BitGive Foundation, the first bitcoin 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has today launched GiveTrack 1.0 and is supporting four new non-profits to give bitcoin in its Global Bitcoin Fundraiser.
Founded in 2013, BitGive's GiveTrack 1.0 is the latest version of its bitcoin donation platform designed to boost transparency in the donation process, enabling donors to give directly to the causes they care about. Last October, BitGive went live with the beta version of GiveTrack.
Launched at the Latin American Bitcoin and Blockchain Conference in Santiago, Chile, Connie Gallippi, founder and executive director of BitGive, said that she's hoping the platform will improve the way people give to charities, delivering more impact at the ground level.
This technology provides the opportunity to not only fundraise globally without borders, it offers the ability to move funds across the world much faster and cheaper than traditional methods, all while providing a public transparent path of the funds, thereby increasing accountability, she said. With all of these benefits, nonprofits can do a lot more, sooner, and with more transparency to their donors and the public.
Since the beta version of GiveTrack, the process from then to now has been a whirlwind, according to Gallippi. She explained that soon after the launch, the bull market saw them receiving generous donations, allowing them to use the funds to grow the team and tackle some of the major challenges to bring GiveTrack to the next level. Some of these included those within the technical and regulatory arenas.
"We hit the ground running with development in May, and it's been a wild ride throughout the year," Gallippi added. "We had many challenges, some we knew about, most were unexpected along the way, and some were terribly timed. Regardless, the team really rallied in every way, and we are very excited to be able to bring this new platform live in time for the holidays."
Since its founding five years ago, BitGive seems to have reached a level of maturity where it's able to leverage the transparency aspects of bitcoin and the blockchain. Answering this, Gallippi said they are "uniquely positioned to take this on and drive the concept forward." However, she noted that the ecosystem and the regulatory environment needs to catch up to their vision and what's possible with the technology.
In line with the launch of GiveTrack 1.0, BitGive also announced its Global Bitcoin Fundraiser, which will support four new non-profits on its platform: Code to Inspire, Desafio Levantemos Chile, América Solidaria and Run for Water. In order to kick off the campaign, RSK, an open-source smart contract platform, and Bloq, a multi-network, multi-chain and multi-token blockchain company, are both donating $5,000. This will be evenly spread across the non-profits, helping to jumpstart their fundraising goals.
Code to Inspire, the first coding academy for girls in Herat, Afghanistan, is fundraising to provide their 2019 class of students with updated computers, faster and more modern equipment, in addition to upgrading the internet connection and speed to boost productivity and the learning process.
We look forward to working with BitGive, as we see Bitcoin and blockchain technologies having a bright future in philanthropy, said Fereshteh Forough, founder and CEO of Code to Inspire. By utilizing the GiveTrack platform, we're able to target a network of charitable donors in the cryptocurrency space, which will give us greater opportunity to achieve our broader goals.
Desafio Levantemos Chile, which is aiming to provide over 390 low-income children with sports equipment, is delivering an alternative sporting outlet so they stay away from crime and drugs. América Solidaria, which works directly with the poorest and underprivileged communities in the Americas, is raising money to develop leadership skills among those aged between 10-24 to become agents of social change that address the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
The fourth non-profit, Run for Water, is tackling the water crisis in Africa by providing access to clean water in local communities of Ethiopia. It is raising funds to bring the community of Waraba, Ethiopia, an underground freshwater spring.
When looking at non-governmental organizations (NGOs), BitGive typically seeks out those with a variety of missions who are located globally and are interested in being at the forefront of bitcoin and the blockchain, said Gallippi.
"For this particular launch, we were also looking for organizations that had some experience under their belts in the non-profit sector for reaching the right audiences," she added. "We also had a special interest in organizations in Latin America since we are launching the platform in Chile. Going forward, non-profits can apply to join the platform and submit projects for publishing."
Despite the current bear market, which Gallippi said may have some effect on their campaign, she believes that the crypto community is quite interested in supporting charities, which are demonstrating real use cases for the technology. For this reason, Gallippi thinks that once bitcoin and the blockchain provide an "unprecedented level of transparency and accountability to non-profits and humanitarian aid funds" it will become the "new gold standard."
It may not be that people are widely using crypto directly for donating; instead it may be that the transparency aspects of the technology can be leveraged on the front end, and the fiat vs. crypto components are in the background and less visible to the donor, she added.
Going forward, Gallippi noted that they have more features and improvements in mind to reduce friction, offer more services and improve the overall experience. BitGive also hopes to onboard additional charities, projects and donors to grow the platform over time. For the long-term, the organization has plans to add more interesting and exciting layers on top of the platform for visualizing and analyzing real-time data to further improve efficiencies and effectiveness of global philanthropic aid efforts, she said.
Previous non-profits BitGive has helped raise funds for include Save the Children, The Water Project, TECHO and Medic Mobile.