Cryptocurrency Donations and Other Philanthropy Trends

I had the pleasure of attending a recent meeting of the Big Bend Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. It was wonderful to meet again in person to network and discuss giving trends beyond the personal check.

Speakers were J. Dion Guest, Senior Director of Gift and Estate Planning at the FSU Foundation, who spoke about helping donors leave a legacy through a bequest or other gift in their will or estate plan. Liza McFadden, CEO of Liza & Partners, discussed cryptocurrency and financial trends in philanthropy.

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I asked Liza to provide more information on these emerging strategies to help philanthropists, foundations, governments, and nonprofits work together to meet community needs.

Crypto and other trends

Following the money is a sport in philanthropy, and one that is constantly changing. Perhaps the most obvious trends are the impact of crypto donors and the proliferation of nonprofits accepting donations.

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimond once described cryptocurrency as “a fraud” and “worse than tulip bulbs,” but there’s no denying the influence when nearly 10% of Americans own cryptocurrency. cash !

Giving Block, one of the organizations that helps nonprofits accept cryptocurrency, said more than $70 million was donated through its platform to nonprofits last year.

Larger nonprofits like Susan B. Komen, best known for their “Race for Cure,” simplify crypto donations via a drop-down menu listing the types of cryptocurrencies they accept.

Audience-related investments

Another financial trend is the growth of public-related investments, aka PRI. A number of large foundations provide PRIs which are mission or social investments that foundations make to non-profit or for-profit entities with an expectation of repayment but at a very modest rate of return.

PRIs can be issued to support affordable housing, historic preservation, economic development including entrepreneurship and micro-businesses, charter schools, health clinics, and much more.

As an education advocate, one of my favorites is the Lumina Foundation, which describes its impact investing strategy as “promoting racial equity and creating opportunities for learning at- beyond high school accessible to all”. Talk about strategic money management for good!

Social Impact Bonds

A slower trend is the use of social impact bonds. They are a bit trickier to implement. Initially, it’s quite simple: investors come together to solve some type of social problem, and if the results are achieved, a government entity agrees to repay investors at a low interest rate in exchange for designing a project. a program that has a profound return on investment for the community.

Let’s take the example of housing for the homeless, which is a crucial problem. In Anchorage, Alaska, the program, Home for Good, was launched in July 2019 to serve Anchorage residents with persistent homelessness and significant mental health issues.

The results for success? Real, accurate action on reducing the use of emergency medical services by homeless people, real action on coordination between providers and more.

With investors looking over the shoulders of suppliers, this interplay between business acumen, philanthropic heart and government focusing its money on the most vulnerable citizens, creates an interesting triangulation of success factors.

I once heard a beautiful expression: “I’d rather wear flowers in my hair than diamonds on my neck.” So, Jamie Diamond (all pun intended), I won’t bicker about the volatility or capricious nature of cryptocurrency, but I hope some of these errant funds help the philanthropic world.

Mark your calendar for May 19 for a networking event hosted by AFP’s Big Bend Chapter from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Island Wing.

Liza McFadden is an executive advisor to philanthropists and CEOs; she sits on numerous boards, including the Children’s Services Council, The Village Square, the Boy Scouts (Suwanee River Council), and the Florida State Parks Foundation. She can be contacted at [email protected] Notes on Nonprofits is published by Alyce Lee Stansbury, CFRE, president of Stansbury Consulting. Send your comments and questions to [email protected]

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