Matt Hoidal wants to make philanthropy accessible to everybody with something simple: spare change.

“There’s an opportunity to do something with this change that is just sitting there,” said the longtime nonprofit executive, who is launching a new nonprofit that aims to convert loose change into social change. “There is a world’s worth of change within arm’s reach.”

World of Change will work with sponsors on a wide range of community and school events, including change drives, classroom change collections and a ChangeFest that will feature local nonprofits and an attempt to set a world record for the most change collected by a community. Hoidal said 100 percent of money raised will provide support in six areas: housing, food security, education, financial literacy, health and wellness, and children’s play.

World of Change will secure matching challenges from individuals and foundations to double the impact of the change collected, Hoidal said.

Hoidal, of Falmouth, spent 13 years as executive director at Camp Sunshine in Casco and more recently was senior vice president of United Way of Greater Portland. He said the idea for World of Change has been percolating throughout his career, inspired in part by a teacher he met who used spare change to teach kids about math and philanthropy. During his time at United Way, he saw the impact of a community coming together.

“I saw the way people work together to collaborate and tackle really difficult community issues and tremendous community opportunities,” he said.

The ChangeFest, planned for this fall in Greater Portland, will be the nonprofit’s first big public event, but it has already begun work in other areas. Hoidal said classroom change kits are being developed for use in schools. The kits consist of old-fashioned milk crates with six labeled mason jars, each representing one of World of Change’s focus areas. This summer, three camps in the Lakes Region will hold a friendly competition to see which can collect the most change.

“One of the key components of World of Change is to engage kids in philanthropy at a young age,” Hoidal said. “I can’t think of a better way to show children how they can make a difference. They will be able to take the change just sitting around their homes and decide which jar to drop the coins into and then literally watch it add up and see with their own eyes how they can make a world of change.”

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