Nonprofits should get ready for another expensive hit from the United States Postal Service (USPS), the second during the past three months.
The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), reacting to the USPS’s letter to the PRC, and the regulator’s response letter, which would change established regulatory costing methodologies without due process.
The changes would enable USPS to add 1% or more to next July’s rate hikes by calculating the “mail density” add-on authorized by the regulator, costing mailers more than $400 million, according to Stephen Kearney, executive director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers (ANM) in Washington, D.C.
The ANM board board of directors “considered the unilateral USPS action at a recent meeting and instructed us to take action. ANM General Counsel Eric Berman took the lead in drafting this Motion and was joined by attorneys representing the Association for Postal Commerce, the News Media Alliance, and the National Postal Policy Council. Nine other associations also signed the letter,” according to Kearney.
“As this action is delving into uncharted territory, it is difficult to predict how it will play out,” Kearney wrote to ANM members.
In August, the PRC approved postage increases for the holiday season which are impacting nonprofits that use packages for shipping items from website sales and large premiums for donors. The general nonprofit rate was not impacted.
The PRC approved a “temporary price adjustment” in rates for certain domestic products that are considered “competitive.” The changes became effective October 2, and will roll back to current levels on Jan. 22, 2023.
The peak-season pricing, which was approved by the governors of the USPS on Aug. 9, affect fees on commercial and retail domestic competitive parcels including Priority Mail Express (PME), Priority Mail (PM), First-Class Package Service (FCPS), Parcel Select and USPS Retail Ground. International products would be unaffected.
“Anyone who mails USPS packages (Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select Ground, and USPS Retail Ground) between October 2 and January 22 will have to pay more than regular pricing,” said Kearney.
Kearney explained that items that are small and are of low value, like calendars and t-shirts, can be shipped by nonprofit marketing mail.