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501c3-tom-headshotThe Nonprofit Legal Blog

by T.S. Wrobel & Associates

Feel free to leave your comments. If there is anything you want us to blog about or if you have resource suggestions for other nonprofits, don't hesitate to email us.


As a Non Profit you are eligible for a reduced postage rate from the US Postal Service.  If you meet the eligibility requirements, which most Non Profits do, you can pay Non Profit Standard Mail rates, which are approximately 40% lower than regular postal rates.

If you are a Non Profit who sends out periodicals, membership information, mass lettering, newsletters, or other mass mailings, the free application for Non Profit Standard Mailing status will save your organizations time and money.

Determine Eligibility

Non Profits that are eligible cannot have funds that benefit any stockholders or members; they include: not for profit organizations: educational, philanthropic, religious, and scientific groups (501(c)3), agricultural and labor (501(c)5), fraternal (501(c)8, veteran groups (501(c)19).

Note: If you are in the process of applying for tax-exempt status, you can apply for Nonprofit Standard Mail Eligibility while your IRS Non Profit tax-exempt status is pending. The mailer may continue to mail in a pending status until a final decision is reached on an appeal of a denied application.

Application Process

Submit an application form, PS Form 3624, Application to Mail at Nonprofit Standard Mail Rates, as well as the supporting documents to the post office you plan to use.  The necessary supporting documents are:

  • The Non Profit’s formation documents, such as the Articles of Incorporation, charter, or constitution.
  • Proof of nonprofit status or pending tax-exempt status: an exemption letter from the IRS approving tax-exempt status.
  • Additional (but not required) documentation: A list of recent nonprofit program activities, the past fiscal year’s financial statement for the Non Profit, the Non Profit’s budget, and any other documents such as your newsletters or bulletins, minutes of meetings, and brochures

Restrictions on Mailings

The Postal Service and the IRS have strict guidelines on what types of mail can be sent using the nonprofit rate, including:

  • The mailing must contain a minimum of 200 or 50 pounds of addressed pieces.
  • Be prepared according to postal standards in the Domestic Mail Manual (
  • Include only your own organization's mail.
  • The mailing cannot contain certain types of advertising.
  • It must be accompanied by an appropriately signed postage statement.
  • The mail must identify the authorized organization. (The Non Profit organization name used on Form 3624 must be the same as the return address name) – you cannot send for personal use or on behalf of a different organization (more information on joint mailings can be found at

It is important to note that the Postal Service looks at each mailing which you bring them and they will charge more if the content violates the Postal Service's standards. Be careful of words such as “sponsored by” and anything promoting travel, insurance or bank-card sales.


  • As of May 1, 2003, to keep your nonprofit authorization active, you must do a bulk mailing at least once every two years from any facility in which you applied for authorization to mail at Nonprofit Standard Mail rates.
  • Some nonprofits (mostly membership organizations) do not qualify for reduced postage rates, such as automobile clubs, business leagues, chambers of commerce, citizens' and civic improvement associations, individuals, mutual insurance organizations, service clubs, social and hobby clubs, and rural electric cooperatives and associations.

Additional Links

United States Postal Service
Nonprofit Standard Mail and Other Unique Eligibility
Form 3624

If your Non Profit needs more information or assistance in the application process for Non Profit Standard Mailing let us know. We are here to help! This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 1-800-928-4161.



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