Currency of the Future? Bitcoin and Nonprofits

If you’ve not heard of Bitcoin, I think it could still be classified as ‘Okay’. But give it another few months, and you’ll be left in the dust. In fact, it’s already recognized as a real word in the Apple operating system (get it together, Microsoft).


Bitcoin, in short, is a decentralized digital currency. If you read our article back in March, it’s likely you have a pretty good idea of what it is. But just in case, you can find a video that will give another explanation here if you want to learn more about it, and really long version of what it is can be found on the official Bitcoin website.


If you read my blogs, you know I’m an avid Forbes reader. And do you know what popped up today as I opened the site? This article. That’s right. They’re telling people how to use bitcoin to donate to charities and get an even bigger tax deduction.


Now before we get into this, I want to preface that you should always consult an accountant, a financial adviser, and even a lawyer before making any financial decisions. Here are a few really important things to note when it comes to bitcoin:


One bitcoin (at press time) is worth over $300. You can see the current exchange rates at this website. There are millions of bitcoin in circulation and an increasing number of people, businesses, and nonprofit organizations are accepting bitcoins as currency. It’s something that is popular across the globe. It’s something that everyone knows about.


Bitcoin is the currency of the tech savvy and the younger generations. Bitcoin was introduced in 2009 and has been something that early adopters gravitate to. It’s a new way of thinking, a new way of purchasing, and a new way of doing business. But hey – Facebook was new way of being social in 2004, wasn’t it?


There are companies who help you accept and also legitimize your bitcoin transactions. Coinbase and Bitpay are two of the most well-known companies that not only help individuals with their bitcoin management, but assist companies and organizations, too. Bitpay will actually process transactions for 501 (c)(3) organizations fee-free.


A competing organization may already be accepting bitcoin. It was big news in September that United Way would start accepting bitcoin. You can find numerous lists online of nonprofit organizations that are currently accepting bitcoin.


Keep in mind that bitcoin isn’t for everyone. If your donor base isn’t largely populated by a tech-savvy, younger donors, it may not be needed. But if you’re looking for a new, innovative way to reach a new group, start doing your research!