8 September 2020

New $1 coin designed to be given back to charities

| Dominic Giannini
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Donation Dollar $1 coin from Royal Australian Mint.

The Royal Australian Mint is releasing the world’s first Donation Dollar – a $1 coin designed to be donated. Photo: Supplied.

A new Donation Dollar has been released by the Royal Australian Mint to celebrate International Day of Charity that was on 5 September. It is the world’s first coin that is designed to be donated.

Three million units of the branded $1 coin have already been released into circulation, with several million more coins to be released in coming years to appeal to the generosity of Australians after almost two-thirds of respondents told the Royal Australian Mint they would donate the dollar if given the opportunity.

The release of the new dollar comes in light of 97 per cent of Canberra charities saying they have been impacted by COVID-19, and 83 per cent of charities saying they will be significantly impacted.

Royal Australian Mint CEO Ross MacDiarmid said if every Australian was to donate a Donation Dollar just once a month it has the potential to raise an additional $300 million every year.

READ ALSO Canberra Recovery Appeal success will help ACT charities survive

“We are extremely proud to introduce the world’s first Donation Dollar and tap into the Australian spirit of generosity,” he said. “Like any other $1 coin, the cycle of a Donation Dollar is ongoing, as is its potential for positive impact.

“So with Australia’s support, we believe Donation Dollar has the power to make a real difference. The power lies in the hands of the receiver to decide where their coin will make the most impact. For example, they can donate it to their charity of choice, to a struggling business or to anyone in need.”

One in five Australians say they would require some form of charitable aid during the next 12 months, either for themselves or their family, according to the Australian Generosity Report.

The report also found that more than 80 per cent of Australians had given to charity in some form during the past 12 months.

However, some Australians are starting to experience charity fatigue, with 70 per cent saying a barrier to donating is not knowing specifically where every dollar goes, and half saying they had trouble finding the right causes to support.

The standing of charities in the community has also been impacted following the bushfires, where Celeste Barber’s $50 million NSW Rural Fire Service fund was not able to be distributed to bushfire victims, while slower than expected rollout of money from organisations such as the Australian Red Cross left a sour taste in the community.

READ ALSO Charity burnout, communities and where the real need is in Canberra

Despite this, Tim Costello, chair of the Community Council for Australia and the former chief executive of World Vision Australia, said the Donation Dollar would make a big impact for struggling Australians.

“Our immediate reaction when presented with the Donation Dollar was ‘finally an idea that unites every Australian charity, but also every Australian in a common good’,” he said.

“There is no doubt in my mind this is a gift that will benefit those who are most vulnerable in our nation, starting now – a time when many need this kind of helping hand the most.”

More information can be found at Donation Dollar.

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A stupid idea. It is my experience that charities don’t want cash donations. Instead you have to sign up for direct weekly or monthly debits from your bank account. I have to wonder if the Mint is back under the control of the Dept of Finance, a disaster from 1980 which had to be reversed after a few months.

Canberra Legacy survive off the one-off donations by the canberra community and from the badge week fundraising. They would be very grateful if you made a one off donation of any amount.

I’d much prefer to donate physical items as the money often does not go to where it’s needed most, i.e. frontline services. The Donation Dollar is out of touch with current community perceptions of donating monies.

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