Department of Finance Comments on Penny Fundraising

December 29, 2012 | Andrew Valentine

As announced in the 2012 Federal Budget,
the Government of Canada will be phasing out the penny.  The Department of Finance has recently
released a short
document
addressing Frequently Asked Questions from charities
relating to the discontinuance of the penny.

The document notes that the redemption of
the penny presents a fundraising opportunity for charities, and that experience
elsewhere has shown that charities can benefit by getting involved in the
process of withdrawing low-denomination coins from circulation.  It states that the Government of Canada
encourages Canadians to consider donating their pennies to charities and that
charities are welcome to take advantage of the initiative by conducting penny
drives.

The document notes that charities should
contact their financial institutions before starting any fundraising campaigns
related to the phase out of the penny to determine best practices for
collecting and redeeming the coins.  The
document also states that the Government expects that financial institutions
will support the penny redemption process by accepting pennies and providing
guidance on how to redeem pennies.  This
would include guidance on whether pennies must be rolled before being delivered
for redemption.

The document notes finally that pennies
will retain their value indefinitely and that there is thus no time limit for
redeeming pennies. 

Charities should consider taking advantage
of the phase out of the penny as a possible fundraising opportunity.  As stated in the FAQ document, they should
consult their financial institution before doing so to ensure that the process
is as efficient as possible.

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