Due to changes by the US Postal Service in 2017, the Discount Mail sort sequence in CDM+ and DonorWorks was no longer in compliance. In response, Suran Systems disabled this sort sequence in CDM+ and DonorWorks and now provides a free sortation service to CDM+ and DonorWorks users. Users can send an export of address information from their database, and Suran will process the discount mailing, returning mailing labels and all documents required by the Postal Service.
Some CDM+ and DonorWorks users have, in the past, used the Discount Mail sort sequence to print contribution statements in a way that would meet discount bulk mail requirements. However, that sort sequence is no longer available.
So is it still possible to send giving statements from CDM+ or DonorWorks with a marketing mail discount?
USPS Regulations Regarding Giving Statements
The Postal Service spells out the requirement that qualify a piece for marketing mail rates in the Domestic Mail Manual. The Marketing Mail Eligibility Decision Tree is a single page representation of the requirements.
As we interpret these requirements, giving statements do not qualify for marketing mail postage rates for these reasons:
- Giving statements can be viewed as statements of account;
- They contain personal information that is not the same in the overall mailing;
- They do not contain explicit advertising or an explicit appeal for additional donations.
However, actual practice can vary from post office to post office. If your local postmaster has allowed you to send giving statements using marketing mail discount rates, you can use the process spelled out below to use Suran's discount mail sortation service and prepare your giving statements correctly for marketing mail.
NCOA and CASS Processing
Start by having the address information in your CDM+ or DonorWorks database processed through the National Change of Address (NCOA) database and then CASS certification. Suran provides these services to users on Premier Support at $45 for NCOA processing and $20 for CASS certification. On the CDM+ Knowledge base, the article NCOA and CASS Certification processing describes the process for sending your data and importing the results.
Export and Send Address Information
To request a discount mail sort from Suran, you will need to export address information for the giving units that will be receiving statements. Please follow the discount mail instructions, and send a comma-separated text file that contains:
- full name for the label,
- address lines 1, 2, and 3,
- city, state, and ZIP code.
When you send the request with your data, you can indicate the Avery number for the labels that you will use for the mailing. The returned PDF will be formatted to fit that label sheet. You can also request a file that will let you print the address directly to a #10 envelope.
When creating the export to send, the search criteria must match the criteria that you will use when you print your giving statements. Doing these two things at the same time will help ensure that the addresses you export match the statements that you print. Some items to consider include:
- Date range of contributions,
- Active versus inactive giving units,
- Giving units that receive email statements.
Within two business days you will receive a set of PDF documents containing the labels for your mailing, the tray labels, form 360 for the Postal Service, and a qualification report that will help you sort the pieces into the proper trays.
Printing Giving Statements
Print the giving statements separately for Giving Unit addresses that did not certify as deliverable through CASS processing. These statements must be mailed with first class postage.
For Giving Unit addresses that are CASS certified, print the giving statements in ZIP code order.
(Optional) Place Labels on Statements
If you want your mailing to qualify for automation rates, you'll need to place the labels we sent you over top the addresses on the printed statements. This step is necessary to include the barcode we return on each piece.
If you do not need to qualify for automation rates, you can skip this step and use the addresses as printed from CDM+ or DonorWorks.
Match Pieces and Sort into Trays
The USPS Qualification Report returned with your labels contains the information you need to get the mail pieces into the proper tray. Consider this example where the user has 327 pieces to be mailed.
The mailing in this example will use three trays: a 5-digit tray, a tray for AADC 150, and a mixed AADC tray. The address labels returned from the discount mail sort will be in the same sequence as the qualification report. That is, all labels for ZIP code 16214 will be first, followed by labels for ZIP code 16232, and so on. The printed giving statements are in ZIP code sequence, and so statements for the same 5-digit ZIP code are printed together. The two do not match up in the same order, but because both are based on ZIP code, they are compatible.
Start at the top of the qualification report. ZIP code 16214 goes in the first tray. Giving statements for that ZIP code and the labels for that ZIP code will all be together. Pull the giving statements for that ZIP code, match them up with the labels or envelopes, and put them in the tray.
Do the same thing for the other ZIP codes in the 5-digit tray: 16232, 16242, 16255. Tray 1 is now ready to go. In the example, there should be 154 pieces in this tray.
Now we move on to the second tray, AADC 150. The first items to go in this tray are ZIP codes beginning with 150. Again, because the giving statements are in ZIP code order, these giving statements are together, as are the labels. Match the giving statements to the labels and put them in the tray.
Do the same thing for 151xx, 152xx, and the remaining 3-digit codes that go in this tray. Tray 2, when complete in this example, should contain 111 pieces.
Finally, match the statements and envelopes for the remaining pieces that go in the mixed AADC tray 3. This example should have 62 pieces in that tray.
The sequence of the pieces in each tray does not matter, but it is important that each tray contains the correct pieces.
One option, and possibly a better one for communication with existing donors, is to mail the giving statements using first class postage. If you have at least 500 pieces, you can send them using a first-class pre-sort to save on postage. You will need to follow the same steps as above to send your list to be first class presorted. Please indicate first class presort in your instructions when you send the list.
However, if you want to save some of the cost of first-class postage, CDM+ and DonorWorks make it easy for you to send statements to your donors by email.