U.K.-based blockchain philanthropy platform Alice.si has launched a new social tool that allows charities to increase donations by illustrating to donors what impact their money provides. Considering the low trust and confidence the public have with how charities use their money, it’s hoped that Alice’s new tool will remove these barriers to donating.
Making use of smart contracts built on the Ethereum blockchain, Alice.si, which is in honor of Alice who always seems to send money to Bob and si, which stands for ‘social impact,’ Alice works by freezing donations until charities can demonstrate that they have met their social goals. This then means that when donors give to a charity project on Alice, the donation is guaranteed to arrive at its destination where it will make an impact. If not, donors get their money back.
Earlier this year, Alice received more than $45,000 in seed funding to get its project off the ground, as part of the Nominet Trusts’ Social Tech Seed grant-making program.
The first appeal to utilize the new funding platform is a pilot run by U.K.-based homeless charity and housing association, St Mungo’s, called Street Impact: 15 Lives, which aims to help 15 people out of long-term rough sleeping in London to rebuild their lives. By identifying 15 people with complicated needs such as alcohol, drug or physical and mental health issues, they will be able to get personalized support to get their lives back on track.
Speaking to CCN, Raphaël Mazet, CEO of Alice.si, said that the since the launch of the platform they have had a lot of interest from big and small charities in the U.K. and abroad.
A lot of non-profits are doing great work, but need easier, more immediate ways to feed their impact back to donors, and our tool is one way for them to do that.
With the St Mungo’s pilot due to last nine months, donations raised so far through Alice have helped to start helping three rough sleepers. On its appeal page on Alice, St Mungo’s lists a number of goals it needs to meet before it can receive donations. These include helping the 15 individuals find and keep a permanent home, registering with a GP, tackling substance abuse and assessing mental health issues that they may have.
Donors who give to the cause can track the impact their donations are making and see when the goals have been met and when the charity has received the money. This delivers a heightened level of transparency to a sector that is experiencing a crisis of public trust.
In order to give as many people as possible the chance to donate, donations are only accepted in pound sterling for the moment. Mazet states that while Bitcoin is a household name and Ethereum is becoming well known, there are still relatively few people who own cryptocurrencies.
We wanted to allow as many people as possible to donate from day one. Our plan is to get donors involved with cryptocurrencies over time though, which is why we created an educational geek mode on the site.
Run in partnership with Tramonex Labs, a fintech startup that issues e-money on the blockchain and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which aims to foster innovation in the financial services industry, Alice is applying the blockchain to ‘real world’ money, and is aiming to change how people donate to charities. It’s hoped that with the success of this pilot, the project will be able to scale.
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