2-2 Eligible Organizations
2-2.1 Categories of Organizations
Nonprofit organizations that are organized and operated for the following
primary purposes may apply for authorization to mail at the Nonprofit
Standard Mail (nonprofit) rates. Certain political committees (see 2-2.2) and
voting registration officials (see 2-2.3) also may apply for authorization to mail
at nonprofit rates.
The eight categories of eligible nonprofit organizations are:
• Philanthropic (Charitable).
A religious organization is a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is
one of the following:
• Conduct religious worship (e.g., churches, synagogues, temples,
• Support the religious activities of nonprofit organizations whose primary
purpose is to conduct religious worship.
• Further the teaching of particular religious faiths or tenets, including
religious instruction and the dissemination of religious information.
An educational organization is a nonprofit organization whose primary
purpose is the instruction or training of individuals, or the instruction of the
An organization may be educational even though it advocates a particular
position or point of view, as long as the organization presents a sufficiently full
and fair exposition of the pertinent facts to permit the formation of an
independent opinion or conclusion. Conversely, an organization is not
considered educational if its principal function is merely to present
Examples of educational organizations include:
• Organizations (e.g., a primary or secondary school, a college, or a
professional or trade school) that have a regularly scheduled
curriculum, a regular faculty, and a regularly enrolled body of students
in attendance at a place where educational activities are regularly
• Organizations whose activities consist of presenting public discussion
groups, forums, panels, lectures, or similar programs, including
broadcasts of such activities on radio or television.
• Organizations that present a course of instruction by correspondence,
television, or radio.
• Symphony orchestras.
A scientific organization is a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is
one of the following:
• To conduct research in the applied, pure, or natural sciences.
• To disseminate technical information dealing with the applied, pure, or
A philanthropic (charitable) organization is a nonprofit organization that is
primarily organized and operated to benefit the public. Examples are those
that are organized and operated for:
• Relief of the poor, distressed, or underprivileged.
• Advancement of religion, education, or science.
• Erection or maintenance of public buildings, monuments, or works.
• Lessening the burdens of government.
• Promotion of social welfare for any of the above purposes or to lessen
neighborhood tensions, eliminate prejudice and discrimination, defend
human and civil rights secured by law, or combat community
deterioration and juvenile delinquency.
If an organization that is organized and operated to relieve indigent persons
receives voluntary contributions from those persons, it does not necessarily
make it ineligible for nonprofit rates as a philanthropic organization.
If an organization, in carrying out its primary purpose, advocates social or
civic changes or presents ideas on controversial issues to influence public
opinion and sentiment to accept its views, it does not necessarily make it
ineligible for nonprofit rates as a philanthropic organization.
An agricultural organization is a nonprofit organization whose primary
purpose is to better the conditions of those engaged in agricultural pursuits,
to improve the grade of their products, and to develop a higher degree of
efficiency in agriculture; or to collect and disseminate information or materials
An agricultural organization may further and advance such agricultural
• Sponsoring educational activities.
• Holding agricultural fairs.
• Collecting and disseminating information about the cultivation of the soil
and its fruits or the harvesting of marine resources.
• Rearing, feeding, and managing livestock, poultry, bees, etc.
• Promoting other activities related to agricultural interests.
A labor organization is a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is to
better the conditions of workers. Labor organizations include, but are not
limited to, organizations (e.g., labor unions and employee associations) in
which employees or workers participate, whose primary purpose is to deal
with employers on such issues as grievances, labor disputes, wages, hours
of employment, and working conditions.
A veterans' organization is a nonprofit organization of veterans of the armed
services of the United States, or an auxiliary unit or society of, or a trust or
foundation for, any such post or organization.
A fraternal organization is a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is
to foster fellowship and mutual benefits among its members.
A fraternal organization must also be organized under a lodge or chapter
system with a representative form of government; must follow a ritualistic
format; and must be composed of members elected to membership by vote
of the members. Such organizations may have members of one sex or both
Examples of qualifying fraternal organizations are:
• Knights of Columbus.
• College fraternities or sororities.
Fraternal organizations do not encompass such organizations as business
leagues, professional associations, civic associations, or social clubs.
2-2.2 Qualified Political Committees
The following political committees may be authorized to mail at the nonprofit
rates without regard to their nonprofit status:
• National committee of a political party (the organization responsible for
the party's day-to-day operation at the national level).
• State committee of a political party (the organization responsible for the
party's day-to-day operation at the state level).
• The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
• The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
• The National Republican Congressional Committee.
• The National Republican Senatorial Committee.
2-2.3 Voting Registration Officials
Voting registration officials in a state or the District of Columbia may be
authorized to mail at the nonprofit rates if voters in that jurisdiction must
register to vote before the date of voting in a general election for federal
office. In addition to restrictions applicable to other categories of authorized
organizations discussed in this chapter, specific content restrictions apply to
Nonprofit Standard Mail mailings by these officials (see 4-2).