Short List
Product / ServiceDONATION DOLLAR
CategoryA02. Applied Innovation
Idea Creation SAATCHI & SAATCHI Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Media Placement UM Canberra, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Mike Spirkovski Saatchi & Saatchi Chief Creative Officer
Simon Bagnasco Saatchi & Saatchi Executive Creative Director
Lee Sunter Saatchi & Saatchi Creative Director
Adam Ferrie Saatchi & Saatchi Senior Creative/Copywriter
Peter Cvetkovski Saatchi & Saatchi Senior Creative/Art Director
Matt Alpass Saatchi & Saatchi Head of Design
Alice De Saulles Saatchi & Saatchi Designer
Juliet Symes Saatchi & Saatchi Finished Artist
Lucy Trengove Saatchi & Saatchi Executive Producer
Zena Bartlett Saatchi & Saatchi Producer
Nick Baum Saatchi & Saatchi Senior Digital Producer
Jarryd Hood Saatchi & Saatchi Digital Designer
Fei Wang Saatchi & Saatchi Head of Content
Heather McKean Saatchi & Saatchi Creative Content Producer
Jack Gilbert Saatchi & Saatchi Strategist
Leah Williams Saatchi & Saatchi Group Account Director
James Cameron Saatchi & Saatchi Account Director
Jobe MacShane Saatchi & Saatchi Account Executive
Rebecca Robertson Saatchi & Saatchi New Business Director
Alex Speakman Saatchi & Saatchi Executive Strategy Director
Mark Cochrane Saatchi & Saatchi Managing Director
Rob Tolan Herd MSL PR & Earned Media Lead
Stephanie Banno Herd MSL PR Strategy & Account Director
Skye Lambley Herd MSL Group Managing Director
Mark Cartwright The Royal Australian Mint General Manager, Marketing, Sales & Innovation
Frederica Heacock The Royal Australian Mint Project Manager
Nicolle Keyes The Royal Australian Mint Marketing & Communications Manager

Why is this work relevant for Innovation?

Not since the creation of currency in ancient Mesopotamia, more than 5000 years ago, has a coin been designed for compassion, not commerce. Donation Dollar is not only the first of its kind in the world, it's the first time a coin has been used to illicit a direct response, inspiring the holder to donate rather than spend it, resulting in over 25 million individual billboards in the hands of every Australian.


The digital revolution has changed currency forever. Unfortunately, carrying less coins in our pockets has unintended consequences. In Australia, many charities rely on coin donations, as do the most disadvantaged among us. As a society, we need to reconsider the coins we do have. In a world of growing digital transactions, we needed to find an innovative, breakthrough way to encourage all Australians to reconsider the power and value of a single physical dollar – and the potential it has to make a real impact in the lives of those in need. There was no additional budget required, as the Royal Australian Mint already assumes responsibility for the production of Australia’s circulating coinage. The idea only required the re-design of the Australian $1 coin.

Describe the idea

We redesigned the Australian $1 coin to remind us to give, not only in times of crisis, but all year round. It’s an official circulating coin, which can be spent like any other $1 coin, but when donated, makes an on-going impact on the lives of Australians in need. It's the first time a coin has been designed to illicit a direct response with one coin minted for every Australian, creating over 25million individual, daily reminders to give and a generosity loop that lasts generations. The Donation Dollar is not only the first Australian $1 coin to feature a colour, but also the first to feature an interactive design, with the green centre designed to wear down the more the coin is donated, revealing golden ripples emanating from its centre – a symbol of the ongoing impact the coin is making in the lives of those in need.

What were the key dates in the development process?

Development of Donation Dollar began in early 2018 when the innovative concept was first presented to the head of innovation at The Royal Australian Mint. This was followed by our first round of market research on 3 October 2018, exploring attitudes around charity, as well as initial concept testing (Quantitative + focus groups). Once validated and deemed viable through research, Donation Dollar was tabled with the Australian Government and following extensive rounds of approval moved into ‘Coin design & Testing’ (In-person surveys at supermarkets) on 13 June 2019. Following the coin design approval process, further research was conducted exploring, ‘Attitudes around charity + refined concept testing’ (Quantitative research) on 11 August 2020 in the lead up to Donation Dollar’s official public launch. Donation Dollar then entered the Royal Australian Mint’s production schedule for launch on 5 September 2020, to coincide with the United Nations’ recognised ‘International Day of Charity’.

Describe the innovation / technology

How it works – When received by the holder, the Donation Dollar can be spent like any other $1 coin, but when donated, helps make an ongoing impact in the lives of those in need. The choice of where, or whom to donate to is solely the choice of the coin holder as Donation Dollar is not exclusively aligned to any particular cause or charity. Components- The coin’s face features the words ‘Donation Dollar’ supported by a call-to-action, ‘Give to help others’. There is also a green coloured centre, designed to wear down the more the coin is donated – symbolising the on-going impact the coin has made in the lives of those in need. The coin’s obverse features Queen Elizabeth II. Development Stage - The ‘Donation Dollar’ has already been introduced into circulation. Launched on International Day of Charity 2020, with one coin minted for every single Australian, creating over 25 million individual billboards in the hands of every Australian. Released via the existing banking distribution network, spreading the 25 million coins across the entire nation, for all Australian’s to find in their change, and to inspire them to donate to their chosen cause, charity or someone in need.

Describe the expectations / outcome

Long-term outcomes - With the average lifespan of an Australian coin being 30yrs, the Donation Dollar will remain in circulation for decades to come, being donated over and over again on a continuous loop of generosity. If every Australian donated just one Donation Dollar each month, we’d raise an additional $300million for charity each year, and $9billion over the coin’s lifecycle. Results/Success – Donation Dollar has been embraced by the Australian public, inspiring them to reconsider the coins in their change and their potential power for good. • 88.9%+ of Australian population reached • 99.9% positive sentiment • Within the first 2 months, 53% of Donation Dollars found were donated. Scalability - Based on this innovative approach to reimagining the role physical currency plays in society and its potential for good, Donation Dollar has gained the interest of other countries, looking to adopt the idea themselves. Investment received - $0


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