Nonprofits often can’t expect to gain a lot from the most cutting-edge technology on the market, but investing in some platforms can have great benefits for these organizations. Donation management software should be a must-have for organizations that rely on fundraising from external sources. But other organizations are turning to surprising methods for their fundraising needs, like accepting Bitcoin, the digital currency that used to be known primarily for black market transactions. However, following the shutdown of Silk Road, the underground trading site, Bitcoin has increasingly become a viable payment option, not just for businesses, but for nonprofit donations.
Why Bitcoin for donations?
Most consumers in the for-profit sphere don’t really understand how Bitcoin works, so why are nonprofits starting to announce they accept the cryptocurrency? As it turns out, accepting Bitcoin can be a lucrative proposition. The Water Project, whose mission is to provide clean drinking water across the world, began accepting the currency in 2013, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported. Since then, the organization has raised more than $30,000 just in Bitcoins. The Water Project records Bitcoin donations as non-cash gifts, which are treated more like stocks.
According to CEO Peter Chasse, it’s a no-brainer to accept Bitcoin. When you start to delve deeper into what the cyber currency is all about, it starts to make sense. It’s very cost-effective for organizations to accept Bitcoin. Coinbase, which processes Bitcoin, provides free transactions for the first $1 million. After that, charges increase to 1 percent, which is still lower than a typical credit card fee. To avoid fluctuations in value, most organizations convert Bitcoins to U.S. dollars immediately after receiving them.
Should you accept Bitcoin?
As The Fundraising Authority noted, accepting Bitcoin probably won’t make or break you at this point. However, there are a few reasons to consider it. If you are targeting a younger, more tech-savvy audience, you could win favor with Bitcoin. In addition, there’s no telling how popular Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could get in the future. Jumping on the bandwagon now may not be a bad idea.
It seems like every day another organization announces that it will be accepting Bitcoin. Wikimedia Foundation, the organization behind the popular free encyclopedia, Wikipedia, recently announced that the foundation begin accepting Bitcoin donations, Nonprofit Quarterly reported. In a blog post, Chief Revenue Officer Lisa Gruwell said that they began accepting the currency at the request of community members.
While Bitcoin may seem foreign, it’s actually enhancing fundraising for a number of organizations already. Could yours be one of them?