Semipostal Stamp Program

Learn more about it...

The U.S. Postal Service had two 65-cent fundraising or “semipostal” stamps in November. The congressionally mandated Breast Cancer Research stamps and the U.S. Postal Service’s discretionary Alzheimer’s stamp. The stamps were available for purchase at Post Offices, online at The Postal Store, and by toll-free phone order at 1-800 STAMP-24.

The price of a semipostal stamp pays for the First-Class single-piece postage rate in effect at the time of purchase plus an amount to fund causes that have been determined to be in the national public interest. By law, revenue from sales (minus postage and the reasonable reimbursement of costs to the Postal Service) is to be transferred to a selected executive agency or agencies.

Breast Cancer Research Stamp
The Breast Cancer Research semipostal was issued July 29, 1998, at a first-day ceremony held at the White House. It was the first semipostal in U.S. history. Sales for the Breast Cancer Research (BCR) stamp in November bring the total raised for BCR to over $90.7 million, and stamps sold over 1.06 billion since July 1998. By law, 70 percent of the net amount raised is given to the National Institutes of Health and 30 percent is given to the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense. Designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD, the stamp features the phrases, “Fund the Fight” and “Find a Cure,” and an illustration of a mythical “goddess of the hunt” by Whitney Sherman of Baltimore.

Alzheimer’s Stamp
The Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp was issued Nov. 30, 2017, at a first-day ceremony held at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.

The stamp artwork is an illustration that first appeared on the 2008 42-cent Alzheimer's Awareness stamp. It shows an older woman in profile with a hand on her shoulder, the suggestion of sunlight behind her, and clouds in front of and below her. On the 2008 stamp, the older woman is facing left; the artwork for this stamp shows her facing right to differentiate between the two stamps. Stamp artist Matt Mahurin of Topanga Canyon, CA, worked under the direction of art director Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD. Sales for the Alzheimer's Awareness (ALZ) Stamp in November bring the total raised for ALZ to just over $1 million, and stamps sold over 8.2 million since November 2017.  The stamp went off sale on Nov. 30, 2019.

The Alzheimer’s semipostal is the first of five potential semipostals that can be issued under the Semipostal Authorization Act, Pub. L. 106–253. The act grants the Postal Service discretionary authority to issue and sell semipostal fundraising stamps to advance such causes as it considers to be “in the national public interest and appropriate.”

Under the program, the Postal Service can issue five semipostal stamps over a 10-year period, with each stamp to be sold for no more than two years. The Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp was the first and will be followed by a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) semipostal stamp issued Dec. 2, 2019. The Postal Service has not yet determined future discretionary semipostal stamps. Visit this link for information about submitting suggestions for the semipostal stamps.

Breast Cancer Research stamp

Breast Cancer Research stamp sales information through
  November 2019:

Total stamps sold: 1.06 billion
Total raised: $90.7 million


Alzheimer's stamp

Alzheimer’s stamp sales information through
November 2019:

Total stamps sold: 8.2 million
Total raised: $1 million