The Reserve Bank estimates that New Zealanders are hoarding $80 million of old demonetised currency and holding another $80 million of foreign notes and coins. The challenge was to create a campaign that would encourage people to go hunting in their cupboards, garages or attics, dig out the old money and hand it over for a charity.
The old money collection, now known ad Heads Up For Kids, was the brain-wave of Queenstown Lion Simon Hayes. Morrison McDougall offered its services to project manage a nationwide campaign on behalf of the Lions Clubs of New Zealand. Resene Paints offered its nationwide network of stores as an initial collection point and space at its head office to aggregate and count the money, before it is redeemed dollar for dollar with the Reserve Bank, or foreign currency sold to an overseas exchange dealer. Fastway Couriers and New World Supermarkets joined the campaign to add additional outlets and courier the money to Wellington.
The campaign was branded Heads Up For Kids with recipients being youth organisations including Outward Bound, Spirit of Adventure and Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre, along with Lions Clubs own youth programmes that include Lions Quest, Young Ambassador and the Lions Speechmaker of the Year. Because the campaign collects coins and notes that are unusable in New Zealand, it does not compete with other fundraisers that rely on “real” money. The Heads Up For Kids project has the full support of Reserve Bank Governor Dr Alan Bollard and the project featured on the Reserve Bank’s 2011 Christmas card.
More than 12 tonnes of coins have been collected and an estimated $250,000 will be given away. A massive 31,000 sq centimetres of printed coverage has been generated in community newspapers and another 13,000 square centimetres in daily newspapers. The campaign has featured on television and radio national news programmes. There has also been extensive social media and news website coverage.
The Social Difference
This highly successful Heads Up For Kids campaign has raised the profile of Lions Clubs in New Zealand and connected them to schools and youth-based organisations throughout the country. Community spirited sponsors have been able to participate and see the success of their work. But best of all young people, who are New Zealand’s future leaders, have been given a hand up.