Q May our authorized organization mail material at the Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail prices if it includes an advertisement for our periodical publication?
A Yes, if the advertised periodical publication meets one or more of the following tests:
- The advertised publication is currently authorized to be mailed at Periodicals postage prices, or it would qualify for Periodicals prices if the organization applied.
- The publication is substantially related to your organization’s purposes.
- The advertisement for the publication appears in a mailpiece that meets the content requirements for a periodical publication.
Q Are advertisements in material that meets the “content requirements for a periodical publication” required to be substantially related to the authorized organization’s purposes?
A No. The rules exempt advertisements from the need to be substantially related to the organization’s purposes if the advertisements are printed in material that meets the content requirements for a periodical publication, as prescribed by the Postal Service. However, advertisements for credit cards are always prohibited and advertisements for insurance policies and travel arrangements are permitted only under restricted circumstances.
Q May my authorized organization acknowledge contributors, donors, and sponsors in material mailed at the Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail prices?
A Yes. The rules permit such acknowledgements to include the name of the sponsor, donor, or contributor and any official company logo, as long as no advertising is associated with the acknowledgment. However, if the acknowledgment includes other information concerning the sponsor — e.g., a description of the sponsor’s products or the sponsor’s phone number — the acknowledgment is subject to the applicable advertising restrictions.
Q Are the exceptions to the rules against mailing advertisements for products and services at the Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail prices different from the exceptions to the rules against mailing products at these prices?
A Yes. The law establishes different rules for each. For example, although it might be important under the advertising restrictions whether the advertised product is substantially related to the authorized Organization’s purposes, the product restrictions do not contain a similar rule.
Q If my authorized organization advertises low-cost products in material that does not meet the content requirements for a periodical publication, must the advertised products be substantially related to the organization’s purposes?
A Yes. The low-cost provision pertains only to the product restrictions, not to advertising restrictions.
Q Do advertisements for products donated to my authorized organization qualify for mailing at the Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail prices?
A Yes. The rules state that products and services received by an organization as donations or gifts are considered substantially related to one or more of the organization’s purposes.
Q Is a periodical publication eligible for mailing at the Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail prices if it is considered a product and it cost the authorized organization more than the amount specified for a low-cost item?
A Maybe, but only if the publication could qualify for authorization as a Periodicals publication and it does not contain any ineligible advertisements.