Digital Philanthropy: How Crowdrise And Crypto-Charity Makes Giving Easy

Photo courtesy of BTC Keychain via Flickr.

You can buy just about anything with Bitcoin, from snowboards, to flowers, to a  premium membership to OKCupid. But there are selfless uses to the digital currency as well — notably, it can be donated to charity.

“If you don’t give back no one will like you,” reads growing crowdfunding platform Crowdrise’s slogan. Though giving isn’t necessarily about impressing friends, charity has been shown to make donors like themselves a bit more.

Bitcoin, which we’ve explained in detail here, is actually quite ideal for charities, with the potential to transform philanthropy by allowing direct, unadulterated digital donations.

Bitcoin entrepreneur Miguel Cuneta believes that cryptocurrency as a technology may someday make donations as easy as pressing one button, like a Facebook like or retweet — though it has yet to deliver at the level that it should, notes an article by Carrie Kirby of CoinDesk.

Now, it is almost that simple. Recently, Crowdrise has begun to accept Bitcoin donations through Coinbase, a secure, international digital BTC wallet, making giving easy, fun, and rewarding.

Crowdrise: Connecting BTC with charity

Smart bitcoin holders with coins to spare may want to contribute them to causes they care for. Crowdrise, which has just received $23 million in funding  led by Fred Wilson’s Union Square Ventures, may just be the holy grail for such donors.

Why? Instead of hunting down or researching charities that may not even accept Bitcoin, people can use Crowdrise’s simple platform to identify ideal charities by exploring causes within different fundraising categories. After that, click, donate, and voila – you probably feel better already.

Making giving fun

It’s not just the intuitive navigation that makes Crowdrise ideal BTC holders wishing to give back — it’s also a lot of fun. The social and gamey nature of the website lets users create profiles and earn points by raising money and donating, which can be redeemed for “cool stuff,” says the site.

What’s also oddly engaging is the quirky personality that runs throughout the platform. For example, from the About page:

  • “CrowdRise is way more fun than anything else aside from being all nervous about trying to kiss a girl for the first time and her not saying something like ‘you’ve got to be kidding me.”

  • “If you don’t understand how easy it is to raise lots of money for your cause on CrowdRise, please check out the How It Works page, contact us, or just ask any fifteen year old.”

  • “…tell two friends and one person who you don’t like all that much about the site.”

Now how can you not want to give your bitcoins to that?

Other crypto-charity initiatives

Crowdrise accepting BTC is an example of a growing trend of Bitcoin donation initiatives. Other notable and donation-worthy crypto charity options include:

  1. BitGive: This foundation leverages the power of the Bitcoin community to fund charitable causes based on public health and the environment, having raised over $4,000 in one day toward Save the Children for Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Children’s Relief Fund.
  2. Bitcoin100: Encourages charities to accept Bitcoin by donating the BTC equivalent of $1000 to nonprofits that add a Bitcoin payment option to their websites.
  3. GiveDirectly: Allows donors to transfer money directly to the extremely poor, also by accepting BTC donations through Coinbase.
  4. NobleCoin:  An alternative digital currency heavily focused on philanthropy that has recently raised over $5000 in partnership with
  5. Clean Water Coin: .1 % of every transaction made within this coin network is moved into a Charity Wallet that funds, which raises funds for clean water projects.

Though risks do exist with crypto charity, such as theft by hacking, the advantages over traditional donations are clear: anonymity, security, speed, and (importantly) a lack of international transfer fees.

In short: Whether you’re doing it to get other people to like you, raise money for a cause you love, or to modestly do your part for the world, donating Bitcoin is becoming easier– and as evidenced by Crowdrise — enjoyable, too.  Why not get involved?

Want to pitch in? Here’s our simple guide to setting up your own Bitcoin wallet, or look for the advanced version on Curiousmatic next week so you can get started right away.

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Jennifer Markert