Two of the most visible charitable organizations in the world are now accepting bitcoin donations. United Way Worldwide and Greenpeace USA have both recently announced they will accept gifts made with digital currency.

According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, United Way Worldwide is now one of the largest nonprofits to embrace cryptocurrency. United Way is using bitcoin donations for its Innovation Fund, Chief Executive Officer Brian Gallagher told the website. The fund will support new strategies for the organization’s efforts in education, health, and other areas.

“Bitcoin is becoming more and more accepted, certainly within the world of commerce,” Mr. Gallagher says. “We want to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to give to United Way or any nonprofit they want to give to.”

It’s appropriate that one of the newest forms of charitable giving is being used to fund innovations in nonprofit work. It’s also important that charitable organizations, along with for-profit companies, remain on the cutting edge of the eCommerce environment. According to Gallagher, the nonprofit sphere has long been behind for-profit businesses when it comes to engaging in the digital environment, and bitcoin presents an opportunity to remain up to date.

United Way Worldwide is using Coinbase, an online bitcoin platform, to convert donations into dollars immediately.

The U.S.-based arm of the environmental organization Greenpeace will now accept bitcoin donations, Coindesk reported. It will use bitcoin payment processor BitPay to facilitate the donations.

For Greenpeace, accepting bitcoin could end up being a significant cost-saving measure. Because Greenpeace doesn’t accept gifts from corporations or governments, the organization relies solely on donations from individuals. It can be difficult to keep operations moving using just small donations from a large number of individuals, especially with credit card companies taking a percentage of the transaction. In contrast, BitPay doesn’t charge a fee for nonprofits, meaning the organizations can keep the entirety of the charitable gift given in this way.

Entering new territory with digital currency

The decision of United Way Worldwide and Greenpeace USA to accept bitcoin donations could represent a big step forward for nonprofits when it comes to cryptocurrency. However, the lack of precedent for accepting digital currency could make it difficult for organizations to measure success.

According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, United Way Worldwide has not set a specific goal for bitcoin fundraising because it has never been attempted before. However, the organization will maintain careful records of the performance of the digital currency, as well as the way bitcoin is being used in the for-profit sphere.

United Way recognizes the need to measure the results of its programs. To increase the effectiveness of projects, organizations can use data to determine success year over year. With the introduction of cost-effective platforms, like CommunityForce’s business intelligence, it’s easier than ever for charitable organizations to keep track of their successes and failures and use this information to continue to improve.

Whenever nonprofit organizations embark on new territory, it’s important to measure the results to enable future success. Business intelligence platforms can allow nonprofits to continue to innovate and improve.