How to donate old currency

Updated February 21, 2017

Many of us have out-of-date currency that we've inherited or kept stashed away as a souvenir or collectable, never to see the light of day. You can do something positive with that old currency, like make a donation to a charity, library, or local artist. You don't have to keep such artefacts in the closet anymore, when there are a number of easy ways to put old currency to use for a good cause.

Collect and organise all of your old currency, bank notes and coins. Bundle paper currency with a rubber band and place all coins in coin wrappers. This will allow you to easily donate your currency, instead of carrying around boxes or jars of loose coins and paper currency that could easily break.

Donate old currency to non-profit organisations, such as UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) or OXFAM (Oxford Committee for Famine Relief). Many large non-profit organisations around the world accept old currency to help fund programs. These programs benefit poor, elderly or ill individuals that are facing difficult situations. You can box up your currency and send it through the mail, addressed to the organisation's headquarters as provided on its website.

Contact your local schools and libraries to ask if they will accept donations of old currency. Many schools and libraries will use the currency as a teaching tool. Children can use it to learn about different cultures and how currency is used in societies around the world. Some libraries create coin collections that may serve as a reference to local students for research projects.

Get in touch with a local art school or studio and inquire about donating your currency there. Many artists use old or used materials to create unique pieces of art or jewellery. Film schools could also use currencies as props for student films.

Consider donating foreign currency to a cultural centre who might use older coins and paper bills as display pieces for public viewing.

Exchange old currency at the Currency Commission. They can trade it for valid currency, which will be returned to you in the form of a check. You may then donate the proceeds to a charity or organisation. You can also sell unique, out-of-date or silver coins to a jewelery store and donate the proceeds to non-profit organisations as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber bands
  • Coin wrappers
  • Mailing supplies
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About the Author

Anya Meave is a freelance writer from San Diego, Calif. She began writing in 2009 for various websites. Majoring in telemedia, she has written scripts for student projects and has been chosen to submit a spec script for the 2011 Nickelodeon Writers Fellowship. Meave has an associate degree in photography from Southwestern College.