Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for many people to sit back and help leverage their donations to create as much social impact as possible, a contrast to the over-consumption of Thanksgiving. Typically, charities individuals and employers will offer donation matching around this time of year, where somebody will multiply the effect of a donation to a charity by pledging more money towards it per each donation.
WeTrust Spring, a decentralized giving platform, is now making it possible for cryptocurrency holders to benefit from that same multiplier, by matching ethereum donations to 17 organizations on its platform working on everything from groups that help asylum seekers to those looking to preserve the rainforest. Their advisors range from ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin to Cornell professor Emin Gün Sirer.
WeTrust was founded in 2016 by George Li, Patrick Long and Hoang Nguyen in order to facilitate decentralized tools that empower social impact initiatives. The launch of the Spring platform is fairly recent, having just happened within the last few months.
To celebrate the launch of the Spring platform and to help donors leverage their donations, WeTrust has pledged that through Giving Tuesday (Tuesday, November 27th this year), they’ll match 50% of all ethereum donations to an organization up to $100,000 in ethereum-equivalent funds.
“We’re really excited to help the crypto community connect with nonprofit organizations – that’s why we decided a donation-matching incentive is in order,” WeTrust co-founder and CEO George Li said. “The explosion of cryptocurrency has resulted in rapid growth in crypto donations, and one of the untold stories about the crypto community is that we want to help catalyze positive change. It’s an honor to help our partner organizations continue doing the amazing work they already do.”
This aim to help those who have generated billions of dollars in crypto wealth give back in an impactful and sustainable way has helped them line up 14 new partnerships with dynamic non-for-profits doing interesting work.
Each organization is identified with a specific cause and tangible impact it aims to deliver with its ethereum-funded groups. These projects range from saving 500,000 acres of rainforest with 5000 ethereum (worth almost a million dollars at current November 2018 prices) to digitizing an entire pallet of books for the world’s largest library of free ebooks to hiring an attorney to help African asylum seekers.
One organization that is featured is Open Library, an Aaron Swartz-founded initiative that aims to be the largest free source of digital works, a place where anybody can borrow e-books without paying a cent.
“Open Library is all about exploring how we can make the Library work for the people,” said Michael Karpeles, the lead maintainer of Open Library, the world’s largest online, open-source, nonprofit digital public library. “We see ETH donations as an opportunity to improve inclusivity and democratize our bookshelves.”
Many of the goals are very ambitious, with two organizations looking to raise nearly $1m in cryptocurrency-equivalent each. Several well-known non-for-profit organizations that use technology to help more evenly distribute the future are featured: Code for America, Fight for the Future and the Machine Intelligence Research Institute.
There are also many non-for-profits on the platform that are looking to solve fundamental governance, health, education and environmental issues. Look no further than the Lupus Foundation of America, Lava Mae (which provides mobile shower stations for the homeless in San Francisco), Cavalier Rescue (which rescues puppies), Surgeons of Hope (which sends medical volunteers to provide heart surgery for the children of Costa Rica), and VietSeeds (which helps bring access to college to high-potential Vietnamese students).
There isn’t a specific focus on one region vs. another — rather there’s a diversity of options and interesting projects, suited to a cryptocurrency community that is looking to transcend borders and nation-states.
WeTrust’s Spring platform funnels ethereum to partners that are willing to accept cryptocurrency funds, and allows for the automation of the reporting function for donations (which could potentially be used to track down tax receipts to registered charities). The donations in ethereum are treated like “in-kind” stock donations from a tax perspective.
WeTrust has also done work to evangelize cryptocurrency donations among non-for-profits, offering a guide on how to accept cryptocurrency donations and offering resources to explain cryptocurrencies to charities. The goal is to eventually move beyond just ethereum donations to allowing people to donate funds with different types of cryptocurrencies — creating a decentralized future for charitable giving.