New Australian $1 coin is a world first

donation dollar

A new $1 coin issued in Australia is a world first – it is a donation dollar.

The Royal Australian Mint is making 25 million $1 coins that bear the words ‘Donation Dollar’ which are designed to be donated to charity after 57% of Australians said they would do exactly that if they found one in their coin purse or wallet.

The first batch of Donation Dollar $1 coins are being issued to coincide with the United NationsInternational Day of Charity on 5 September.

The 25 million coins, one for each Australian resident, will be issued in the next few years, however, three million will be put in circulation from Wednesday.

The Community Council for Australia said one in five people are predicting they or their family will need charitable support in the next 12 months and the new coin is a little reminder to give.

“Every one of these coins is a chance to spark new conversations about generosity,” CCA chair Tim Costello said, of the legal tender.

“It might be a small coin, but it will circulate as a constant reminder to give, and that can make a big difference.

“We are hoping people will ask questions like who are you giving your donation dollar to, which charities do you already support, is it time to give a little more?”

Three in five Australians would be likely to give a Donation Dollar to charity if they received one in their change, a recent study found.

More than 80% of Australians have donated something in the past year, but 70% admitted they often forgot or lacked time to do so.

The twin shocks of coronavirus pandemic on the heels of a catastrophic bushfire season triggered an upswell of generosity peaking in December in Australia, none more evident than in the response to comedian Celeste Barber’s bushfire appeal.

A JBWere report estimates donations in Australia will fall 18% over the next two years due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia has about 57,000 charities and not-for-profit organisations all vying for attention.

Costello said the Donation Dollar arrives at a time when many Australians needed a helping hand.

“There’s no doubt in my mind this is a gift that will benefit those who are most vulnerable in our nation,” he said.

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