A Charity Perspective

A few years ago, a gentleman visited the national office of a non-profit/charitable organization.  His visit was introducing the organization to an amazing opportunity for raising funds. This innovative opportunity has virtually no upfront costs and with minimal effort, donations could literally begin arriving daily.  Sounds too good to be true?  Well, unfortunately they thought so.  Keeping in mind, the collection of Foreign Currency has been very successful throughout the U.K., Europe, and Australia for many years.  Some charities fund their programs 100% through the collection of Foreign Currency.  Seeing the amazing opportunity, I was subsequently able to arrange a meeting with Scott Hutchings and this has led to the development of some amazing fund-raising programs to help assist the charitable sector.

In a few years, tens of thousands of dollars have been raised in support of people with disabilities, children, youth and families, food banks and many other local and national charities.  The program is simple and is based on the collection of leftover Foreign Currency.  Foreign Currency you might ask, who has Foreign Currency?  Well, the truth is, most people have forgotten about the leftover Foreign Currency they have tucked away in their homes, cottages, boats and offices.  Yes, I’m referring to the coins and notes that you have in bags, boxes, tea cups, plastic containers, etc.  These coins and notes, even Canadian Tire money can be used to help support millions of Canadians who require assistance from your favourite charity, or non-profit organization. 

Did You Know?

In Canada, there is over $2 Billion in Foreign Currency that is serving no purpose other than being kept for?  Not really sure…  perhaps the grandkids will play with it on a rainy day, maybe you’re thinking one day I’ll go back to Portugal or another Foreign country you visited back in the day.  With over $2 Billion in Foreign Currency available, imagine how your donations could assist the charity of your choice.  Let’s break it down a bit further, there is approximately $850 Million in available Foreign Currency in Ontario.  If you live in the eastern part of the GTA, there is estimated to be over $35 Million available for use in the charitable sector.  In Durham Region that would equate to over 70 organizations each receiving $500,000.  Keeping in mind, these donations are not Restricted Funds.  In most cases they don’t require charitable tax receipts and donor stewardship is minimal.  If that isn’t enough, through donations of Foreign Currency – donors would be keeping these coins and notes out of the landfills as the Currency are in fact repatriated and returned to their country of origin. This also helps to save countries around the world from having to produce additional coins and notes.  The collection of Foreign Currency, truly is a win, win… win opportunity.

Imagine for a moment, how Canadian non-profit/charitable organizations could benefit from over $2 Billion in donations.  Thinking longer term, this would ease the burden on the government who are often called upon to fund charitable organizations.  In turn, over $2 Billion could be used to meet other essential needs in our country, provinces and your local community.  Not sure how the various governments would deploy the extra $2 Billion, but that is a topic for another time.

How Does Your Charity Start to Benefit from Funds available through Foreign Currency Donations?

With minimal up-front costs and effort, your charity could begin benefitting from the collection of Foreign Currency… TODAY.  The biggest hurdle facing the collection of Foreign Currency is that people are simply unaware that leftover Foreign Currency can be put to great use in their community.  The first step in starting a Foreign Currency collection program is to share the message.  This does not require a massive marketing plan, major allotment of staff resources, etc.  You can simply begin with 2-3 methods of getting the word out to people. 

First step: Compose a brief email that you can share with family, friends, co-workers, volunteers, donors, etc. (be sure to Bcc your contact list) and let them know that their leftover Foreign Currency has value that can be donated to support your favourite non-profit/charitable organization.  They can simply mail in or drop-off their leftover coins, notes or Canadian Tire money.  No special collectors or containers are required.  In the past, we’ve received donations in plastic bags, small boxes, envelopes, old cookie tins, etc.  Note: the Currency does not need to be sorted or organized.

Tip: You may want to specify what the funds will be used for, a specific charity, a special program or simply ask people to identify what charity they want to support.

Second Step:  To help share the news to a wider audience, simply put out a few posts on your social media platforms.  Keep the message simple #allCurrencyaccepted .  A reminder every month would help keep this in the minds of your Followers.

Third Step: Be sure to share the information that Foreign Currency donations can have a significant impact on non-profits/charity in your day-to-day conversations. Great topic over drinks, at a networking event, social functions, etc.  People find the concept intriguing and most people love to support needs of those in their local community.

Why wait, now is the time to start changing the world, one cent at a time.

For more information contact Dennis Ullman, Vice-President – Innovation and Development, Global Coin Solutions at drums@sympatico.ca or visit https://www.globalcoinsolutions.com/

In the next article, we’ll highlight simple cost-efficient methods for your charity to grow your program while building your organizations brand. 

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