Social and philanthropic use cases involving bitcoin have increased over the years, helping to push its adoption. This year, the bitcoin community is aiming to demonstrate once again how important bitcoin is as an opportunity for charitable giving with Bitcoin Giving Tuesday.
Held each year after Black Friday, Bitcoin Giving Tuesday — an extension of the global #GivingTuesday — is when charities, companies and individuals raise money for their favorite causes. Taking place this year on November 29, Bitcoin Giving Tuesday is a new global movement that aims to raise the awareness of charities and individuals about the digital currency.
Woodrow Rosenbaum is Executive Director of Canadian-based GIV3 Foundation, one of the founding partners of the Giving Tuesday movement in Canada. Speaking to Bitcoin Magazine, he said that, when they initially launched the challenge in 2014, the Foundation had a lot of difficulty garnering interest due to the major price drop in bitcoin at the time. Now, however, things have changed.
“We think there is [an] untapped opportunity for charitable giving in the bitcoin community and we would like to help charities understand and benefit from the opportunity,” Rosenbaum said.
He adds that the GIV3 Foundation is looking at plans to relaunch the challenge at the end of November and running it through December.
“Our hope is that we can raise enough to fund some tools and resources for the global nonprofit community,” Rosenbaum said. “That way we can... engage the bitcoin community in Giving Tuesday, so that they can get involved and help build another facet of the movement.”
One bitcoin company that is taking part is The Bitcoin Store.
At the beginning of the month as part of Giving Tuesday, they announced that they would be donating 10 percent of their apparel sales from November 1 to 24 to Ronald McDonald House (RMcH) in Albany, in the Capital Region of New York. The charity, which is dedicated to improving the health, development and wellbeing of children and their families, also accepts bitcoin donations made directly via their website.
After hearing about the digital currency from the NY Bitcoin Group, which facilitated the partnership, the RMcH began accepting bitcoin donations in November 2014. Speaking to Bitcoin Magazine, Julia Patterson from The Bitcoin Store said that, as this was the company’s first time taking part in Bitcoin Giving Tuesday, they wanted to make a positive impact on the world through the RMcH charity.
“They provide extremely valuable services to very ill children and those children’s families,” Patterson said. “As they already accepted bitcoin, it made the partnership a no-brainer.”
The proceeds from The Bitcoin Store will go directly into RMcH’s Family First Fund, which will help pay for supplies and services for the families RMcH serves — such as, formula for severely ill infants and car repairs to make sure children can get to their medical appointments.
Jeff Yule, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region, said to Bitcoin Magazine that the charity has been humbled by the support that the bitcoin community has provided.
“We have raised about $6350 through bitcoin efforts over the past two years, with most of that centered around Giving Tuesday,” Yule said. “My experience is that Bitcoiners are dialed in and pretty discerning when it comes to investing into charities.”
For Gianni D’Alerta of the online Bitcoin merchandise store 51Attack, the BitGive Foundation was a natural choice for him to choose as the beneficiary of his company’s Giving Tuesday Donations, due in part to the “tenacity and experience” of its founder, Connie Gallippi.
“There are a handful of philanthropies established in the Blockchain world. BitGive was the first to become an official 501c3 non profit.” said D’Alerta. “The BitGive team is very transparent with their giving. I also support the different initiatives they have picked to apply their donations to.”
The SENS Research Foundation, a public charity that is transforming the way the world researches and treats age-related disease, is also taking part in Giving Tuesday. For SENS, Giving Tuesday is the day they receive the most donations, which are critical in supporting its programs and the administration of the foundation.
Vice President of Outreach at SENS, Jerri Barrett, said to Bitcoin Magazine that, as more people realize they accept bitcoin donations, there will be more engagement from the public who support their work.
“We have had a number of very generous donors come to us now that we accept bitcoin,” said Barrett. “It is still less than traditional donations — such as via PayPal or check — however, we are seeing it grow every month.”
In 2015, SENS received several matching grants that were specific to Giving Tuesday, and they are hoping to secure additional ones this year. For 2016, the charity has two goals: increase the number of donors who do subscription donations each month, with a matching donation of up to $3,000 per month; and to raise $150,000, which will be matched by the Forever Healthy Foundation. The money raised will support their programs such as their OncoSENS and MitoSENS internal research programs, their external programs, their outreach campaigns and their education programs.