Doing Good with Crypto: Bitcoin Charities and Nonprofits

News Jul 8, 2020

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are often seen as speculative assets that can make people a lot of money in a very short time. This may have proven true in some cases, but the revolution in creating and exchanging value brought about by digital currencies is so new and relatively unknown that its many possibilities are still being explored—possibilities that often stretch beyond simple profit-making. Perhaps uniquely in history, the rise of this new type of money has coincided with other movements around the globe, from Hong Kong to Minneapolis, which are reimagining the societies we live in, and fits neatly into the historical tradition of social progress through charitable organizations. While Coinmap doesn't necessarily endorse any of the groups listed here, this post aims to share just some of the many charities that accept Bitcoin and altcoin donations. So whether you want to donate bitcoin to charity or perhaps you want to accept cryptocurrency donations yourself, we hope that this will show the unique possibilities that arise when crypto meets nonprofits.

Why crypto matters and why charities accept cryptocurrency donations

Though the crypto industry is now a multibillion-dollar industry with millions of users with their own motivations, the people behind the early days of Bitcoin were mostly driven by selfless impulses. To simplify a great deal, they felt that giving more people more direct control over their money would build a community free from interference in terms of who can spend their resources, where money can and can't go, and the simple cost of doing business. Even today, well after the early phase of Bitcoin, many individuals and companies in the crypto space still recognize that virtual currencies can be a major force behind solving many social problems: for example, Coinmap's parent company, Invity, believes that bringing new users into the crypto space will lessen financial inequality and offer more opportunities for people to build the communities they envision. If you do need a bit of self-interest, though, donating crypto may also be a good move when it comes to filing your crypto taxes.

Similarly, charitable organizations have long been driven by people with altruistic visions of improving the world around us. People around the world probably agree with many of these aims—whether it's feeding hungry children or saving the rain forest—but a widespread means to support these movements hasn't existed, whether due to lack of transparency about where funds actually go, or simply a lack of infrastructure for accepting public support. When it comes to more controversial topics like Russian political dissidents or the Rojava struggle to build a state, national and international restrictions on finances often make it difficult to gather funds efficiently. The online nature of Bitcoin and other digital currencies bridges this gap: anyone from anywhere can learn about and immediately give to a cause they believe in. And thanks to the cryptographic nature of Bitcoin and its relatives, when set up correctly this process can be completed with with transparency regarding where the funds go, relative anonymity on the part of the giver, and low to no transaction fees.

Nonprofits and charities that accept Bitcoin donations

The Red Cross is just one of many organizations that accept Bitcoin charitable contributions.
USS Gunston Hall helps in Haiti relief by DVIDSHUB, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Unfortunately, the fact that Bitcoiners and do-gooders have a lot in common doesn't mean that crypto is a standard method of accepting contributions—yet. So finding organizations that are both reputable and easy to use from the crypto perspecitve can be tough. Luckily we've collected a number here, some of which aggregate the crypto portions of larger organizations.

BitGive - This was the first blockchain-based nonprofit of its kind, and focuses as much on making technological innovations as it does on making a difference in the world. They focus on a number of projects in public and environmental health, and their founder and executive director can teach us a lot about how crypto can be used for social good.

BitPay - This company was founded to make spending and accepting crypto easy companies of all kinds, including an impressive selection of nonprofits. Thanks to this processing platform, the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, and the Wikimedia Foundation can accept Bitcoin and three other major cryptocurrencies.

The Giving Block - This site also brings together dozens of charities that accept Bitcoin donations, including well-known names like Save the Children, Hope for Haiti, and No Kid Hungry. The best part is that if you donate through their widget, you'll get a tax receipt that makes writing off your donation easy.

Direct Relief - Focusing on disaster and poverty relief, this organization has a long reach and a crowdfunding-inspired ethos that no amount is too small to help others.

Bail Bloc - Perhaps the most innovative organization on this list, users can "donate" part of their computer's power to create Monero, a secure, private, and untraceable crypto. This newly mined crypto then goes toward paying the bail bonds of people in pretrial or predeportation detention.

Unicorn Riot - An independent, noncorporate media organization reporting around the United States. Their live feeds were particularly visible during the early days of the racial justice protests in the summer of 2020. They accept Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.

If none of these are particularly close to your heart, some simple googling including the name of your cause and "Bitcoin" will probably reveal a lot more options than you might expect!

Whatever good deed you want your Bitcoin generosity to do in the world, you still need to get into the world of crypto first. Our sister site, Invity, is the best way to do so: with a Buy crypto feature that allows purchases using a debit or credit card or any number of other payment options and an Exchange crypto feature that gives you access to many of the world's altcoins at the best rates, it's never been easier to add crypto to your changemaking toolkit.

Cover photo: EXPO 2015. Mangiare tutti by Marco, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Coinmap gives you the best places in the world to spend cryptocurrencies. But before you spend crypto, you have to get some: our companion project gives you the best all-in-one place to buy, exchange, and save digital currencies.