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FYI: Donors cite direct mail solicitations as the stimulus for their giving more than any other influence, according to a national survey of 2000 adults funded by the Baltimore-based marketing company Vertis. Fifty-nine percent of respondents told surveyors that they gave because they got a direct mail ad, compared with 41 percent who gave because of solicitations through their church, which was the second strongest influence. Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service will publish a new rule this week opening discount postage rates to direct mail campaigns run by for-profit companies on behalf of nonprofits. The rule previously gave the discount only to nonprofit-run campaigns. Some nonprofit industry advocates, however, have complained that the rule will open the floodgates for frivolous direct mail that generates money primarily for the for-profit firms, bringing the same stigma to direct mail that those partnerships have brought to telemarketing. [9/3/03]