Although most ICOs are fundraising campaigns and are organized for commercial purposes, some projects are designed to actually help people and make their lives easier. Tokens and cryptocurrencies enable people to send donations easily and quickly making the process transparent and honest. Let’s observe several philanthropic organizations that already enjoy the benefits of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
How to accept Bitcoin Donations Legally?
Although there are no laws banning the donations in cryptocurrency, crypto has a different legal status (we discussed that in our crypto & Bitcoin taxes guide) in different countries. So while some organizations are free to accept crypto without even making formal reports about the donations, others will be obliged to pay taxes.
Thus, a charity organization must learn about the legal status of cryptocurrency in the country where it is registered and define whether the received crypto donations are taxed.
For example, in the US, when it comes to reporting purposes, Bitcoin is regarded as a financial asset, and must be reported in an organization’s statement of financial position. Organizations should be aware of tax reporting requirements.
The Internal Revenue Code distinguishes between how gifts of property vs gifts of cash are made.
When gifts of property are sent to a public charity, the donor might be obliged for a full fair market value deduction, especially when the gift is supposed to be a long-term capital gain property. If the gift equals $500 or more, a charity must sign a donor’s Form 8283 to receive it and go through the deduction procedure. For Bitcoin donations worth over $5,000 that are not publicly-traded securities, organizations should provide information about fair market value.
List of Charity Organizations Accepting Bitcoin
The number of charity organizations accepting BTC is growing steadily: they make contributions to different spheres of our life. Let’s see where you can donate crypto to charity.
Many charitable projects are designed to make education more accessible. A good example is the Social Alpha Foundation, founded in 2017. It accepts donations in cryptocurrency: funds raised are used to award grants to projects that engage in social support and blockchain learning. The grant amounts to $10,000 to $100,000 and is subject to the decision of the jury, which interviews applicants.
According to Forbes, in less than a year their team raised more than $1 million and is currently supporting six projects. For example, the $30,000 grant was awarded to the winners of the Social Impact hackathon at the prestigious The Impact Summit. The event brought together 350 computer science students from over 20 universities to demonstrate how their technical talents can have an effect on society.
Amply is a South African non-profit project that allows poor children to obtain personal documents and access to preschool education and financial support.
Code to Inspire is an Afghan foundation established in 2015. It organizes classrooms for Afghan women who want to learn about programming and online business with the Bitcoin charity donations it raises. The first school in Herat taught about 50 women every day, and since its inception the foundation has helped hundreds of Afghan women get technical education.
Supply of clean water
About 1 billion people in the world don’t have access to clean water, which leads to mass infections and high mortality. The Clean Water Coin project helps those people in need in Africa and other parts of the world. How is the donation process organized? 0.1% of every transaction made with the internal coins goes to the CharityWater.org Foundation which supplies clean water primarily to Africa and has already helped more than 8.4 million people around the world.
The BANKEX platform launched a similar project: it introduced the WaterCoin crypto charity coin to users, which originally cost $0.02 – the price of a liter of clean drinking water. Now the only distribution point is located in Narok (Kenya): it supplies about 1,000 residents with 10,000+ liters of drinking water. The key advantage of the platform is the absence of intermediaries: all donations go directly to the destination.
VEROS fundraising platform unites charity funds that are dedicated to solving the environmental problems and protecting the planet. It supports campaigns aimed at the development of eco-friendly technologies, humanitarian projects, and so on. While VEROS are building their own blockchain, you can donate cryptocurrency using Changelly widget that supports about 150 coins.
Although Medic Mobile is not a blockchain-based project, it is sponsored by the BitGive website, which accepts Bitcoin charity donations. The project was created to provide education for healthcare professionals. In the first quarter of 2018, the organization helped nearly 20,000 people from 23 countries to gain medical knowledge and find a job. Most assistance is provided to those who cannot access courses because of poverty and low social standards, i.e. people in Latin America, Africa, and some Asian countries. In addition, Medic Mobile employees do research and publish research papers. Donations can be made either directly on the website (only dollars are accepted) or through BitGive (Bitcoins).
Can we stop aging? Dozens of researchers sponsored by SENS are working on this issue. They develop drugs and treatments for diseases related to aging in one way or another. Donations are accepted not only in fiat currency but also in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. The project team conducts research in its own laboratory in California studying the treatment of heart and eye diseases, genetic changes and their impact on immunity and protein, cell aging and more.
Help for victims
Crypto donations also help people whose lives were ruined by unfortunate circumstances. For example, Common Collection Canada accepts Bitcoin for charity to help refugees and people in dire need. Common Collection’s official website publishes the real stories of people they rescued: many of them were victims of natural disasters.
Last Door is a Canadian rehabilitation center located in Vancouver. It accepts donations in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency. The organization not only helps alcoholics and drug addicts to get rid of the addiction, but also does everything possible to help them socialize again. The organization’s staff (by the way, many of them are former patients of the clinic) are devoted to their mission of helping patients treat their mental health conditions. In addition to the social support, the center also assists them in finding a job. The Last Door cooperates with public and private organizations and provides various vacancies.
Did you know that even the World Food Program can now be sponsored by Bitcoins? Blockchain’s Building Blocks project was launched as a part of that program. Donations are aimed at helping Syrian refugees in Jordan. For example, women shopping at a supermarket can use cash caches or pay directly for goods at the expense of the donors.
Protection of rights and freedom of information
The Freedom of the Press Foundation has started accepting donations in Bitcoins, Ethereum, Litecoin, and ZCash, which are automatically converted to fiat currency. This initiative is actively supported by the FPF Executive Director Trevor Timm who believes that decentralization is an excellent tool to combat censorship, harassment of journalists and usurpation of power. FPF’s support enables them to cope with the challenges and downsides of the profession.
EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) is a charity that protects civil liberties on the Internet and in the digital world as a whole. Surprisingly, the organization was founded in 1990, when the Internet wasn’t widely available yet. Bitcoins donations have been accepted since 2013. The funds raised are used for policy research and litigation related to Internet privacy violations, software development and more. EFF’s technical team has already developed several interesting tools for security in cyberspace.
The Internet Archive is a non-profit company founded in 1996. It archives copies of web pages, graphics, audio and video, and software. It provides long-term storage and access to data for the general public. In 2016, the library was 15 petabytes in size! The organization accepts donations in various cryptocurrencies, and you can use the Changelly widget to donate one of the supported 150 cryptocurrencies to it!
In addition to specialized projects, there are foundations that collect and distribute donations in cryptocurrency. For example, the BitGive Foundation collects Bitcoin and allocates digital money to projects. Users can find out exactly where the funds were spent. BitGive works with some of the aforementioned projects, too.
Whirl is more like a crowdfunding platform: any user has the right to create and publish a project to raise funds. By supporting the work of other participants, it is possible to raise the user’s rating: the higher the rating, the greater the limits and the better the chances of raising the required amount. The most outstanding Bitcoin charity fund called Pineapple Fund (organized by someone calling himself Pine) has collected 5057 Bitcoins during one year and donated them to 60 charitable sites in different spheres (health, education, emergency aid to victims, environmental protection).
Cryptocurrency is not only there to make a purchase or to be exchanged on a website, but also is the most convenient way to donate. The main advantage of charitable activities based on the blockchain is absolute transparency and honesty. The donor will always know that their funds are in safe hands and that the donated money will be used for its intended purpose. The number of ICO Charities and Foundations is growing month by month, helping people from all over the world.