Used postage stamps, from anywhere in the world, of any age, are a valuable way for charities to raise funds. They sell these stamps, usually by the sack, to stamp collectors. Called "Philately", stamp collecting is a thriving hobby among people of all ages. You can learn about different countries histories, culture, communications, and much more.
We all receive mail, and normally once we are finished with the envelope, it ends up in the bin - but this is a way that you can save something that you might likely throw away (what could be better than saving something from landfill, or the compost bin, and at the same time supporting whatever cause is important to you, as well?)
This quick Instructable will explain the best way to save your stamps so that they will be of the best use to the charity you wish to support, and how to find charities to support!
Save stamps from your office mail, Christmas cards, birthday cards, anything with a stamp on.
Step 1: So, You Have Received a Letter! How to Save the Postage Stamp for the Charity Donation!
Once you are finished with the envelope, this is when you are able to save the stamp before throwing away the rest of the envelope.
As you will see Karen doing here, she is carefully tearing the stamp off the envelope, taking care to remove an area of paper around the stamp. Collectors like the stamp to be undamaged, and even check for the perforations (those frilly bits around the stamp edges!). Removing an area of paper around the stamp, ensures that the stamp is undamaged and therefore worth the most to the charity.
However, occasionally you may get an envelope that is more unusual, and worth keeping whole - which we will explore on the next page!
Step 2: If You Get a More Unusual Envelope...
We are using the example of a promotional "First Day Cover / FDC" from Singapore , recently donated to a friend who acts as a collection point for used stamps for the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution). The original addressees name and address has been blanked out in the photograph, for privacys sake. .
The envelope, in this case has been bought with the stamps to celebrate their first day of issue. Stamp collectors will be interested in the stamps, but even more so, if the envelope is complete, as they will look upon that as collectible as well.
Obviously be aware that the original addressee's name and address is on the front of the envelope, so if there are concerns about privacy, or if it has been sent to a personal, not business, address, think carefully if you just want to remove the stamps as you would from a normal envelope, or if you are happy for the whole envelope to be donated.
Step 3: Save the Stamps in a Bag, and Find a Contact for Your Charity
Save your stamps up in a bag by your desk, and when it is full, you are ready to give them to your chosen charity.,
While you are saving the stamps up, contact your favorite charities to ask if they collect used stamps, and if so, where to send them. You may also look on Google, and we also run a free, regularly updated directory of causes needing used stamps: http://usedstampsforcharity.weebly.com/ with up to date stamp-donation charity addresses for a variety of fantastic causes.
Then, when your bag of stamps is ready, you can send off the stamps to whatever charity that you have chosen!