How to Donate Used Postage Stamps to Charity

Stamp collection
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Collectors buy, sell and trade used postage stamps like any collectible item. The value of these stamps varies greatly based on factors such as the type or condition of the stamps. Nonprofit/not-for-profit organizations take donated used stamps—also known as "charity" or "recycled" stamps—and sell them individually or in bulk direct/through auctions to stamp dealers or collectors to raise funds for various charitable programs.

Stamps removed from envelopes
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Collect undamaged stamps—no tears, rips or damaged/cut perforations. Until you know the type of stamps accepted by a charity, do not soak off or cut away your stamps from the original mailing.

Collection of stamps
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Contact charities that you have an interest in. Confirm that they take used stamps as donations. If these charities don't, contact other local and national charities or any of the many international charities that accept used stamps mailed from another country.

Vintage U.S. postage stamps
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Confirm your charity's preferred sorting, preparation and delivery methods for the used stamps. For example, charities that sell stamps in bulk often do not accept stamps mailed with more than 1cm of single-thickness paper backing around the stamp. Reasons vary but typically involve shipping costs—extra paper means extra weight during shipping. Additionally, many dealers pay less for stamps with extra backing, as these stamps create extra work for the dealer, who must then prepare the stamps for sale by taking time to cut away the extra paper.

Vintage Czechoslovakia stamps
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Presort the stamps using your charity's checklist of preferred categories (by country, denomination, canceled—postmarked/uncanceled—not postmarked, age, backing type, mix bulk).

Placing stamp into album
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Cut your stamps away from their paper backing following your charity’s directions. If your charity doesn't have instructions, cut away all but 1cm around the stamp perforations.

Hand deliver your stamps. If you cannot do so, mail your stamps, but consider the use of postal tracking to confirm that the stamps reach their destination.

Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.