Are you a 501C3 nonprofit organization or charity trying to raise money?  If so and you do not already mail at the deeply discounted nonprofit rate, then you need to read this.  By filling out a simple form at the US Post Office and providing a few key documents, you can be set up to mail at a substantial discount.

Just how much money can I save by mailing at the nonprofit rate?  You can save up to 30 cents per mail piece versus regular first class postage when you take advantage of this rate.  The only requirement is that you mail a minimum of at least 200 pieces at a time.  I’m not talking about little 4” x 6” postcards here; I’m talking about full-size letters, invitations, or any letter-sized mailer which is classified as being 6” x 11” or smaller and weighing less than 3.3 ounces.  Getting approved for this will allow you to mail large pieces for a really miniscule postage rate.

How much does it cost to apply to mail at the nonprofit rate?  Zero-There is no charge to submit the paperwork to the U.S. Post Office, and there is no charge if you are approved.  Even if you’re not ready to launch a mailing campaign, it really makes sense to complete the form and get approved.

How long does it take to get approved to mail at the discounted rate?  This certainly depends on your local post office, but it can take up to 6 weeks to get approved once your application is submitted.  Do not wait until the day before, or the even the week before you plan to send your mailing because you simply will not have enough time to be approved.

Do I have to purchase a bulk mail permit to mail at the nonprofit rate?  No, you do not need to purchase a permit to take advantage of the rate as long as you work with a professional mail house or company that processes direct mail.  You can use a 3rd party permit, and still qualify for your nonprofit discount.  However, if you plan to presort and address the mail pieces yourself or by using volunteers, you will need to purchase your own bulk mail permit.

Where can I get the form to apply to mail as a nonprofit?  Here is a link to the Application to Mail at Nonprofit Standard Mail Rates a.k.a. PS Form 3624.

What else do I need to submit besides the form?  You will need to submit a letter of exemption from Federal Tax from the IRS or a complete financial statement from an independent auditor if this is not available.  You will also need to provide printed samples of documents that demonstrate that you are a functioning nonprofit; these items include meeting minutes, newsletters & financial statements from a bank.  Finally, you will need to provide a copy of your state-certified articles of incorporation.  The completed form and the above documentation can be submitted to your local Business Mail Unit or mailed to the New York City address that is listed on the form.

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