Challenge Coins For Social Causes

Challenge Coins For Social Causes

It’s no secret that custom coins are an outstanding way to promote camaraderie, team spirit, and brand loyalty. What many people don’t realize that you can...

It’s no secret that custom challenge coins are an outstanding way to promote camaraderie, team spirit, and brand loyalty. What many people don’t realize that you can promote social change by using custom challenge coins for social causes. With an attractive design and a high perceived value, custom coins are becoming more and more popular throughout the world.

Purposes of Challenge Coins

The concept of promoting social causes via challenge coins is relatively new, but is rapidly gaining popularity. Custom coins have long held a respected place in the military, and in recent years, in civilian organizations such as police and fire departments and corporations as well.

Military challenge coins are awarded to show membership in a specific unit, squad or fleet, or to recognize outstanding dedication to duty. Police, fire and emergency medical first responders often use the coins for those purposes as well. In addition, coins serve to build team camaraderie among recipients.

Challenge Coin Origins

The exact origins of challenge coins are hard to pin down, with several stories floating around over the years. None of them has ever been conclusively proved.

One of the most enduring tales is that of the wealthy lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War I. The legend has it that he had custom coins made for all his men. One of the men was later shot down and captured by the Germans. They stripped him of all identification, but they allowed him to keep the coin, which he carried in a small leather pouch worn around his neck.

The airman was able to escape, and made his way to French occupied territory. Because he was wearing clothing provided by his captors, the French soldiers thought he was a German spy, and prepared to execute him. When he was able to produce his coin, one of the French soldiers recognized it. Instead of executing him, his French counterparts gave the soldier a bottle of wine and returned him safely to his American unit. From that point on, all the members of the lieutenant's squad kept their coins with them at all times. Or so the story goes.

Another popular story is that U.S. soldiers in Vietnam carried a live bullet as a sort of lucky charm. When in bars, they began slamming them down on the bar or table to challenge other soldiers to produce their own. Those who could not do so had to buy the next round. As time went on, the caliber of the bullets grew larger, and military officials became alarmed at the prospect of accidents happening. That led to the issuance of challenge coins (hence the name) to use instead for the drink challenge. Or so the story goes.

Coins for Any Cause

Today’s challenge coins for social causes can be custom made for virtually any purpose. They’re low-cost, yet high-impact. Recipients appreciate them, and if the coins are well-made and attractive, will carry them or display them prominently.

Custom coins can make a difference in people’s lives. Sometimes they can even save lives. The Hopeline coin created and distributed by the Center for Suicide Awareness is one example. The coin, designed for military veterans who might be suffering from PTSD, features a text number that a person in crisis can contact. The text line is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Both veterans and their family members have said the coin has saved lives.

Custom coins can be used to promote any cause an organization would otherwise promote with wristbands or other items. It’s an alternate way of getting a message out. That’s what makes it particularly effective for audiences such as military vets. They’re accustomed to challenge coins from their time in the service. A coin is a natural way to reach them.

Challenge coins are an oustanding way to promote and raise needed funds for schools, teams, bands and clubs. Market them to students, faculty, staff, parents and alumni as a way to celebrate or remember special times in school. You'll be surprised how quickly they'll sell and how much cash they can bring in for needed programs.

Fire and police departments around the country have been known to use challenge coins custom to raise funds as well. They sell the coins to community members as commemorative items to help pay for public service programs such as youth leagues and safety programs for students.

Many Ways to Customize Coins for Social Causes

Remember, you’re not limited to just traditional coin shapes. Any reputable coin provider can craft coins in virtually any custom shape you want. So if you need coins in the shape of your state, a specific geographic formation, or just about anything else, a supplier such as can create it for you. We have created coins in pretty much every shape you can possibliy imagine. Just let us know what you have in mind, and we'll work with you every step of the way to make it happen.

It’s easy to customize coins even more by adding great options such as cutouts, diamond-cut edges, edge engraving, 3-D designs and more. Economical add-ons are a great way to boost the visibility and desirability of your coins to attract more attention to your cause.

No matter what cause you want to support, custom coins are an outstanding way to do so. We will help you craft a challenge coin design perfect for your needs. When you order from, you can be assured you’ll get the most value for your money. We offer only the highest quality coins, at the lowest prices. We support everything we sell with our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, and our customer service is famous for being the best you’ll find anywhere.

If you need custom coins to promote your cause, business or other organization, you can depend on us for the best for less. Call, email or fill out our no-obligation Free Quote form today, and we’ll show you how easy it is to order outstanding custom coins for social causes!

Rick Cundiff

Rick Cundiff

Content Director, Blogger

Rick Cundiff spent 15 years as a newspaper journalist before joining TJM Promos. He has been researching and writing about custom challenge coins and other promotional products for more than 10 years. He believes in the Oxford comma, eradicating the word "utilize," and Santa Claus.