Mailing

Depending on the quality of paper, you can usually mail four to five sheets of standard 8-1/2 X 11 copy paper in a business size envelope for the first class rate.  Naturally, if these sheets are printed on both sides, you will be able to send ten pages of news for one first class stamp.  To save weight, some chapters have elected to use part of one side of the last page as the 'mailer', hence eliminating the weight and cost of envelopes.  This will also allow a sixth page!

The costs of mailing should bring with them a strong desire to increase your chapter's membership simply because the magic number is 200.  With a mailing-list of 200 names and addresses, you can obtain a non-profit postal permit.   This should reduce your postage expenses.  As of this writing (2005) the cost of a minimum first class mailing is 37¢.  Given 200 newsletters mailed under the rules of a non-profit postal permit, the cost of each individual mailing would be only about 17¢.  For this reason alone, your chapter should strive for a minimum membership of 150, allowing for the copies that should be sent to the other chapters in the state, and state and national officers.   There are annual permit charges and fees that you should contact the U.S. Post Office for further information.  However please note that the mail is not always delivered very promptly.  All mail must be bundled in Zip Code order and sorted according to your local post office regulations.  There is much to consider before taking on the permit but may be an effective way of reducing postage costs.

With many people now having access to computers, email and webposting of the newsletter may be another inexpensive way to distribute the newsletter to your members.   Consideration should be made however to different softwares and not everyone has the same software packages or versions to read your document.  It is recommended that your document be submitted in pdf format as Acrobatic Reader™ are free downloadable programs to allow this format to be read by most users.   PDF files also reduce the size of the file as some email servers limit the size of incoming emails to your readership and may prevent their receipt of them.