For 13 years, a Consumer Price Index (CPI) cap has governed USPS price setting. Under existing law, each year USPS is entitled to adjust prices for First Class Mail, Marketing Mail, and Periodicals, but only up to the amount allowed by the computed CPI for each class. Now, the Postal Rate Commission (PRC) has proposed a set of very complicated formulas that will enable higher increases, with hikes that easily range from 28%-40% or more over five years.
The PRC seems very confident it has the votes, with three new Commissioners, to push the anti-mailer proposition through.
What you can do
PRC staff have made it clear that they want to hear directly from nonprofit mailers. It’s a simple matter, really. If nonprofit mailers wish to preserve predictable CPI-capped rates, then sending that message directly to the PRC is the way to affect that outcome. This need be no more challenging than communicating with members, clients, donors and the public, something nonprofits do every day.
~Briefly describe your organization’s mission and beneficiaries
~Describe your organization’s reliance on mail for fundraising and communication
~Most importantly, describe in real-world terms what immodest price increases and reductions in funds raised would do to those you serve (fewer animals saved; fewer meals provided; shorter clinic hours; etc).
Here are some examples of letters that were submitted by nonprofits to the PRC in 2017, part of the massive effort that successfully stopped the last rate increase proposal:
Example 1: Christian Appalachian Project
Example 2: Franciscans, Third Order Regular
Example 3: American Lung Association
Each helps illustrate the unique place of nonprofits in the mailing community. With only two weeks to act, please send whatever level of detail you can, but send a letter! Partners/agencies: You are critical in this effort. Step up and help your clients calculate the impact that the proposed postage increase will have on their bottom line direct marketing revenue.
The deadline for submitting comments is February 3.
How To Comment
Send a letter in the mail to:
Postal Regulatory Commission
901 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20268
~Make sure you cite Docket RM2017-3.
~Postmark it no later than January 31.
~Copy TNPA (you can send ours via email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you have any questions or would like us to review your letter before sending, please contact Bob Tigner.