“In 2013 we started to dream about how the Bitcoin community could change the world…” These words were the beginning of a powerful three-minute video, presented on Saturday at Inside Bitcoins in Chicago by Connie Gallippi, founder of the BitGive Foundation. The presentation, demonstrating the impact of the bitcoin charity’s efforts in Kenya, served to kick off fundraising for the next phase in BitGive’s philanthropic mission: Bitcoin Charity 2.0.
Produced as a joint effort between BitGive and The Water Project and sponsored by BitPesa and Libra, the video recounts the story of the project that brought a water well, fully funded by the Bitcoin community, to the Shisango Girls School. Located in a remote area in western Kenya, the well is a concrete representation of how bitcoin can dramatically change people’s lives. The Foundation also positioned it as a symbol for how Bitcoin and blockchain technology have the potential to transform global philanthropy.
“The first step was building a strong relationship with an impactful nonprofit that is enthusiastic about partnering with us to leverage the Bitcoin community,” said Gallippi. “We found that partnership with The Water Project. Now, we are ready to take it to the next level and facilitate new ways for Bitcoin and blockchain technology to revolutionize charitable giving.”
In her introduction to the video, Gallippi spoke about the past successes of the BitGive Foundation over its two-year history, including its work with Save The Children, The Water Project and Medic Mobile. She emphasized the role that BitGive has played not only in helping disadvantaged and disaster-stricken areas, but also in spreading the word about the power of Bitcoin and the blockchain.
With Bitcoin Charity 2.0, BitGive has aspirations to scale the organization in both technical applications and global implementation, including a plan to build a transparency model for donations on the blockchain in partnership with The Water Project.
“There has been a lot of talk about the impact of Bitcoin on the developing world, but the investment isn’t going there,” Gallippi pointed out to the crowd in attendance.
“We could start tomorrow on these exciting initiatives and have results right away,” she added. “We just don’t have the resources yet.”
Inside Bitcoins hosted a fundraising drive on behalf of the BitGive Foundation throughout the conference in Chicago. The foundation itself is also holding an online auction to celebrate its second anniversary. All funds raised in these campaigns will support BitGive’s newest Bitcoin Charity 2.0 initiative.
Bidding for the 2nd Anniversary Auction opened on July 8th and will run until the 22nd. People can bid on a wide selection of items, such as Casascius coins (donated by C4), jewelry (donated by Overstock and independent designers), crypto artwork, autographed Bitcoin books (donated by Zapchain and Purse) and music albums. Services such as fundraising consultation and design work, memberships to the Digital Chamber of Commerce, as well an exciting getaway in Maui, are also on offer.
A headline donor for the auction is Overstock.com.
“In addition to striving to improve the quality of life in developing nations, we at Overstock also strongly believe in the empowering nature of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin,” said Overstock CEO Patrick M. Byrne. “It’s satisfying to be supporting both at the same time by working with the BitGive Foundation.”
“What you see in this video are the results we are getting – it’s very real and it’s only the beginning,” said Gallippi. “This can be expanded in so many empowering and revolutionary ways. That’s Bitcoin Charity 2.0.”
“BitPesa was grateful that BitGive let us contribute to this awesome project at Shisango Girls in Western Kenya,” says Elizabeth Rossiello, CEO of BitPesa, which sponsored the video. “We are always looking for partners doing great things in East Africa. BitGive is doing important work connecting Bitcoin donors with worthy projects across the world.”
Established in 2013, the BitGive Foundation is the first 501(c)(3) Bitcoin nonprofit charitable foundation representing the Bitcoin community. Its mission is to leverage the power of the Bitcoin community to improve public health and the environment worldwide. BitGive focuses on charitable giving and demonstrating Bitcoin’s social impact on a global scale through supporting charitable organizations with fundraising campaigns, education, and partnerships.
To participate in the BitGive 2nd Anniversary Auction, visit the auction website at https://bitgive.betterworldcollective.com/auction or follow the campaign on Twitter at #BitGiveAuction and @BitGiveOrg.
Christie Harkin is the contributions editor at Bitcoin Magazine.