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Can Bitcoin or Ethereum Cryptocurrency Fund Your Next ICT4D Project?

By Guest Writer on September 9, 2019

bitcoin fundraising ict4d

While cryptocurrency is starting to become a hot topic among some non-profits, it is estimated that only 1% of non-profits are currently accepting cryptocurrency as part of their fundraising efforts.

Since 2010, Kopernik has received funding from a wide range of sources in order to deliver our mission to find what works and reduce poverty in the last mile. Our funding sources have become more diverse over the years and we receive grants from foundations and governments, and donations from individuals and corporations.

Until recently, we had not received any cryptocurrency donations. This changed in mid-2018 when our friend and fellow entrepreneur Stephen DeMeulenaere, who is the Chief Technology Officer of Quoin Foundation, offered his support to raise cryptocurrency donations to enable Kopernik to respond to several natural disasters in Southeast Asia. He quickly helped Kopernik set up a mechanism to receive various cryptocurrencies to fund emergency response projects.

Cryptocurrency donations for natural disaster response

Over a period of 9 months, Kopernik raised a total of $485,217 USD for two emergency response projects. Out of the total funds raised, 79% came from institutional donors, such as international NGOs and corporations, and the remaining 21% from individual donors.

Among the total amount of donations from individuals ($101,537 USD), $765 USD came from cryptocurrencies – Pundi X, Ethereum and Bitcoin combined. This figure represents less than 0.2 % of the overall donations and 0.8 % of the individual donations for natural disaster response during the 9 month period.

cryptocurrency funding ict4d

While these figures may be disappointing to cryptocurrency enthusiasts, 10 years ago, raising this much cryptocurrency funding would have been unthinkable (the most traded cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, only started in 2009). We actually view this as a very promising opportunity for future fundraising efforts. Here is also another reason to believe that cryptocurrency has significant potential for non-profits, and that is, the virality potential.

Virality of cryptocurrency in social media

Many non-profits, including ourselves, have a limited budget for marketing and promotion, and often rely on social media to share our work with the public. If we look at our twitter statistics, on average, Kopernik’s tweets get 4,233 impressions and 69 engagements (not very impressive). However, our tweet about accepting cryptocurrency donations for the emergency response resulted in 56,579 impressions (12 times the average) and 836 engagements (11 times the average).

Now these are not insignificant figures. While it could simply mean that there are more people in the cryptocurrency community who are more active in social media than the average followers of Kopernik. But, it could also mean that a lot of people in the cryptocurrency community care about non-profit causes – especially emergencies and are an important segment for non-profits to engage with. Either way, Kopernik is optimistic about cryptocurrency’s role in furthering non-profits’ mission.

Has your non-profit organization received cryptocurrency donations? Are you optimistic about the role of cryptocurrency in non-profit organizations? Please share your experience with us!

Originally published as Cryptocurrency Could Become an Important Funding Source for Non-Profits and Gabriella Andries and Slamet Pribadi contributed to the analysis.

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6 Comments to “Can Bitcoin or Ethereum Cryptocurrency Fund Your Next ICT4D Project?”

  1. Capital-R says:

    Please… Don’t get drawn in by the hype of cryptocurrencies. If you tweeted that you had Elvis, Madonna and Frank Sinatra doing a concert, you’d also get a lot of impressions.

    The people viewing your cryptocurrency tweets, are desperate people selling ponsi schemes and praying that someone credible endorses their dreams. They are re-tweeting your credibility for their gain. Not yours. And they have gone all in on a crazy dream that sounds as fabulous as Communism did 100 years ago. And carries all the same hall marks.

  2. Guest Card says:

    Don’t do it. Cryptocurrency fans are looking to leverage your credibility as a real world organisation, to their dreams of a successful ponsi scheme making them rich by bringing cryptocurrencies into the main stream. This is an ethical question. Don’t be tempted by the noise and fame. Don’t sell out to nonsense.

    And if you’re not convinced it’s nonsense – abstain until you know more. Don’t listen just to the fans, or vested interests. Because giving poor people cryptocurrencies is asking them to believe in used lottery tickets as a currency.

    • Cavin Mugarura says:

      A few things to note major currencies used to be backed by gold, not anymore so you might revisit the used lottery ticket analogy, it can be applied on either side.

      If used lotto tickets are accepted as a medium of exchange I see no harm, cowrie shells used to be a currency.

      Television sets were supposed to make us blind, anyone remember blinders that were placed in front of computer screens to protect us from radiation. What else was bad, mobile phones were supposed to give us cancer.

      There’s precedence one of the greatest philosophers to walk on this planet, critiqued writing, in his mind it would creating forgetfulness.

  3. Cavin Mugarura says:

    Thanks for sharing this, I always advise my clients to add crypto among the donation or payment options.

    Obviously the cyrpto donations won’t fill your bank account, but it’s an option.

    Let me make my point using a bad example if I may, The chinese car market wasn’t very lucrative (well according to many experts) VW and GM entered the Chinese market at a stage when vehicle sales were below 50,000 units per year. Five years after the market entry of VW, annual new vehicle registration had not yet reached 60 000 units, translating into a rate of 0.05 registrations per 1,000 people. Don’t ask me about today’s figures.

    Around 2009 or 2010 one of my clients wanted to pay me in bitcoins, and I turned that down, I would be on a beach right now with a glass of pineapple juice.

  4. I oftenly listen about bitcoin from my friend..
    it seems trending.. but I still can’t understand how it works..

    • Cavin Mugarura says:

      In a simple way, it works like paypal the only difference is that the wallet has to be installed on your computer or phone. What is important to make sure none of these get lost, or write down your key somewhere, once you lose this, even a prayer won’t help you recover it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kubGCSj5y3k That might guide you. Bitcoin is the most popular cyrpto currency, but they are thousands out there.