After educating themselves on cryptocurrencies, the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations are reaping the rewards of accepting charity donations in virtual currency.
The Twin Cities in the U.S. definitely seem to be embracing cryptocurrency. Live Bitcoin News recently reported that the cities, which are Saint-Paul and Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota, are home to several crypto ATMs, which will go a long way to fostering both interest and adoption in these cities.
Now, according to Twin Cities Business, cryptocurrency has once again reared its disruptive head in the state. This time, the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations found themselves at the receiving end their first virtual currency donation and were at a bit of a loss.
Cryptocurrencies Feeding Passion for Charity
The organizations, who share a board, are also Minnesota’s largest community foundation. They are passionate about helping charitable organizations and sharing both resources and knowledge. It is this appreciation for learning that resulted in the foundations working with the donor of their first crypto donation to understand the industry a bit more and to develop policies for accepting these types of contributions.
The vice president of philanthropic services for the two foundations, Jeremy Wells, explained a bit of their process when it comes to digital currencies:
The same concepts apply to cryptocurrency donations as any other donations. Our goal is always to convert any donated assets to cash as soon as they are received. If we can help donors convert their appreciated asset toward the public good, we’re ready to do so.
Because of this approach, the foundations aren’t watching the markets like a hawk as the crypto is traded for cash immediately. This also makes their auditing process simpler come financial year-end. Christine Searson, vice president of finance, elaborated on this:
The IRS considers cryptocurrency to be property. So, like any property owned by the foundations at the end of the audit year, there would be questions of valuation. Our goal is to sell donated assets before year-end so we are not holding property. Cryptocurrency is no different. When donated, we sell immediately.
Using Crypto Knowledge to Make a Global Difference
Going through the cryptocurrency learning process has allowed the foundations to not only be aware of this different way of donating but has also opened the door to other potential donors. Wells said that the organizations had already received a few substantial virtual currency contributions, with more on the way. He added:
The gifts already made and those in the pipeline are of sufficient significance to make our efforts at understanding these currencies completely worthwhile.
The foundations want to spread this knowledge by empowering other non-profit charity organizations through seminars and presentations to understand the industry more and also benefit from this technology. Dave Wahlsted, the aforementioned first crypto donor for the foundations, also praised the organizations’ willingness to understand the industry more. He added that “this is the future of money, not the present of money. It’s good to learn now and be ready”.
When charities begin accepting cryptocurrency donations, they have the potential to gain global support with donors unconcerned about high cross-border payment fees. The next move could be using blockchain to encourage transparency through charity, something that Binance is driving. Donors will know exactly where their contributions are going and will be able to easily track it.
Do you use cryptocurrency when donating to your chosen cause? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of ShutterStock