Cerasale: Nonprofits Must Urge Postal Reform

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NEW YORK -- "Do you get nonprofit rates on your telephone?" Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president at the Direct Marketing Association, asked yesterday at a government affairs session at the DMA's Nonprofit Federation 2001 Nonprofit Conference.


Cerasale posed the question to drive home the importance of fundraisers getting involved in postal-reform issues, though he doubts reform will happen this year. Still, Cerasale urged nonprofit mailers to contact the DMA to find out how they can help push for it. Mailers also should prepare for another rate increase next year, he said, because the U.S. Postal Service is expected to file for one in October.


Another key concern for nonprofits these days is privacy.


"There are a lot of bills out there, and a lot more are coming," Cerasale said. "Charities need to be aware of how privacy legislation would impact their organizations."


Other issues addressed at the conference held at the New York Hilton and Towers included telemarketing regulations, data collection within schools, sales tax and spam.


Though some of these issues may not have affected nonprofits in the past, Cerasale recommended that organizations follow developments in each area, citing telemarketing as an example. Though nonprofits are currently exempt from do-not-call lists, he said, it could prove disastrous if a national list were created. Even if the exemption were upheld, such a list still would cause problems for nonprofits because of consumer confusion, he said.


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