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 Structure

Officers - The club should have a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. The latter two offices quite often are combined, especially in smaller clubs. Larger clubs may decide to establish a Board of Directors to assist the officers in managing the club’s business affairs, helping them make plans, and providing continuity.

Bylaws Committee - After officers have been selected, the president should name a committee to draft bylaws. Keep them simple! Remember that the basic purpose in organizing a club is to have fun with stamps. Sample bylaws are included on the Resources page.

Club Meetings - Once the club is formed, it is wise to keep business conducted at meetings to a minimum. Officers should hold separate meetings to arrive at recommendations to be made to the membership, to avoid wasting “stamp time” at club meetings. Some clubs limit the business portion of the meeting to no more than 15 minutes, correctly assuming that members attend meetings in order to enjoy stamps, not to listen to lengthy reports. This does not mean the officers should be dictators: Members should be welcome to attend meetings of the board of directors, for example, or if there is a need for a lengthy administrative affairs discussion, a special meeting can be called outside the regular program schedule.

Youth Memberships - A decision should be made early concerning youth memberships. Even the most successful clubs must continue to attract new members, and a successful youth program helps to achieve this goal, fostering participation by entire families and nurturing youth members into eventual adult members. Youth participation does require special commitment from the club to accept, welcome, and encourage younger people. Youth should not be made to feel like “second-class citizens.” If elementary school-aged children are permitted to attend, you may want to require that a parent or other responsible adult or older sibling accompany them. If they have enough of an interest to want to belong to the club in the first place, teenagers probably are mature enough to attend the regular club meetings on their own. Another option is to create an adjunct youth club that meets at its own place and time, with leaders and program directors from the adult club.

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