You Can Start a Stamp Club

Through stamp clubs, collectors buy, sell, and trade material, gain knowledge, and enjoy many other philatelic pursuits. A balance of social and philatelic activities makes for pleasant meetings and a flourishing hobby group.

The organization of stamp clubs varies greatly. Successful clubs have strong leadership and maximum participation by the members. Collectors join clubs for various reasons, so the programs and activities of the club should be planned only after the desires of the members are known.

The following tips will help you to form a local stamp club. These guidelines should be adapted to fit your situation

Club Records

Membership Applications - In addition to bylaws, every club needs a membership application; a sample form is enclosed on the Resources page. In this age of privacy concerns (and security concerns for many collectors), be sure to give your members a chance to “opt out” of being included in the club’s membership directory, if one is planned. Perhaps your group will decide that it will be enough to have a club roster that includes only names and collecting interests, without home address, phone, or e-mail.

Protect your Members - By the way, be careful in all your club publicity to protect your members. Many members of the public incorrectly equate “stamps” with “$$$$$,” largely because of media hype about rare stamp auctions, or the occasional story about some fabulous find in the attic. A feature article in the local newspaper about one of your members’ collections, including a home address, could be an unintended invitation to burglars! It’s always preferable to promote the recreational aspects of the hobby rather than the dollar value, and it is possible to get publicity for the club without putting your members at risk.

Archives - It is important from the start to have an archive of all the club’s printed materials – not just the bylaws and the treasurer’s files, but also newsletters, publicity materials, a running listing of all the meeting programs, officers’ lists etc. With members retaining various records in their homes as part of their official duties, things tend to get lost and the club can easily lose its institutional memory. Try to prevent this from happening by keeping duplicate copies of important items and being careful to pass on records from outgoing officers to incoming ones.

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