In November 2015, Fidelity Charitable, a donor fund connected to Fidelity Investments, started accepting bitcoin donations. The goal was to give donors the chance to monetize bitcoin for grant-making and, in 2016, Fidelity Charitable revealed that a whopping $7 million had been donated in bitcoin throughout the year, as reported by CCN.
Now, in an annual report, the organization revealed that the number has been surpassed, as $9 million were donated in bitcoin in the first six months of 2017. Moreover, Fidelity Charitable donors have already donated a total of “nearly $2 billion” since the start of the year, making 2017 a record-breaking year in the organization’s 26-year history, so far.
Pam Norley, Fidelity Charitable’s president, praised donors for meeting people’s needs, whether locally or globally, as national and global events this year prompted donors to provide support for specific causes. She stated:
When there is a need locally or globally, Fidelity Charitable donors spring to action, get involved, and provide support. Donor-advised funds are an ideal way for people to make a difference because they help donors stay nimble to immediately respond to unforeseen world events, while maintaining their commitment to their core giving interests.
The report cites an increase in donations to International Rescue Committee and Doctors Without Borders in the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis as an example.
Although cash donations reign supreme, $9 million in only six months is certainly a respectable amount, taking into account bitcoin’s user base is minimal when compared to fiat currencies.
Bitcoin donations have been making a difference ever since organizations started accepting the cryptocurrency. Back in 2014, both Greenpeace and the American Red Cross started accepting bitcoin donations, as the cryptocurrency means these organizations don’t have to risk dealing with chargebacks. Greenpeace, for example, decided to accept the cryptocurrency in order to combat credit card fees.
Moreover, the Wikimedia Foundation reportedly received a whopping $140,000 in bitcoin donations in one week, while the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), an organization that rescues people at sea in the British Isles, started accepting bitcoin donations that same year. At the time, it claimed to be the first major charity in the UK or Ireland to accept donations in the cryptocurrency.
Even though Dogecoin’s community gets a lot of credit for helping people out, it’s clear that the bitcoin community is more than willing to do so, as long as it’s given the chance. Reports such as the one published by Fidelity Charitable help the cryptocurrency’s reputation, as it proves to the rest of the world that bitcoin may be what reaches out to someone in need, and not a criminal’s best friend.
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