Building Communities and Improving Lives One Penny at a Time - Charities Earn Millions With Pennies

To: National Circuit

Contact: Mark W. Weller, Americans for Common Cents (
(202) 312-7426

Building Communities and Improving Lives One Penny at a Time - Charitable Groups Earn Millions Annually Through Penny Drives

July 2 - American charities raise money in a variety of ways: annual funding drives, tax-deductible donations, and corporate sponsorship are just a few.  However, one of the most important ways charities raise funds is through coin drives that motivate large numbers of citizens to make small donations that add up to big dollars.  Coin drives, especially those that raise money through penny collection events, are an important element in many charities' fund raising success, according to Mark Weller, Executive Director of Americans for Common Cents.

"News this week of a California man's difficulty cashing one million collected pennies overlooks the coin's true utility," says Weller whose organization works to educate the public on the value of the penny.  "Our focus should be on the good news that the penny helps charities raise millions of dollars annually, and the coin's value is demonstrated in the positive role it plays in our communities," according to Weller.  Penny collection events are an important element in many charities' fund raising successes.

For those looking to donate pennies, there are several options.  Six million students nationwide collected more than $13 million through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's School & Youth programs, like Pennies for Patients.  Since 1994, these programs have raised more than $68 million.  "School children collecting spare change directly impact the Society's ability to provide crucial support to patients and their families and fund leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma research," according to Nancy Klein, SVP, Marketing, from the Society.

And one need look no further than a local McDonald's, where coin receptacles benefit the Ronald McDonald Children's Charities.  UNICEF, the Salvation Army and other charitable groups also rely in great part on the collection of pennies to fund their operations.  The value of pennies adds up.  A counting study conducted by the 7-11 convenience store chain found that one-third of all the money collected in store collection receptacles can be attributed to the penny.  In 7-11's situation, it amounted to $1 million of the $3 million donated in one year.

Not only are coin drives an important element in many charities' fundraising success, they also help elementary and secondary school students learn values that benefit others.  The power of the penny in benefiting communities is a phenomena that we see repeated every day.  No less than a dozen efforts to raise one million pennies are under way this year alone at U.S. elementary and secondary schools.

Penny harvests, like those run by charitable groups and school kids, rely on simple, yet critical, cent contributions to raise millions annually for great causes.  Coin drives that motivate large numbers of citizens to make small donations of their pennies add up to big dollars and truly benefit others.
The penny remains an important fund raising tool for many of these groups and helps energize their base.  For those seeking to donate the spare change, just look around.  The best place to benefit others may be closer than you think at a local school or convenience store.

Americans for Common Cents is a broad-based coalition of business, charitable, and numismatic organizations dedicated to keeping the penny.  The coalition was formed in 1990 in response to Congressional threats to eliminate the one-cent coin.


President's Day - A Time to Celebrate Abraham Lincoln and Cheaper Pennies

President's Day gives us the chance - at least once a year - to recognize Abraham Lincoln's immense contributions to the country and a legacy that continues to enrich us daily.

President Lincoln is a unique cultural and historical figure," said Mark Weller, Executive Director of Americans for Common Cents. "It's not just that the front of the penny has had Lincoln's image since 1909, it's what Lincoln did for our nation," Weller added "He possessed all the qualities we want in a president -- the ability to unite a divided nation, honesty, strength, and humility," Weller concluded.

For the full press release, please click here


Special Announcement!

Pennies for Pasta and Pennies for Patients

These are run by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through its local chapters as part of its renamed Student Series program:

For more information, you should call your local Chapter which may be found by going to the Society's website at:

Please note Americans for Common Cents does not get actively engaged in any fundraising activities.

Collapse of the zinc market means the penny is cheaper to make; saves taxpayers!

A collapse in metals prices means U.S. coins, including the penny, are less expensive to make. The penny has reached its lowest cost in seven years. Each 1-cent coin, made almost entirely of zinc, now costs the taxpayer much less to produce and its likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Click here to read more.

More than Two-Thirds of Americans Still Favor Keeping the Penny

Recent Poll Shows Increasing Penny Support and Concern About Price Increases If Penny Is Eliminated

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A poll released today by Americans for Common Cents (ACC) continues to show overwhelming and increasing support for the penny by the American public. 68% of those surveyed favor keeping the penny in circulation, representing a slight increase since the last poll in 2012.

"These results confirm the strong and unwavering support the penny continues to receive from Americans," said Mark Weller, Executive Director of ACC. Weller's group includes more than 50 organizations that support continued production of the penny.

For the full article, please click here

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