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The U.S. postal service has a special rate for non-profits. Why can’t we?Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Howard Golberg is president and owner of Pinnacle Direct.

People like to read interesting stories. And for more than 30 years my staff and I have told stories about illnesses that can cause death, injuries that destroy people’s lives and scientific breakthroughs that can save lives. We tell stories about poverty and hunger. And, sometimes, we even tell stories that put smiles on people’s faces.

My company, Pinnacle Direct, fundraises for non-profits using direct mail. Many think of it as “junk mail” and don’t even bother to open it. But these packages that we send are important.

My colleagues and I, and non-profits that do such mailing themselves, directly raise billions of dollars each and every year to facilitate medical research and patient care through purchases of equipment that would otherwise not have been affordable.

This effort is not just for medical research. Funds are also raised for environmental causes and cultural programs such as museums, symphonies, operas, dance companies and theatres.

And we could do so much more, if Canada Post grants us a special rate for such mail. The United States Postal Service has such a special rate. Why can our neighbours to the south do it and we can’t?

The cost of each such package we send out is just over 50 cents today. The U.S. Postal Service sends these same packages for 60 per cent less.

Canada Post does offer free mailing services for people who are blind or visually impaired. Talking books are mailed free of charge across Canada, and even around the world. A service is also available to public libraries, university libraries and other libraries that are maintained by non-profits to circulate eligible books to its patrons.

But we’re not asking for free services. Canada Post can, and should, offer lower rates for charitable fundraising.

For years now, I, and others, have written to numerous politicians only to be ignored. These include two ministers responsible for Canada Post and a leader of the Opposition. And a letter on this topic sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was not even acknowledged.

Think of how much good the lower rates could do. They would incentivize companies like ours, and non-profits themselves, to send out more fundraising packages, which would in turn elicit more donations to support medical research or eliminating hunger and poverty in our country and around the world.

There is even a bonus for the federal government that oversees Canada Post. Greater donor support means the amount of government assistance that goes toward the people these non-profits help may also be reduced.

A rate reduction would bring a happy ending to this long-running story, and it can’t happen soon enough. Write to your MP and/or the Prime Minister and tell them so.

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