Why was the Alliance started?
The Alliance had its genesis in 1978, when the Postal Service proposed to offer presort discounts for Standard Mail to commercial mailers only. After several nonprofit mailers objected, the Postal Rate Commission, now called the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), ruled that the discounts should be extended to nonprofit mail as well. The PRC recommended, however, that the Postal Service immediately implement only the commercial discounts; the nonprofit discounts would be phased in over a period of years. An ad hoc coalition of four major nonprofit mailers—National Easter Seal Society, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, American Lung Association, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital—joined together to fight the discriminatory treatment. Their victory in the court case established a non-discrimination principle in law that protects nonprofit mail to this day. The original coalition was joined by several additional nonprofits to form the Alliance in 1980.