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Nonprofit Postal Rates to Increase

(Nov. 7, 2005) The latest recommendation by the U.S. Postal Rate Commission would increase nonprofit postage rates by as much as 13 percent for some organizations in 2006.

Charities using the Nonprofit Standard presorted and automation letters and nonletters would see rate increases of approximately 3 percent. The rates for Nonprofit Periodicals would grow by 4.5 percent.

Organizations using Nonprofit Enhanced Carrier Route (ECR) mail would see the largest increases--12 percent or more. However, as the Alliance for Nonprofit Mailers in Washington, D.C. notes, ECR rates are still 40 percent less than commercial equivalents and substantially less than other Nonprofit Standard rates. In addition, ECR mail accounts for a relatively small percentage of all nonprofit mail.

Despite the increases, the Postal Rate Commission's recommendations are far more favorable to nonprofits than what the United States Postal Service (USPS) originally requested. According to the Alliance, assuming that the USPS Board of Governors accepts the recommendations, nonprofits will save approximately $16 billion compared to the USPS plan.

Even with the 2006 increases, many charities are more worried about proposed future increases for 2007, when nonprofits could see double-digit rate increases for all categories of mail.

Part of the commission's recommendations included a 2 cent increase in the cost of a first-class stamp, while the rate for postcards will rise to 24 cents. The increases will enable the Postal Service to meet a $3.1 billion escrow payment due in 2006.

The USPS Board of Governors is expected to meet soon to approve the recommendations, which are expected to go into effect in early 2006.

AFP will keep members apprised of the situation and any developing news regarding rate increases for 2007.

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