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Nonprofit Mailing 101 & Beyond USPS Content Guidelines, Restrictions and Exceptions Greater Madison Postal Customer Council 2011 National PCC Day September.

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Presentation on theme: "Nonprofit Mailing 101 & Beyond USPS Content Guidelines, Restrictions and Exceptions Greater Madison Postal Customer Council 2011 National PCC Day September."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nonprofit Mailing 101 & Beyond USPS Content Guidelines, Restrictions and Exceptions Greater Madison Postal Customer Council 2011 National PCC Day September 21, 2011 Phil Claiborne, Director of Circulation, The Elks Magazine

2 2 Jerome M. Lease Classification Specialist USPS Dedication

3 Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. -John Wooden 3

4 Standard Mail is “Advertising Mail” Nonprofit Standard Mail is… –Soliciting donations (not adv) –Educating the public (not adv) –Describing member benefits (1/2 page) (not adv) –Acknowledging Sponsors (no contact info, no adjectives) (not adv) –Public Service Announcements (not adv) …and sometimes mailing a product or advertisement ! 4

5 Nonprofit Standard Mail - Basic premise Any product or advertisement must be substantially related to the qualified purpose (mission) of the nonprofit. –Everything else that can or can’t be mailed is a restriction, prohibition, exception, or is allowed statutorily in comparison to this basic premise. 5

6 Nonprofit Standard Mail - Basic premise Automatically Substantially Related: Gifts or donations offered as prizes or premiums Announcement of activities (bake sale, car wash, charitable auction) if work is done by unpaid members or volunteers. Otherwise non-postal law, often tax law, determines Substantial Relativity IRS Unrelated Business Income (UBIT) The MAILER certifies substantial relativity 6

7 Nonprofit Standard Mail 7

8 PostalOne 8

9 Substantially related certification in PostalOne! 9

10 Nonprofit Standard Mail - Products Mailing Products – Statutory Provisions: –Low Cost Item (no more than $9.70) –Gifted or Donated to organization –Organization’s own publication Meeting basic criteria for Periodicals publ. 10

11 Nonprofit Standard Mail - Products Premiums –Front End Ex: return address labels Free with an outgoing solicitation to induce donors low-cost sent to everybody … eligible! –Back End Also promoted to induce member dues or donors Mailed after receiving a donation. “Ask" must cover 4x cost and 2x represented value, if claimed 11

12 Definition of Advertising Anything that advertises, promotes, offers, or, for a fee or consideration, recommends, describes, or announces the availability of any product or service. 39 USC 3626 All material for the publication of which a valuable consideration is paid, accepted, or promised that calls attention to something to get people to buy it, sell it, seek it, or support it. -USPS 12

13 Nonprofit Standard Mail - Advertising Advertising restrictions, exceptions, allowances: –Travel, Insurance, Financial instruments (TIF) –Cooperative Mail & CFR exception –Meeting the content Req’s of a Periodical –Member benefits –Personalization –Sponsorship versus Advertising –Lotteries & Raffles –Voter Registration Officials 13

14 Nonprofit Standard Mail - Travel ‘TIF’ Travel Advertising May be mailed if… –The org is an authorized nonprofit –The arrangement is designed for members –Travel is substantially related the nonprofit’s qualifying purposes –Based on in-depth analysis, not only on advertisement –Ex: Review itinerary of arrangement DMM 703.1.6.4c ; CSR PS-305 …or 14

15 Nonprofit Standard Mail - Travel ‘TIF’ ‘Travel’ advertising is defined by three things: Transportation Destination Accommodation (a day trip does not include) –Unless all 3 are present, it is not ‘travel’ advertising Thus, an advertisement limited to an airline fare discount is not considered a restricted travel advertisement but “transportation” only. CSR PS-298 15

16 Nonprofit Standard Mail - Insurance ‘TIF’ Advertising for any insurance policy is prohibited unless: –Valid nonprofit authorization –Designed for and primarily promoted to members –Coverage is not generally commercially available 16

17 Nonprofit Standard Mail - Insurance ‘TIF’ Commercially available insurance generally includes, but is not limited to: –Homeowner’s, property, casualty, marine, professional liability (including malpractice), travel, health, life, airplane, auto, truck, accidental death, Medigap, nursing home, and hospital indemnity insurance. 17

18 Nonprofit Standard Mail - Insurance ‘TIF’ Not “generally otherwise commercially available” –applies to the actual coverage stated in an insurance policy, not premiums, underwriting, or financial condition of the insurer. –Consideration is given to coverage benefits, limitations, and exclusions, and to the availability of coverage to the targeted recipients. –The specific characteristics of the mail recipients (geo location or demographics) is considered. –Also not generally otherwise commercially available if the nonprofit is the insurer themselves. 18

19 Nonprofit Standard Mail - Insurance ‘TIF’ Charitable Gift Annuities (CGA’s) Annuities are basically insurance to convert a large lump-sum payment into life-long small, incremental paybacks. CGA's are designed to donate approximately half the lump sum to the charity while giving tax benefits to the donor. therefore CGA's are not considered "generally commercially available" insurance for the purpose of promotion in NP Std Mail. 19

20 Nonprofit Std Mail - Financial Instruments ‘TIF’ TIF - Financial Instruments Prohibited: Any credit, debit, or charge card or similar financial instrument or account, provided by or through an arrangement with any person or organization not authorized to mail at nonprofit prices (There are no exceptions to this rule). Credit Cards & the Adjective Rule Credit cards by brand, including their logos, may be mentioned as an option of payment, …but only without any adjectives describing the card. This is prohibited. –“Use our ‘low-rate’ affinity credit card that earns you cash-back from all purchases to donate to our annual fundraising drive.” Not eligible! 20

21 Nonprofit Std Mail - Financial Instruments ‘TIF’ Advertising for a bank’s services other than prohibited credit cardsAdvertising for a bank’s services other than prohibited credit cards or other such financial instruments may be mailed at nonprofit rates in Nonprofit Std Mail meeting the content requirements of a periodical publication. 21

22 Nonprofit Std Mail - Cooperative Mailing Cooperative Mail cooperative mailingA cooperative mailing is one by which an authorized organization arranges with one or more organizations to share the costs, risks, or benefits of the mailing. –Two (or more) organizations may enter a cooperative mailing at nonprofit rates if each of the parties is authorized to mail at nonprofit rates. 22

23 Nonprofit Std Mail - Cooperative Mailing ineligible cooperative mailingAn ineligible cooperative mailing occurs when not all of the cooperating parties are authorized to mail at nonprofit rates Postage for ineligible cooperative mailings must be paid at Regular Standard Mail ratesPostage for ineligible cooperative mailings must be paid at Regular Standard Mail rates 23

24 Nonprofit Std Mail - Cooperative Mailing Factors considered in determining whether the cooperative mailing is ineligible: Is mailing the product of a joint enterprise or a principal/agent relationship? Who devised and paid for the design and prepared of the mailpiece? Who directly or indirectly paid the postage? CSR PS-209 24

25 Nonprofit Std Mail - Cooperative Mailing Cooperative Mail Rule –exception to mail at Nonprofit Std Rates when cooperating with a Commercial Fund Raising (CFR) firm to solicit donations. The commercial entity may “share” the Nonprofit Std Mail authorization, when soliciting funds on behalf of the nonprofit, regardless of their risk, fees, margins and expectations for the effort. CSR PS-333 25

26 Nonprofit Std Mail -Advertising Exception An exception to the Substantially Related advertising rule allows authorized Nonprofits to include non-related, general advertising in their newsletters or bulletins. Called the “advertising exception,” eligibility for the exception requires meeting the “Content Requirements of a Periodical” 26

27 Nonprofit Std Mail -Advertising Exception Content Requirements of a Periodical Publication in Nonprofit Std Mail : –Have a Title –Published at regular intervals at least 4X per year –Formed of printed sheets –Consist of at least 25% editorial or non-advertising (with a maximum of 75% advertising) –Have and identification statement including… Publication title (may appear on the cover instead) Issue date (may appear on the cover instead) A statement of frequency Issue Number (consecutive in a series) Subscription price, if applicable (optional) Name & address of known office of publication 27

28 NP Std Mail - Sponsorship vs. Advertising A business-card-style ad implies… –Individual’s name –Business name –Address* –Phone* or email* or other* If consideration was paid and contact information is present, it’s an advertisement If consideration was paid and contact in information is absent, just individual name, business (& logo), it’s sponsorship 28

29 NP Std Mail Business Card Advertising – Travel ‘TIF’ Implication Generic business-card-style advertising –- with contact information–-is considered an ad for all the goods or services supplied by the advertiser. (esp. relevant to TIF rules) Ex : Joe’s Travel “World’s best travel agent!” Email me if you want to go places'. 29

30 NP Std Mail Business Card Advertising – Travel ‘TIF’ Implication But, for example, if the business-card-style ad mentions one or two specific elements of travel alone, it would not be considered ‘travel’ Joe’s Travel “Airline tickets are us!” Email me if you want to go places 30

31 31

32 Nonprofit Std Mail - Member Benefits Member Benefits Rules under DMM 703.1.6.7 allow adjectives, terms, conditions, and brand names to describe member benefits—including travel, insurance, and financial instruments such as credit, debit, or charge cards—to be entered at the nonprofit rates in certain circumstances. The USPS adopted the new rules to allow nonprofit organizations more latitude to use nonprofit rates to solicit members. 32

33 Nonprofit Std Mail - Member Benefits Description of member benefits may accompany a solicitation for funds and must not exceed ½ the solicitation letter or be isolated separately on one additional sheet of paper. The solicitation or renewal is assumed to be a printed letter. Any included brochure, circular, flyer, or other documents will be considered advertising if they contain any advertising, promotional, or application materials. CSR PS-299 33

34 NP Std Mail - Personalization Personalized mail must go 1 st Class Except: purpose –Inclusion of personal info---for example, last year's amount donated---for the purpose of soliciting this year's donation is permissible in Nonprofit Standard Mail if that is the singular purpose for the personalization. 34

35 NP Std Mail - Personalization Personalization such as previous years donation information has to be mailed 1st Class, not NP Std Mail (DMM 243.2.2) unless it contains Advertising for goods or services for sale or lease - Or - An explicit donation solicitation All the personal info is included solely in support of the advertisement or solicitation. And… If this example were also to include "Save this receipt for tax purposes," the reference to the addressee's prior year's donation would have a dual purpose and the mailpiece must go First Class. CSR PS- 262, 322 35

36 NP Std Mail - Personalization CSR PS-323 “Computer-Prepared Mailpieces Entered by Authorized Nonprofit Mailers” –Examples of personalization –Variations that are considered “solicitation for donation” –Examples of personalization in support of solicitation for donation –Terms that may be used as substitutes to personalization 36

37 NP Std Mail - Personalization The following language in reference to a prior donation indicates another purpose for inclusion and will make the mailpiece ineligible for Nonprofit Standard Mail rates: –“Tax Receipt” –“Receipt” –“Keep this notice as a receipt for tax purposes.” –“Keep this for your records.” 37

38 NP Std Mail - Personalization This language will not disqualify the mailpiece for entry at Nonprofit Standard Mail rates provided that nothing indicates another purpose: –“Your contribution may be tax-deductible.” –“No goods or services were provided in exchange for this gift.” – “The IRS requires written substantiation of charitable gifts of $250 or more” 38

39 All Mail Classes - Lotteries & Raffles Lotteries & Raffles Defined by 3 things (really 4 things): Chance (“What are my odds of winning?”) Prize (“What do I win?”) Consideration (“How much for a ticket?”) –Ticket - a perforated ticket; a serial number printed on each side; one you keep, the other-write your information, tear it off; it goes in a drawing tumbler. 39

40 All Mail Classes - Lotteries & Raffles Regulated by the US Dept. of Justice (DOJ), administered by the USPS …also the State of Wisconsin. –See –Wisconsin may not allow the remedy described to break the federal definition of a raffle for purposes of mailing “tickets.” DOJ does not enforce the criminal lottery statute (18 USC Sec. 1302) against gambling advertisement mailers if the activity advertised is legal and the mailing does not provide any entry materials, particularly tickets. 40

41 All Mail Classes - Lotteries & Raffles Legal Fundraiser Drawing with “tickets” in the mail: –Eliminate “Consideration.” “Consideration not required to enter drawing. Limit one free entry per person.” Recommendations –Make the free entry disclaimer in the cover letter. –Print “Suggested Donation $ xx” on the “ticket.” –Do not use the word “ticket.” --anywhere –Describe your financial fundraising goal. –Refer to the “drawing,” not raffle or lottery. 41

42 Nonprofit Return Address DMM 703.1.5 states the return address on nonprofit standard mail must identify the authorized organization. Often interpreted literally by USPS CSR PS-366 (April 2011) says as long as the name and return address is legitimately the organization’s, it need not be literally the same as the authorization paperwork. –Ex: Conservation Institute instead of Conservation Institute, LLC …is OK –A legit address of the Org near their fulfillment house instead of their HQ would be OK 42

43 References DMM 703 Nonprofit Standard Mail and Other Unique Eligibility or Quick Service Guide 703 Special Standards; Standard Mail - Nonprofit Eligibility Publication 417 Nonprofit Standard Mail Eligibility (March 2006) USPS Customer Support Rulings (All, sortable) (Searchable) Postal Explorer check "Customer Support Rulings” and enter search term (i.e. "nonprofit") Problems with USPS Business Mail Entry (incorrect determinations) related to USPS Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance procedures? Email: 43

44 References USPS Mailpiece Design Analyst (ZIP: 535-549) ROSANNA SARNIAK USPS 6801 W 73 rd ST BEDFORD PARK IL 60499-9651 Ph: 708-563-7744 Fax: 708-563-7703 E: ROSANNA.L.SARNIAK@USPS.GOV Associations: Direct Marketing Association – Nonprofit Federation Senny Boone, SVP 1615 L Street, NW, Suite 1100 Washington, DC 20036 202.861.2410 Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers Tony Conway, Executive Director 1211 Connecticut Avenue N.W., Suite 610 Washington, DC 20036-2705 (202) 462-5132 (202) 462-0423 Fax Business Mail Entry Locator: KEN TILLMAN BMA SUPVR BUSINESS MAIL ENTRY UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE PO BOX 7990 MADISON WI 53707-7990 Phone : 608-246-1359 E: KENNETH.W.TILLMAN.USPS.GOV 44

45 Contact information Phil Claiborne Director of Circulation (The) Elks Magazine 425 W Diversey Pkwy Chicago, IL 60614-6196 Ph: (773) 755-4910 direct Cellular: (414) 520-5593 Fax: (773) 755-4911 Email: Alt. Email: twitter: @nonprofitpostal Facebook: “Nonprofit postal” 45

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