Fundraising Premiums Targeted By USPS

Nonprofits that use premiums for donor acquisition and renewal could face increased costs under an amendment being considered by the United States Postal Service (USPS). The proposal would limit all USPS Marketing Mail, regular and nonprofit, letter-size and flat-size, to content that is only paper-based/printed matter. No merchandise or goods will be allowed of any type regardless of “value.”

Something as basic as using a metal or plastic paper clip could force a move from Marketing Mail, which used to be called Standard Mail. Organizations would be forced to Priority Mail, Parcel Select or another USPS rate. Packages with goods and merchandise will have an Intelligent Mail package barcode (IMpb) and will travel through the package network stream, according to the USPS.

A spokesman for the USPS said the Advanced Federal Register Notice requested comments from mailers on a proposal to limit Marketing Mail Flats to paper-based fulfillment. “This is not a notification of a change, it is to gain feedback from mailers on this proposal.” Comments are being accepted until Oct. 22.

The nonprofit community can comment on the proposal through Oct. 22. Comments can be mailed or delivered to the Manager, Product Classification, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Room 4446, Washington, DC 20260-5015. Comments and questions can also be emailed to ProductClassification@usps.gov using the subject line “USPS Marketing Mail Content Eligibility.”

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