This section of my blog used to contain myriad articles on a wide range of topics of interest to nonprofits. In 2016, I decided to cull and focus it on two sometimes controversial topics: 1) Bitcoin (and Blockchain), and 2) crowdfunding. Perhaps not surprisingly, this page attracts quite a bit of attention and I receive inquiries about it often. My focus is primarily on nonprofit and social good use.
Bitcoin and Blockchain
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a form of electronic cash. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries. (Blockgeeks)
A blockchain, originally block chain, is a continuously growing list of records called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. The Harvard Business Review describes it as, “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.”
If you live in the Austin area or visit on occasion, and you have an interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, you might like to attend meetings of the Austin Blockchain Collective Community Meetup.
TechSoup, “The Current State of Blockchain in Philanthropy” (August 28, 2019).
- BitGive Foundation Blog
- Blockchain Blog, “The Benefits of Accepting Bitcoin as a Nonprofit” (n.d.).
- BREAKERMAG, “73 Blockchain Social Good Organizations That Are Actually Doing Something” (February 1, 2019).
- Candid (the new combined entity that includes GuideStar and The Foundation Center, 2019), “A Scan of Community Foundations Accepting Cryptocurrency Gifts.”
- The Chronicle of Philanthropy, “‘It Just Felt Like a Miracle’: Small Groups Win Big in Bitcoin Donor’s $56 Million Giving Spree” (February 22, 2018).
- Dell Technologies, “Five Ways Organizations Are Using Blockchain For Good” (May 7, 2018), by Elana Lyn Gross.
- Fidelity, “Donating Bitcoin to Charity” (2019). “Fidelity Charitable accepts a wide range of cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple.”
- Steve Forbes for Forbes, “How Bitcoin Will End World Poverty” (April 2, 2015).
- GuideStar, “Bitcoin: What Nonprofits Need to Know and How It Might Give Your Fundraising a Competitive Advantage” (February 27, 2018).
- IBM in its IBM Blockchain Blog writes, “Five trends to shape blockchain in 2020” (January 21, 2020). While the article has a commercial focus, there are nonprofit applications as well, as via the Blockchain and food safety program. You might also like to follow IBM Blockchain on Twitter @IBMBlockchain. And, listen to their podcast.
- Josh Hallwright and Nicole Hahn for Oxfam, “What can blockchain do for the humanitarian sector?” (June 28, 2019).
- Gerrard Hartley for Cryptocoins News, “Bitcoin is Revolutionizing the Non Profit Sector [Infographic]” (2014).
- Pineapple Fund, “From clinical trials of psychedelics for PTSD to teaching kids to read & write, Pineapple Fund is about making bold and smart bets that hopefully impact everyone in our world.” (n.d.)
- “How to Set Up Bitcoin for Your Nonprofit” (July 6, 2015).
- Pinkcoin, a blockchain-based digital asset designed to support charities and nonprofit organizations, and encourage community participation.
- Tanaya Macheel, CoinDesk, “United Way Reveals Why It Became Bitcoin’s Biggest Charity” (September 30, 2014).
- Alan Murray’s Fortune CEO Daily, “Facebook announces plans to dive headfirst into cryptocurrency” (June 18, 2019). “From Bank of America: ‘With more than 2.5 billion users, Facebook and its partners could be a significant endorsement of cryptocurrency and a notable addition to the Facebook app ecosystem.'”
- pwc, “Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, blockchain … So what does it all mean?” (2018).
- Jamie Smith of BitFury Group for the World Economic Forum, “There is More to Blockchain Than Moving Money. It Has the Potential to Change Our Lives.” (November 9, 2016).
- Devin Thorpe for Forbes, “Examples of People Using Crypto for Good” (March 18, 2018). There are other articles in Devin’s series on Forbes.
- Devin Thorpe for Forbes, “New Equity Crowdfunding Site Fundopolis To Emphasize Blockchain” (November 18, 2019).
- Aaron Tilley for Forbes, “Microsoft Begins Accepting Bitcoin for Purchasing Digital Goods” (December 11, 2014).
- World Economic Forum, “Can blockchain serve business, people and the planet?” (February 1, 2018).
Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is the use of small amounts of capital from a large number of individuals to finance a new business or social good venture. Crowdfunding makes use of the easy accessibility of vast networks of people through social media and crowdfunding websites to bring investors and entrepreneurs together.
- Ernest Barbaric, “The Non-Profit Guide to Successful Crowdfunding” (ca. 2013).
- Ryan Brennell for Philanthropy Journal News, “Nonprofit Crowdfunding: A Chance to Go Viral” (February 27, 2017).
- Claudia Cahalane for The Guardian, “Expert Advice: Crowdfunding” (May 3, 2013).
- CauseVox (guide download), “How to Plan a Nonprofit Crowdfunding Campaign” (n.d.).
- GlobalGiving, “CrowdFundamentals: 11 Steps to Online Fundraising Success” (2016).
- Google for Entrepreneurs, “#RaiseYourRound Pt. 1: Crowdfunding, Seed Funding and Accelerators” (January 21, 2015).
- Andy Hamflett for NTEN, “Crowdfunding: From Threat to Friend” (August 22, 2014).
- Kevin Johnson for Nonprofit Quarterly, “Crowdfunding Will Change Philanthropy – But How?” (March 15, 2017).
- Tatyana Kapkan for Nonprofit Hub, “11 Indispensable Ingredients of a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign” (ca. 2014).
- Larry Kim, MobileMonkey for Inc. Magazine, “Top 10 Crowdfunding Platforms of 2018” (August 6, 2018).
- Lyz Lenz for Daily Dot, “Is Crowdfunding the New Church?” (July 31, 2016).
- Eric Markowitz, Inc., “22 Crowdfunding Sites (And How To Choose Yours!)” (June 2013).
- National Council of Nonprofits, “Crowdfunding for Nonprofits” (n.d.).
- NewsFix (CW39), “Is Crowdfunding After Death the New Life Insurance?” (April 14, 2016).
- Christopher Null, PC World, “6 Kickstarter Nightmares, and How to Prevent Them” (November 5, 2012).
- David Prosser for Forbes, “Andy Murray Helps Crowdfunders Smash Their Targets” (March 11, 2016).
- Kim Lachance Shandrow, Young Entrepreneur, “10 Questions to Ask When Creating Your First Kickstarter Project” (June 1, 2013).
- Ruth Simon and Erik Brynildsen, The Wall Street Journal, “Who Benefits from Crowdfunding?” (March 30, 2016).
- Devin Thorpe on GoodCrowd.info, “Crowdfunding Platform Directory” (August 17, 2015).
- Devin Thorpe for Forbes, “Super Bowl Commercials Teach Important Lessons for Crowdfunding” (February 5, 2018). You might also enjoy Devin’s website, Your Mark on the World.
- You want to might invest in Devin’s book, “Crowdfunding for Social Good: Financing Your Mark on the World.”