Democrats Assail Loosened Nonprofit Mailer Rule

Share this content:
Four congressional Democrats, including presidential candidate Sen. Joe Lieberman, sent a letter to the postal service Friday urging reconsideration of a new rule allowing nonprofits that use for-profit fundraisers to enjoy nonprofit mail rates.

Lieberman, along with Reps. Henry Waxman, David Obey and John Olver, said changes to the Cooperative Mail Rule, which forbids for-profit mailers from using the rate privileges of their non-profit clients, would lead to fraudulent and abusive fundraising practices. Starting on Nov. 13, the U.S. Postal Service will do away with this part of the rule.

The bulk of the letter pertained to the case earlier this month in which The Vantage Group agreed to pay $4.5 million to settle charges it violated the Cooperative Mail Rule. The letter said Vantage illegally mailed 78 million pieces at the nonprofit rate and kept 76 percent of all funds donated.

"Unfortunately, this sort of abuse will be legal under the new cooperative mailing rule scheduled to take effect on Nov. 13," the congressmen wrote.

The new rules contain safeguards requiring that nonprofit organizations receive a list of consumers who donated to their fundraising mailing, their contact information and how much was collected. However, the nonprofit can waive those rights.

In their letter, the congressmen called the safeguards inadequate and don't ensure the non-profits will be able to solicit independent of an unscrupulous mail agency.

Many mailers have praised the new mail rules, arguing that they would help small nonprofits that can't afford to do their mail solicitations in-house. Critics, in particular the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, have countered that the looser rules that smaller non-profits will fall victim to professional mailing firms that will coax them into one-sided arrangements.

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

USAData helps businesses find new customers and grow their current customers through a combination of data and digital marketing services, and easy-to-use SaaS technology products. We enrich customer data so businesses can more effectively target and communicate with customers, and connect them with their best look-alike prospects through digital and traditional channels. We make it easy through simple, self-serve applications and APIs, as well as through full-service programs managed by our Data and Digital experts. 

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above