You can’t use them in vending machines or parking meters. You can’t even use them to top up your Opal card. So what good are five-cent coins?

“We did some research and found there’s $150 million in five-cent pieces in circulation,” YGAP CEO Elliot Costello explains.

The idea behind YGAP’s upcoming 5cent campaign is to collect this spare change and put it to use, reducing poverty in Australia and abroad.

Throughout May, you can help the campaign in three ways. Firstly, collect all of your spare change and drop it into the 5cent collection boxes in any 7-Eleven across the country or donate to the campaign online.

By YGAP's calculations it takes just 115 five-cent coins to change a life – giving someone access to things like education, health care and employment.

The second way you can be a supporter is to sign up for a collection box. Maybe you work in a cafe or bar, just pop the box near the cash register for people to drop their spare change in to.

Another option is to pledge to donate five per cent of your wage in May. While this involves a little more than spare change, YGAP and the 5cent campaign will send the person who gets the most friends to pledge too to South Africa to join the 2016 Impact Tour.

Over the past three years the 5cent campaign has collected more than 7.9 million coins. This year YGAP aims to hit the five million mark, which will amount to $300,000.

The campaign will support YGAP’s work in South Africa, Kenya and Australia. The organisation’s unique approach seeks out local entrepreneurs in developing communities and works with them to support and build their ideas into self-sustaining businesses.

“Most international development organisations work on a pretty traditional development model, where they come in with a development program and they commit three to five years,” Costello explains.

“Every place we work it’s all about how do we find local leaders with big ideas and enable them.”

5cent.com.au