You can immediately tell these stamps are for a good cause by the “plus” symbol featured on each stamp. This sign, which was designed in 2008, guarantees that every cent is well spent and goes straight to the people who depend on our solidarity. The cost of postage and the extra “plus” charge is currently 80 + 40 cents, 95 + 45 cents and 155 + 55 cents respectively
“Plus stamps” can be purchased at branches of Deutsche Post AG. Each stamp indicates what type of charity the proceeds go to – social welfare, youth welfare, sports, environmental protection, or promoting philately.
Social welfare stamps
Social welfare stamps were introduced in Germany as early as 1949. In addition, Christmas stamps with a face value of 80 + 40 cents have been issued every year since 1969. The proceeds from the extra “plus” charge on the social welfare stamps and Christmas stamps support the Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Freien Wohlfahrtspflege e.V. (Federal Association of Non-statutory Welfare), an umbrella organisation for several national welfare associations: the Arbeiterwohlfahrt (Workers’ Welfare Association), Caritas, the Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband (an association of social movements that promote equal opportunity), the German Red Cross, Diakonie (the social welfare organisation of Germany’s Protestant churches), and the Zentralwohlfahrtsstelle der Juden in Deutschland (Central Board of Jewish Welfare in Germany).
Since 1949, over 4 billion social welfare stamps and Christmas stamps have been sold, generating proceeds of around €680 million. For more information on the activities supported by the Federal Association of Non-statutory Welfare with the help of these proceeds, please consult the website: www.wohlfahrtsmarken.de (only in German)
Youth welfare stamps
Since 1962, the proceeds from the extra “plus” charge on the youth welfare stamps have been put towards measures promoting the welfare of children and youths. This includes projects such as children’s and youth theatres, renovating residential care facilities for young people and schemes to educate young people on history and politics. The decision as to which specific project or scheme receives support is made by the Stiftung Deutsche Jugendmarke e. V. (a foundation that uses stamp proceeds to promote youth welfare projects).
Stiftung Deutsche Jugendmarke e. V. (only in German)
Three “plus stamps” are issued for the “Showcasing sports” series every year. The proceeds from the extra “plus” charge on these stamps are managed by the Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe (German Sport Support Foundation) and put towards promoting young sportspeople and elite athletes in Germany. The foundation provides financial and/or non-material support to around 4,000 athletes to help them balance education/work and their activities as athletes. For example, the foundation may award scholarships, pay for private lessons or provide assistance to athletes who lose earnings due to training. Sports stamps have been issued since 1968.
Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe (German Sport Support Foundation) (only in German)
Environmental protection stamps
One special stamp that has been issued every two years since 1992 holds particular significance: The proceeds generated by the extra “plus” charge on environmental protection stamps are put towards supporting the protection of the environment. This revenue goes to the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, which uses the proceeds to support national and international environmental protection projects.
Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (only in German)
In years where no environmental stamp is issued, a “plus stamp” is issued in support of the Stiftung Philatelie und Postgeschichte (Foundation for Philately and Postal History). The proceeds from the extra “plus” charge on philately stamps are used to help promote stamps as part of Germany’s cultural heritage. Philately stamps have been issued since 1993.
Since 1949, the “plus stamps” have raised a total of over €1 billion for a range of good causes.
|Beneficiaries of the extra “plus” charge||Total proceeds|
|Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Freien Wohlfahrtspflege e. V. |
(Federal Association of Non-statutory Welfare)
|approx. €680 million|
|Stiftung Deutsche Jugendmarke e. V.|
(foundation that uses stamp proceeds to promote youth welfare projects)
|approx. €200 million|
|Stiftung Deutsche Sporthilfe|
(German Sport Support Foundation)
|approx. €135 million|
|German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety||approx. €6 million|
|Stiftung Philatelie und Postgeschichte|
(Foundation for Philately and Postal History)
|approx. €10 million|