On one side, a new Australian $1 coin has an image of Queen Elizabeth II. On the back, it’s stamped with a message: “Donation Dollar: Give to help others.”
The coin, the first of its kind in the world, can be spent like any other money. But it’s intended to be given away. The Royal Australian Mint, which decided to launch the coin after it was conceptualized by Saatchi and Saatchi in collaboration with multiple nonprofits, is making 25 million, one for every Australian. Around 3.5 million have been minted so far.
The government wants to encourage people to donate the coins directly – for example, to one of the growing number of people in the country who are homeless – and to remind people to give in general, including in small amounts. After record-breaking wildfires in January followed by the pandemic, the country is now in a recession for the first time in nearly three decades. And as in other countries, nonprofits are expected to take a hit. One report estimates that charitable giving in the country will drop by 18% in the next two years.