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Cash-for-gold shop provides a novel way to help charities

Local charitable organisations are coming up with novel ways to stay afloat during a time when cash donations are hard to come by.

The Bermuda National Trust, which aims to preserve the Island’s natural, architectural and historic treasures, partnered with local cash-for-gold shop, Bermuda Gold Standard, to create a fundraising drive where the former’s members and supporters could donate their unwanted gold jewellery in exchange for cash.

The charity raised close to $3,000 and Bermuda Gold Standard kicked in an extra percentage to help the cause.

“With recent gold prices climbing to near-record highs, even the relatively small amount of gold they were able to collect generated just over $2,800,” said Gold Standard partner Jonathan Hitchcock. “In addition, as part of our promotion, Gold Standard contributed an additional ten percent, bringing the total to $3,120.”

Many cash-strapped Bermudians have recently been turning to gold exchange shops to help their financial situations, with Gold Standard paying out more $3 million since they opened little more than a year ago. Business has been going so well, in fact, that the owners are moving to a larger more central location in May.

The shop assesses gold and other precious metals in any form from coins to broken jewellery and anything in between and makes a cash offer based on the gold content applied against a daily market rate.

Since its inception, Gold Standard thought their charity bonus plan would be a good way for organisations to bring in donations and advertised the idea on their website and in the newspaper. While a couple charities expressed interest, the Trust was the first group to mobilise their supporters.

“This is a wonderful way for our members and friends to show their continued support without having to write a cheque,” said executive director for the Bermuda National Trust, Jennifer Gray, adding that Gold Standard Bermuda will continue to offer the Trust a bonus payment for any customer who names the Trust as their charity of choice.

“Gold items, whether it be single or broken gold earrings, broken chains, bracelets and rings or any other item that may be lying at the bottom of your drawer can be delivered to our Waterville headquarters or taken in to Gold Standards identifying the Bermuda National Trust as charity recipient.”

According to Danielle Riviere, programme manager at the Centre on Philanthropy, charities throughout the Island are facing a very different Bermuda than they once encountered several years ago.

“Times are difficult for charities but it’s not impossible,” she said. “Non-profits that have been able to show value in the community and offer services that are needed, have been able to adjust.”

She added that organisations are moving away from galas and major events that have significant upfront costs and doing more smaller, unique fundraisers in volume.

The Trust’s cash-for-gold event, says Ms Riviere, differs in that it is engaging individual supporters rather than relying on larger grants from corporate donors.

“Bermuda’s non-profits have been heavily reliant on corporate donations and it’s good to see them engaging the individual,” she said.

Charity effort: Bermuda Gold Standard has been helping the Bermuda National Trust raise funds

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Published March 13, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 13, 2012 at 9:30 am)

Cash-for-gold shop provides a novel way to help charities

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