2011 Legislative Provision to Eliminate Nonprofit Rates Stricken

The Situation: As a result of the 2010 election, Republicans took control of the House of Representatives. The new chairman of the Postal Service oversight committee, reacting to the financial problems facing the Postal Service, scheduled numerous hearings to explore the Postal Service’s problems and identify legislative solutions. After extensive congressional review, the chairman introduced comprehensive legislation that, among other things, called for the elimination of the preferred nonprofit Standard mail discounts.

The Solution:
The Alliance Executive Director testified at several congressional hearings about the importance of the rate discounts to nonprofit organizations and shared that message with all members of the oversight committee. He worked to establish a good working relationship with key congressional offices, particularly the chairman’s office. Rather than blasting the entire bill, the Alliance pointed out good features of the legislation while making it clear the elimination of nonprofit rate discounts was a non-starter. Allliance members wrote letters and visited key congressional members opposing the proposed nonprofit discount elimination. The Executive Director reached out to the nonprofit media to spread the word about the threat, and established a nonprofit sector coalition to build opposition to the legislative proposal.

The Result: After creating a storm of nonprofit opposition to the legislative proposal, while maintaining good working relations with the committee chairman, the Alliance Executive Director was summoned to Capitol Hill and advised that the chairman had decided to strike the nonprofit rate discount elimination from the legislation going forward. In return, the Executive Director was asked to calm down the nonprofit sector and ensure it knew the legislation would not contain the nonprofit rate discount section going forward.