Free Money Day

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Free Money Day
Free money day, Brno 2014 (Robert Posel).jpg
Free money day, Brno 2014
Date(s)September 15th
Organised byPost Growth Institute [1]

Free Money Day is an annual global event held since 2011 as a social experiment and to promote sharing and alternative economic ideas.



The day is held annually on September 15, the anniversary of the Lehman Brothers' 2008 filing for bankruptcy. [2] Participants offer their own money to passing strangers at public places, two coins or notes at a time. Recipients are asked to pass on one of the notes or coins to someone else. [3] [4] Participants can also leave money with a note at a public place [5] where it is likely to be found by another person, or to share money digitally. [6] Since 2020, these latter options have been encouraged in populations under COVID-19 pandemic restrictions that limit in-person interactions.

Past events

A total of 324 events at 218 different locations in 35 countries were held since 2011 according to the official website. [7] A total amount of US$11,476 was shared on the previous Free Money Day events. Over the years, people invented their own methods to give away money. Coffee shop and video rental owners did not charge people for their services and asked them to give the amount to a stranger. In one case a person left a £10 note on a toilet seat and tweeted that "it would be the happiest bathroom visit someone will ever have". [8]


Free Money Day aims to raise awareness and start conversations about the benefits of economies based on sharing, as well as inspire more critical and creative thinking about people's relationships with money and about new types of economic activities. The event is designed to help people connect with the complex issue of monetary circulation in a simple way, and inspire them to take action. It is a gateway to thinking about wider issues, including credit unions, for-profit banking, debt forgiveness, and universal basic income. The money is given without obligation; it is hoped that the event and the transactions will stimulate conversations about the role of money in society. [9] “This event is about much more than money. It is about co-creating the futures we truly desire by building on what we know works: sharing,” [10] said Free Money Day global coordinator, Donnie Maclurcan, a co-founder of the Post Growth Institute, which originated the event. [1]

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  1. 1 2 "Post Growth Institute". Post Growth Institute.
  2. Jabour, Bridie (September 16, 2011). "Cash? Can't give it away". Brisbane Times . Fairfax Media . Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  3. Barry, Aoife (September 15, 2012). "Would you take free money from a stranger?". . Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  4. Rigby, Brendan (September 15, 2011). "Sharing is caring: why handing out money is a good practice". Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  5. "Leave Money as a Surprise".
  6. "Give money digitally".
  7. Maclurcan, Donnie (September 14, 2012). "Column: Giving away money can lead to priceless experiences". . Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  8. "Something for nothing: Free Money Day 2012". Positive News . November 15, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  9. Daubs, Katie (September 14, 2012). "Free Money Day: Two Australian brothers plan to give away $10 in Yonge-Dundas Square". Toronto Star. Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  10. New, Catherine (September 14, 2012). "Free Money Day: On Lehman Brothers' Death Anniversary, Activists Pay It Forward". The Huffington Post., Inc. Retrieved September 8, 2014.