Articles and Resources | Bitcoin, Blockchain and Crowdfunding

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This section of my blog used to contain a variety of 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 that have today become more common: 1) Bitcoin and blockchain; and 2) crowdfunding.

In each section, I have listed most recent articles first.

Bitcoin and Blockchain


Bitcoin is digital money used for secure and instant transfer of value anywhere in the world. It is not controlled or issued by any bank or government – instead it is an open network which is managed by its users. Much in the way email improved communication by making it fast and cheap, bitcoin is an improvement on existing payment methods which were not designed for the internet era.

Unlike credit card networks like Visa and payment processors like PayPal, bitcoin is not owned by an individual or company. Bitcoin is the world’s first completely open payment network which anyone with an internet connection can participate in. Bitcoin was designed to be used on the internet, and doesn’t depend on banks or private companies to process transactions. (Coinbase)

At its most basic, a blockchain is a list of transactions that anyone can view and verify. The Bitcoin blockchain, for example, is a record of every time someone sent or received bitcoin.

This list of transactions is fundamental for most cryptocurrencies because it enables secure payments to be made between people who don’t know each other without having to go through a third party verifier like a bank.

Blockchain technology is also exciting because it has many uses beyond cryptocurrency. Blockchains are being used to accelerate cancer research, improve sharing of healthcare records, verify people’s identity, and so much more. (Coinbase)

Carolyn’s Notes

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. You might also enjoy reading the BitGive Blog.

BTC Inc hosts an annual Bitcoin conference. Read about the event via this link.


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.

The list below has been culled to include a few top choices. On a personal note and from the standpoint of a successful major gift fundraiser, crowdfunding requires many of the same types of preparation as traditional fundraising campaigns like capital and endowment campaigns. Crowdfunding should not necessarily be view as an “easy” way to replace major gift campaigns. When done well, neither type of campaign is necessarily easy. In addition, both methods can exist comfortably side-by-side in the context of the same major gift effort.

If you have questions at any time, let me know.

You might want to invest in Devin’s 2013 book, “Crowdfunding for Social Good: Financing Your Mark on the World.”

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