Quick Service Guide 703
Standard Mail—Nonprofit Eligibility
Eligibility Overview (703.1)
Only 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 rates. Except for mailings deposited
under the plant-verified drop shipment program (705.15), a separate authorization
is required at each post office where Nonprofit rate mailings are deposited.
Pieces mailed at the Nonprofit Standard Mail rates must meet the general
standards for Standard Mail (243.2 for letters, 343.2 for flats, 443.2 for parcels) and the standards specific to any other discount or rate
Qualified organization: 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 rates not permitted for
mailing promotional material for credit cards, insurance policies,
arrangements. Authorized organizations may not let any other
person or organization use their authorizations to mail at Nonprofit
- Cooperative mailings: mailable at Nonprofit Standard Mail rates
only if each cooperating organization is individually authorized
at Nonprofit Standard Mail rates where the mailing is deposited.
Authorizations: Form 3624 and supporting documentation are required
at post office where mail is deposited; Form 3623 required for each additional
Residual Shape Surcharge: Add $0.242 for Nonprofit and $0.211 for
Nonprofit Enhanced Carrier Route for pieces that are prepared
as parcels or
are neither letter-size nor flat-size (401.2.2.2).
Annual presort mailing fee: $160.00. Destination rate eligibility:
standards in 246 for letters, 346 for flats, or 446 for parcels.
Nonprofit letter-size pieces that meet any one of the nonmachinable
characteristics in 201.2 are nonmachinable and are subject
to a $0.021 nonmachinable surcharge.
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 rates 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.
Same as Standard Mail generally; some restrictions on promotional material
See Quick Service Guide for the specific type of matter you wish to
See Quick Service Guide for the specific type of matter you wish to mail.
Marking: "Nonprofit Organization" or "Nonprofit" or "Nonprofit
Postage statement: See individual Quick Service Guides.
Identification: name of authorized nonprofit organization.
For mail preparation graphic, see the appropriate Quick Service Guide.
For specific rates and preparation standards, see the following Standard
Mail Quick Service Guides:
- 240a, Presorted Letters—Nonmachinable
- 240b, Presorted Letters—Machinable
- 240c, Enhanced Carrier Route—Letters
- 240d, Enhanced Carrier Route—Automation
- 240e, Automation Letters
- 340a, Presorted Flats
- 340b, Automation Flats
- 340c, Enhanced Carrier Route Flats
- 440a, Machinable Parcels
- 440b, Irregular Parcels
- 440c, Enhanced Carrier Route Irregular Parcels
Postage and Payment Methods
Precanceled stamp (604.3),
meter (604.4), or permit imprint
applicable conditions and restrictions.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 rates mailed by an authorized nonprofit
Q. What can an authorized organization mail at nonprofit rates?
- An authorized organization can mail only its own mail.
- A product may
be mailed at Nonprofit Standard Mail rates 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
- 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
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 rates.
- Advertising that promotes or offers any insurance policy is ineligible
for Nonprofit Standard Mail rates, unless it is promoted to members,
donors, supporters, or beneficiaries of the authorized mailer and provided
the policy coverage 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
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,
- Ensure that at least 25% of the content be 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 rates,
but the mailing house isn't. Is the mailing eligible for Nonprofit
Standard Mail rates?
A. As an organization authorized to mail at Nonprofit Standard
Mail rates, you can use a commercial firm to prepare and present your
mailing for you at those rates. 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 rates. 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 rates. Under this arrangement,
the mailing house now has a vested interest in the mailing and is no
longer functioning in a principal-agent capacity.
For the specific DMM standards applicable to this category of mail,
consult the DMM sections referenced above and the general sections within
each DMM module.
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