Semipostal stamps are nothing new. They have been used worldwide for over a century and here in the United States since 1998. The cost of these stamps includes a surcharge to raise funds for various charities or causes. When semipostal stamps were first introduced in the U.S., critics felt issuing these stamps would be wasteful because no one would pay extra for a stamp. However, these stamps turned out to be a successful fundraising tool. Although the additional surcharge does not directly increase the U.S. Postal Service’s revenue, the charities benefiting from the surcharge help generate an incentive to purchase these stamps.
The Postal Service has issued four semipostal stamps so far:
• The Breast Cancer stamp issued in 1998 has raised more than $73 million dollars for breast cancer research.
• The Heroes of 2001 stamp raised $10.5 million between 2002 and 2004 for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support families of emergency rescue workers killed or permanently disabled in the September 2001 attacks.
• The Stop Family Violence stamp raised $3.1 million for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services between 2003 and 2006.
• The Save Vanishing Species stamp issued in September 2011 raised more than $175,000 by the end of fiscal year 2011 for Multinational Species Conservation Funds.
What cause, issue, or subject matters should the Postal Service consider for a semipostal stamp? Please let us know in the comments section below.
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