AOL to provide e-mail authentication to nonprofits

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Dulles, Va.—America Online announced that it is offering not-for-profit organizations access to mail accreditation and authentication systems at no charge. Qualified organizations will be able to send e-mail on comparable terms with commercial e-mail senders, providing recipients with a level of trust that the e-mail they receive is authentic.

"Our announcement today guarantees that every certified not-for-profit will get the same benefits as private-sector companies that have decided to utilize Goodmail's Certified Email system," said Charles Stiles, AOL postmaster, in a statement.

Not-for-profit organizations that abide by AOL’s anti-spam and e-mail policies and standards may qualify for AOL's Enhanced White List, the company said. They will also be able to use one or several third-party e-mail accreditation service providers to authenticate their e-mail.

Mailers are ordinarily required to pay a nominal, flat, nonrecurring fee to qualify. However, AOL will fully pay for not-for-profits' flat-rate and sign-up costs associated with the third-party provider program on a pro-bono basis.

AOL is currently discussing a comprehensive program with e-mail accreditation providers, and expects the new pro-bono program will be evaluated and tested internally in the next month. AOL intends to identify one or more third-party e-mail accreditation providers during this time, and is targeting implementation of the program in the next 90 days, the company said.

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