Charities are protesting Congressional plans to gradually phase out the discounts they receive for mail appeals and other materials.
Today nonprofits pay 26 percent less, on average, than businesses to send direct-mail solicitations and other communications to supporters. Those mailings are important for many big groups; while electronic appeals have taken off in recent years, few large nonprofits have found anything as effective for fund raising as direct mail.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has filed a notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of its plan to increase rates by an average of 2.133 percent on each of the market dominant classes of mail, including First Class, Standard and Periodicals mail. These rates changes are set to take effect on January 22, 2012.
A House of Representatives panel on Wednesday approved a bill that would end Saturday mail delivery by the U.S. Postal Service and establish a process that could lead to worker layoffs at the cash-strapped agency.
The Postal Service has seen mail volumes plummet in recent years as more customers send email and pay bills online.
The agency has said it needs to reduce payrolls by about 220,000 by 2015 and is studying thousands of post offices and about 300 processing facilities for possible closure.
President Barack Obama says the U.S. Postal Service should be allowed to reduce mail delivery to five days a week to help cut its massive losses. The Postal Service lost $8.5 billion last year and is facing even more red ink this year as the Internet siphons off large amounts of first-class mail and the weak economy reduces advertising mail.
During the Nonprofit Organization of the Year Award Luncheon at the 2011 New York Nonprofit Conference last Wednesday, the talk prior to the Human Rights Campaign accepting the honor centered around the measures to eliminate nonprofit mail discounts and restrict charitable deductions.
With the United States Postal Service looking to downsize, some of America's favorite nonprofits that rely heavily on direct mail fundraising could become a new kind of charity case.
That’s because legislation to restructure the money-losing agency includes a provision that would eliminate reduced postage rates for nonprofit mail.
Under Rep. Darrell Issa’s bill, the 40 percent discount that nonprofits have been getting for the postage rates on their mailings since Congress authorized it in 1951 would be reduced by 5 percent a year, and to 10 percent after six years.
The U.S. Postal Service ended its third quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2011 with a net loss of $3.1 billion, compared to a net loss of $3.5 billion for the same period in FY 2010. Total mail volume declined to 39.8 billion pieces for the quarter, compared to 40.9 billion pieces in the third quarter of FY 2010. Postal Service third quarter revenue reflects the anemic state of the economy during the past three months. Additionally, the growth in electronic communications continues to erode core First-Class Mail volume.
NewView Oklahoma is preparing to begin a new contract to handle mail services for the U.S. Navy.
Lauren White, president and chief executive of the nonprofit company, said the company is hiring up to 29 employees for the July 1 start date in eight initial locations, which include naval bases in Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Work will be managed from the Oklahoma City office but performed on site.
As part of the Navy contract, employees will handle all aspects of the mail except driving. Adaptive technology may be used to aid employees.
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