Change for Good: An innovative partnership between UNICEF and the international airline industry

What does one do with all that spare change in a different currency after a well-spent holiday or a business trip abroad? Why not donate it to a good cause! This was the thinking that launched Change for Good in 1991 – an initiative between UNICEF and the international airline industry. Today, this programme is one of UNICEF’s best known and longest running partnerships.

In Australia the participating airline is Qantas. Qantas collects unused currency from passengers and convert the coins and notes into life-saving materials and services for vulnerable children around the world.

Contributing to a better future for children remains the core purpose of the initiative, even though Change for Good has evolved over the years to reach more passengers and has adapted to new behaviours and trends. Adapting was particularly critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, where contact-free and cashless donations were encouraged. While the airline industry was hit hard by the pandemic, airlines are more committed than ever to find solutions and launch campaigns that raise vital funds for children around the world.

Whether cash is collected by cabin crew in an envelope, through a tap, in a donation box at the airport, from smartphones after scanning a QR code or from home after visiting a website, funds are donated to the respective National Committee for UNICEF to be transferred to UNICEF programmes that help children in more than 190 countries.

Since its launch, the Change for Good programme has generated over US$185 million. Change for Good provides UNICEF and the international airline industry with a unique partnership opportunity: it enables UNICEF to deliver its message to a captive audience, while airlines demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility and increase customer loyalty. Airline staff can also be part of the change for children – a Change for Good.

Change for Good