How To Get Nonprofit Status With USPS

Many nonprofit organizations use mail to attract donations and recruit volunteers. Mailing first-class postage can get expensive when a nonprofit organization is trying to reach thousands of people in a single mailing. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) offers lower mailing rates for qualified nonprofit organizations, which can save an organization quite a bit over time.

How Does A Non-Profit Get Qualified For USPS Nonprofit Rates?

The USPS offers discounted nonprofit rates to organizations that fall into one of the following categories:

  • Religious

  • Educational

  • Agricultural

  • Labor

  • Scientific

  • Philanthropic

  • Veteran

  • Fraternal (Masons, Elks, Shriners, etc.)

  • Voting Registration

  • Political Committees

Nonprofits set up for purposes that do not fall into these categories should contact the USPS to determine if their organization qualifies for the discount nonprofit rates.

The first step in applying for the discounted rates is to submit the Application to Mail at Nonprofit Standard Mail Prices to the USPS. This is form 3624, available online at the USPS site or through your local post office.

Along with the application form, the organization will need to submit documentation to support their claim for nonprofit status. The documentation should include nonprofit organization formation papers (charter, articles of incorporation, etc.), an IRS letter of exemption of payment of federal income tax, and other documentation such as a financial statement from a certified public accountant substantiating the nonprofit claim.

The complete form and documentation should either be submitted by mail to USPS or online through their Business Customer Gateway. It can also be presented in person at your local Business Mail Entry Unit. There is no fee for submitting an application.

The application will be reviewed by the Post Office. An online application is the faster option, but it usually only takes 10 days or less for a hard copy application to be processed. If there are any questions or additional documentation required, someone from the USPS will contact the nonprofit representative indicated on the application form.

Once the nonprofit status is approved by the USPS, you can start sending out mailing at the lower nonprofit rates. To maintain the USPS nonprofit status, the organization must use it at least once in a two-year period. If you don't, you will lose the nonprofit rate qualification and have to go back through the qualification process.

Restrictions On Using The Nonprofit Rate

Once your organization receives its nonprofit status with the USPS, there are certain restrictions on what the lower rate can be used for. The lower rate is only for the use of the organization. It cannot be used for personal mailing or mailing items for another nonprofit.

If you want to learn more about nonprofit mailing, contact PPS in Amarillo, Midland, and Lubbock, Texas. We provide direct mail solutions for business and nonprofits, alike.