If your organization is exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, it probably qualifies to use the nonprofit mailing rate offered by the U.S. Postal Service.
How to Apply
If you are not already registered to use the nonprofit rate, you apply by filing Form 3624 with your local post office. The application form requires a great deal of documentation. The Postmaster will want to see examples of mailed materials such as brochures and newsletters to see that they qualify for the rate.
You are authorized to mail from the specific post office listed in your application. If you wish to use a different site, file Form 3623 with the new post office.
Don’t Lend Your Permit!
It is considered mail fraud to lend the use of a nonprofit mailing privilege to another entity — even if that entity is also tax exempt. Penalties for fraudulent use are severe: you will have to pay the full postal rate for everything sent out for as long as you have been using your privilege illegally.
Stay Current with the USPS
If you change your name or address, or if you adopt an assumed name or DBA, be sure to notify the Service! A new name on an old permit will otherwise signal a fraudulent use and you might be visited by the Service’s Fraud Unit.
Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers
You may wish to explore membership with the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers. Check it out at http://www.nonprofitmailers.org/.
This publication is provided for general information and should not be relied upon as legal advice for a specific situation. If you are in need of specific advice or legal representation, please do not hesitate to contact us.
©2014 Bea & VandenBerk