standard Mail prices. However, if the mailing house shares in the advertising revenues, places its own advertisement(s) in the mailpiece at no cost, or at a discount, or will not receive any fees for its services (reimbursement for expenses), the mailpiece would probably not be eligible for Nonprofit Standard Mail prices. Under this arrangement, the mailing house now has a vested interest in the mailing and is no longer functioning in an agent capacity.


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