Don’t bin your old stamps. Instead, recycle them. Here’s how to donate your used stamps to help raise funds for the charity of your choice.
Few households have been spared the impacts of the ongoing cost of living crisis. And as a knock-on effect of this, charities have been hit hard. Over a third of people in the UK are looking to cut back on their giving to good causes over the next three months, with the third sector estimating that charities could be down £580m in donations.
If you aren’t able to donate cash to the charities closest to your heart, then there are still ways to help. Donating goods you don’t need – making sure to Gift Aid your donations so that charities can claim an extra 25p for every £1 they raise on the sale of your items is one way. As is shopping in charity shops for the things you need.
But there’s another, often forgotten way, to help out your favourite charities. That is donating your old stamps.
Many charities accept any used stamps. These stamps are then sold by weight, and most charities earn around £20 per kilogramme of stamps. This makes it an easy way for charities to raise money from something that would otherwise go straight into the recycling bin.
What Stamps Do Charities Accept As Donations?
The run-up to Christmas is the ideal time to start collecting used stamps for charity. Many of us will receive Christmas cards from friends and family, which are more likely to have stamps on them, compared to bills.
Charities that collect stamps want any type of postage stamp. Whether they are new or used, first or second class, or smaller denominations. Charities also want stamps from foreign countries, commemorative stamps, first-day covers, presentation packs or albums. Basically, any kind of stamp is accepted.
In 2018, UK charities were advised by the Fundraising Regulator to stop collecting used stamps as donations. Concerns had been raised around the fraudulent use of postage stamps. However, it seems that the recent introduction of barcodes on stamps will help combat fraudulent stamp use. Charities now seem able to collect used stamps as donations in confidence.
How To Donate Used Stamps For Charity
To collect stamps for charity, start collecting stamps as they come through your post box at home or at your work. Alternatively, you could set up a collection point in your local community.
Pre-paid or pre-printed stamps aren’t accepted by charities. It is only physical stamps accepted.
There’s no need to remove the stamp from the envelope, as attempting to peel the stamp off could rip the stamp. Instead, it’s best to cut around the stamp, leaving roughly a centimetre of envelope or packaging around each stamp. The rest of the envelope can then be discarded.
When it comes to sending off your stamps, don’t worry, stamps don’t need to be thoroughly sorted. Some charities say that it helps if you can separate them into British and foreign stamps (note that stamps from both the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man count as foreign stamps). Others do not require you to sort them. Check with the charity you wish to support before posting them for what they prefer.
Finally, when you send your stamps to your charity, make sure you pay the correct postage on your parcel. If postage is underpaid, the charity has to pay a surcharge, which can sometimes be more than the value of your stamps.
The Charities Collecting Stamps
Here are just some of the charities collecting stamps to raise money to support their vital work:
The Royal National Institute For The Blind collects used stamps to support its charity work. Here’s how you can donate your stamps to help blind and partially sighted people live the life they want.
The charity offers practical and emotional support to blind and partially sighted people, their families and carers. It also raises awareness of the experiences of blind and partially sighted people and campaigns for change to make society more accessible for all.
2. Canine Partners
Canine Partners is a UK charity transforming the lives of people living with disabilities by training assistance dogs. You can support its important charity work by donating your used stamps. Here are the full details on where to donate them.
3. Age UK
Age UK collects stamps to fund its work supporting older people to lead rich and full lives. Here is all the information on donating your stamps.
4. Against Breast Cancer
Against Breast Cancer turn your old postage stamps into funds to support breast cancer research. Here’s where to send your stamps to support its charity work.
September 2023 update – Against Breast Cancer has temporarily stopped accepting stamps. I’ll update this page when its stamp recycling service is back up and running.
5. The Greyhound Trust
The Greyhound Trust was founded in 1975, and since then have found over 100,000 loving homes for retired racing greyhounds. Each year, the charity rehomes approximately 3,500 retired racing greyhounds and helps hundreds more. Here is where to send your stamps to support this work.
6. Ehlers-Danlos Support UK
Ehlers-Danlos Support UK is the only UK charity to support anybody touched by the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes. The charity collects stamps to support its work – here’s where to donate them.
7. Kidney Care UK
Kidney Care UK is the leading kidney patient support charity providing advice, support and financial assistance to thousands every year. Here’s how to donate your stamps to Kidney Care UK.
8. Cats Protection
Cats Protection also collect used stamps to support its work rescuing and rehoming stray, unwanted or homeless cats and educating people about cats and cat welfare. Here’s where you can send your used stamps to support this charity.
9. The Lullaby Trust
The Lullaby Trust has so far raised thousands of pounds from its supporters collecting used stamps to support its work in reducing the number of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) deaths and supporting bereaved families affected by SIDS. Here’s where to send your stamps.
10. Amnesty International UK
Amnesty International UK collects used stamps to support its charity work supporting human rights around the world. Here are the full details on where to send your stamps.
11. Reaching The Unreached
Reaching The Unreached (RTU) is a UK-based charity that works to empower the most marginalised and disadvantaged people, especially children and their families, in rural South India. Here’s where to send your stamps to RTU.
So let’s start collecting this festive season, and support your favourite charity. Philately will get you everywhere, after all!
Looking for more ways to support your favourite charities? Did you know you can recycle printer cartridges for charity? Check out the link for all you need to know.