Few Comments, but Great Stories
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Few comments so far, but they tell great stories
Most would-be commenters are waiting until the due date, March 20. This is either for strategic advantage—they don’t want anyone to have a chance to rebut their comments, or it is human nature to wait until the due date.
In any case, most comments so far are from nonprofits that tell very human stories about how their causes rely on mail and would be greatly harmed by changes to the price cap system. In essence, these comments “humanize” the mail service that contributes so much to all the essential causes performed by the nonprofit sector.
Here, we provide excerpts from these letters to the Postal Regulatory Commissioners:
- Christian Appalachian Project: “Direct Mail is literally the fiscal lifeblood of this organization, and has been for over 50 years. A postage increase will mean we are unable to provide the current level of services, desperately needed in this region. We are “Large Volume Mailers”, mailing around 22,000,000 pieces of mail annually. You will understand how even a cent or two at this volume makes a huge difference in the services we are able to offer people living in desperate need.”
- Salesian Missions: “The economic downturn in recent four years has imposed strains on nonprofit mailers. Quite simply, donations are down, yet the need for charitable services are greater than ever before. We, like most nonprofits, have cut our costs to the bone. An immediate rate increase over the Consumer Price Index would force nonprofits like us to drastically cut back on fundraising campaigns, which would reduce spending on core programs, to merely stay afloat. We simply cannot afford to absorb such as increase and maintain the level of funding to our charitable mission works for poor and needy children.”
- Catholic Charity Appeal of Providence: “In conclusion, I would like to once again emphasize that a rate increase would be detrimental in our efforts to raise our goal of $8,000,000 this year and in the future. On behalf of all those desperate individuals and families who turn to the Church in Providence during their hour of need, I ask for your kind consideration in this matter.”
- Oblate Missions: “Over the years our postal bill has grown from a less than 5% portion to its current and unsustainable rate of 25%. The current 25% cost for postage is cutting deeply into the humanitarian work we do here at Oblate Missions. The people we serve cannot afford an endless increase in postal rates, nor can we as a non-profit working with the poor afford any further postal increases. Each and every dollar we spend on postage decreases the amount of monies we have in hand to fund programs and people in need.”
- Trinity Missions: “In order to help those most in need, we rely on the generosity of our benefactors. We communicate news of our good works as well as our financial needs to these same benefactors via direct mail fundraising appeals. In fact, in FY17 our non-profit organization will mail close to 6 million fundraising appeals and acknowledgements. We expect to spend $715,152 on postage at the non-profit rate. The current USPS pricing system works well for us. However, a change to this pricing system, specifically a postage rate increase above the rate of inflation, will have a significant and lasting effect on our organization’s ability to provide services to those most in need. Please keep the people we serve in mind as you consider a postage rate increase.”
- Food For The Poor: “I am writing on behalf of Food For The Poor and our beneficiaries, supporters and donors. We depend heavily on the U.S. Mail to raise funds and communicate with our supporters. In fact, we raise almost half of our net income through this channel. We believe that stable postage rates that increase no more than the Consumer Price Index are essential to our ability to continue our mission. Further, the current CPI cap system provides the necessary external motivation for the USPS to control its costs and scale itself to today’s mail volume. We are not able to increase our budget as fast as the CPI, and any expense such as postage that does exceed inflation will lead to a necessary reduction in our use of it. If we are forced to reduce mailing, our revenue will suffer immediately and we will be forced to reduce the services that so many depend on.”
- WETA: “We face daily economic threats and challenges to continue our mission, increasing postal rates that exceed the cost of inflation would do direct damage to our bottom line and immediately compromise our ability to raise funds.”