Every non-profit organization struggles with new, innovative, and rotating ways to drive and accept donations. The more mainstream use of cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin and dogecoin, offers a new, forward-thinking way to attract savvy donors.
This topic is attracting more and more people as they become familiar with the idea of cryptocurrency. So far, the press on it has varied—from highly favorable and excited to doomsday. Bitcoin and its counterparts have been around since 2009, but only recently have begun to gain traction in mainstream circles.
As a non-profit that accepts cryptocurrency, you’re allowing your existing donors and newbies a more flexible way to contribute to your cause, while also showing that you’re staying on top of trends in the financial world.
According to the excellent article on the topic, “How Non-Profits Are Cashing in on the Cryptocurrency Boom,” founder and executive director of BitGive Foundation, Connie Gallippi, is quoted as saying that donations tend to be tied to technology- and freedom-related organizations, which ties in directly to the mentality of those who buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency.
As a non-profit organization, you’re already blazing trails. The cryptocurrency community is all about that same thing.
The idea behind bitcoin and the others is freedom from regulation. Any organization who adopts the basic tenets of laissez faire or liberty-tied messages will do well to add cryptocurrency to its roster of accepted money types. Also organizations that encourage free exchange of ideas or an open society will benefit from adding it.
Accepting bitcoin also improves international donations because it eliminates bank and credit card processing fees, PayPal or Western Union issues, and high exchange rates. Imagine how this might impact an organization that needs funds to benefit people in remote and impoverished areas of the world. And then imagine all the money you would save if you didn’t have to pay Chase or PayPal every time someone donated to your organization.
Exchanging the cryptocurrency for local currency is as easy as using a directory website like Local Bitcoins, where you can locate people who will exchange bitcoin for cash. And since more and more merchants are accepting it, you can also keep it as another form of money you use within the organization.
Peter Chasse, the president of The Water Project, published a blog post in January 2014 where he announced their intention to accept bitcoin and other common cryptocurrencies like dogecoin. He cites one of the reasons as being the reduced cost of transferring funds to international partners.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle for non-profit organizations in adopting the currency as a form of payment is the learning curve in understanding how it works. I encourage you to watch this short video if you’re unfamiliar with the technology and the purpose:
For a thorough exploration of how cryptocurrency has entered the non-profit arena, I highly recommend the excellent article “How dogecoin spawned an improbable community of giving.”
If you have questions about how or why to implement cryptocurrency donations on your website, drop a comment below!