Quick guide for charities to the new £1 coin

What’s happening?

On 28 March a new £1 coin will go into circulation. It features twelve sides and a series of security features designed to combat counterfeiting. From 15 October 2017, the old £1 coin (or ‘round pound’) will no longer be accepted as legal tender. Anyone will still be able to trade in their old coins for new ones after the deadline, but they will have to do so at their own bank.

There are likely to be fundraising opportunities for charities both around the launch of the new coin and across the transition period. The Royal Mint will be resmelting old coins to help produce some of the new coins, and will be encouraging people to spend, donate or deposit their old coins from the launch of the new one. More information on the process is available in this slide pack (ppt, 5MB) and Q&A (Word, 14KB).

Get planning

Some of the most significant fundraising opportunities are likely to be after the launch and over the summer, as members of the public become aware of the withdrawal of the old coins and start to think about how to get value from them. Government research suggests there are millions of old pound coins saved up by the public in jam jars and piggy banks, and around 5% of the public would consider donating them when they cash them in.

Now is the time to get planning about fundraising work your charity could do around the coin over the summer. We’ll be putting out more resources such as fundraising ideas in the coming months, but we know the best ideas will come from the voluntary sector.

Immediate fundraising opportunities – #PoundForPound

Previous updates in coins or notes have resulted in successful fundraising opportunities for charities, such as last year’s #firstfiver campaign (Thanks to John Thompson for getting that one started). There’s similar scope for charities to get involved in the Royal Mint’s publicity of the new coin launch and raise awareness of their cause by highlighting their fundraising efforts on social media.

The hashtag for the launch will be #newpoundcoin. The Royal Mint will also be supporting charity fundraising centred around the donation of old pound coins using the additional hashtag #PoundForPound, to encourage people to donate old pound coins on receiving a new one.

Get noticed by local media

Local media may be interested in any fundraising you conduct around the new coin for their follow-up articles in the days after the launch. NCVO’s resources on generating news can help get you started with speaking to the press to raise awareness of your fundraising work.

Top up your cash donations by 25%

The gift aid small donations scheme lets charities claim a gift aid-style top-up of 25% on cash donations, such as bucket collections, without the need for a written declaration from each donor, although you need to have claimed some normal gift aid on other donations. From 6 April, new rules kick in that make it simpler for charities to sign up and which increase the amount they can claim through the scheme. If you’re planning some cash fundraising around the new coin, it’s well worth checking to see if your charity is eligible for the scheme.

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Michael was our senior policy officer until January 2019, covering issues around charity tax and finance (including social investment) and the impact of the economy on the sector.

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