25 Reasons to Give to the National Postal Museum on #GivingTuesday


By Emma Auburn, Advancement Associate, November 27, 2018

#GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season by bringing people together around the values of giving back. This day connects diverse groups of individuals around the world to celebrate and encourage giving. Your annual gifts allows the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum to broaden access to everyone. Your generosity allows us to present our collections in new ways while preserving them for the future. Donors like you give us the opportunity to dive deeper into our research and scholarship to share. By having you as part of our community, we are strengthened as a museum. To join the Smithsonian National Postal Museum Society today, please visit: Support the Museum. Since the museum recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, here are 25 reasons why your support today means so much:

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Visitors enjoy our Annual Holiday Card Workshop.
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Students participate in one of our free school tours.
  1. 70 cents of every dollar: Federal funding keeps the lights on; private support is what powers research, care, and exhibitions. Private philanthropy bridges the gap between the Federal resources the Museum receives and what it needs to carry out innovative research, expand its national collections, open truly 21st-century exhibitions, and expand educational outreach to students of all ages.
  2. The art of letter writing: In a world of tech, we understand the emotional connections made through the art of letter writing. We explore these ideas with visitors of all ages in hopes that they will connect with their family and friends in a deeper way.
  3. For the community: 63.3% of visiting school groups to the museum are from public schools or public charter schools within the D.C. metropolitan area. We want to expand our reach even further along with our fellow Smithsonian museums to reach all metropolitan area K-12 students by 2022.
  4. Collections care: We have the second largest collection in the Smithsonian Institution, which means constant care and attention from our dedicated staff to protect it for you and future generations to come.
  5. Reaching further: The museum’s digital collection reaches almost 250,000 online visitors each year, but we have so many more interesting and unusual stories and perspectives from our collection that we want to share with you.
  6. A devoted library: The National Postal Museum Library is one of 21 specialized libraries in the Smithsonian Libraries system. With more than 40,000 books, journals, catalogues and documents, the library is among the world's largest postal history and philatelic research facilities. All of this national and international content is free and available to the public online and at our weekly library open houses.
  7. Thinking outside of the box: According to the American Alliance of Museums, “Children who visited a museum during kindergarten had higher achievement scores in reading, mathematics and science in third grade than children who did not.” We take students out of the classroom, which allows for a more creative setting to support their everyday education. In 2018, we hosted over 4,377 students in one of our many free programs that are designed to adhere to local and national standards of learning.
  8. Sharing your story: Over the past 25 years, we opened 121 exhibitions that explored diverse stories and point-of-views from American and other world cultures, including Unwelcome: Moritz Schoenberger and the S.S. St. Louis; Ties that Bind: The Newcomers’ Experience; Amelia Earhart’s Personal Collection; Pacific Exchange: China & U.S. Mail; and Freedom Just Around the Corner: Black America from Civil War to Civil Rights. We continue to strive for inclusivity in our exhibitions, for example making our next exhibition bi-lingual.
  9. Accessible anywhere: On top of our world-class exhibits, if you can’t visit us in person you can find our amazing exhibits online.
  10. Sharing the power of knowledge: We offer free educational resources to teachers across the country. Curriculum guides offer standards-based lesson plans and materials to aid in the exploration of museum themes and skills within the classrooms. The museum’s digitized collection database and Learning Lab collections also provide opportunities for discovery.
  11. Doing things differently: We are telling your history and culture like no one else can through the lenses of postal history and philately.
  12. Inspiring the future: Every year, we host interns and fellows from across the country and world. We are preparing and inspiring the next generation through sharing important work skills and knowledge to take with them to whatever their future may hold.
  13. Diving deeper: Your support allows our curators the discretion and freedom to go deeper into topics and share new points of view on our history.
  14. Mornings at the Museum: Our annual program, free to the public, allows those with cognitive impairments to explore the museum in an inclusive environment.
  15. Educating the public: We have online videos, public programs, and the Agents of Deterioration gallery experience that help educate the public on caring for their own collections to ensure they are safe and able to be passed down for generations.
  16. On the road: Our Mail Call exhibition – which tells the fascinating story of military mail and communication – has been on tour across the United States for the past six years. This exhibit allowed for the museum’s research to break out of our walls and tell communities across the country this important part of American culture.
  17. Unexpectedly for everyone: The comment we see most on TripAdvisor is “unexpected.” We are #34 out of 431 on TripAdvisor’s things to do in Washington, DC. The museum is loved because we are accessible to anyone, from letter writers to philatelists to history fanatics and everyone in-between.
  18. A one-of-a-kind lab: Our world-class Forensic Laboratory is utilized by researchers who go on to create ground breaking content in the philatelic and postal history scholarly world.
  19. We are your museum: We are open 364 days a year and free to the public.
  20. Publishing knowledge: The museum’s staff have been published more than 233 times over the past 25 years. It is important to us that we disseminate our knowledge to the public to fulfill the Smithsonian’s mission to diffuse knowledge to the world.
  21. Bringing the museum to you: Your support allows for curators and specialists to go out into the community and across the world to share their expertise at conferences, symposiums, forums, and other cultural institutions.
  22. Diverse programming: Our free public programs – including Family Days, Story Time, Lunchtime Lectures, and History After Hours – are designed to reach all ages and all backgrounds. This dedication to diversity broadens our community and reach.
  23. Become a part of the community: The National Postal Museum Society is a group of dedicated, like-minded individuals who are passionate about promoting philately and sharing America’s history and culture through postal history.
  24. Promotion of stamp collecting: Through our free programs, we bring in leading scholars in philatelic studies to share their important research with the public. We hope to educate and inspire the next generation of stamp collectors.
  25. With your help, we can do more! Please visit Support the Museum to give today.
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Teachers participate in a 2018 Teachers Workshop focused on educational resources from our Beautiful Blooms exhibition.
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Visitors participate in the Agents of Deterioration gallery experience.
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Curator Lynn Heidelbaugh lectured at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO in July 2018.

Thank you to our supporters who make this all possible! We look forward to the next 25 years!