UPDATE, 4:00 PM EST: We have updated the story with more reactions from nonprofits.
In a story that we posted on our website this morning, the USPS announced plans to close half of its processing facilities in an effort to shift First Class mail to a two- to three-day standard for destinations in the continental United States.
The Postal Service says this change will allow them to save $2 billion, which will help in their efforts to reduce operating costs by $20 billion by 2015. Despite it being the most profitable category of mail, First Class mail is on the decline. Volume was down to 78 billion pieces last year, with projections of 53 billion in 2016 and 39 billion by 2020. They insist that the changes to First Class mail, which is also scheduled to receive a postage increase in January 2012, will have only a small impact on the "average postal customer."
Most nonprofits use Standard Nonprofit mail for their direct mail solicitations, so it's unclear what the response will be from the nonprofit community. Tony Conway, executive director of the Association of Nonprofit Mailers (ANM), said the USPS has “all these plants to handle all this mail that’s declining every year." He went on to say: “They need to downsize the network. That drove the whole decision.” We are continuing to check the pulse of nonprofits, and will update our story when we get more reaction. Stay tuned. In the mean time, let us know what you think of this news.