For the first time in history, the United States government has recognized a Bitcoin charity as a 501(c)(3) non profit organization. Earlier today, BitGive, a Bitcoin charity, announced this piece of history in the form of a press release. The benefits of 501 (c) (3) designation are not to be understated. Now that individuals and organizations can receive tax write-offs from their federal government for donating to BitGive, in USD or BTC, the amount of donations should increase drastically. BitGive’s stated mission is to “leverage the power of the Bitcoin community to improve public health and the environment worldwide.”
BitGive’s Executive Director, Connie Gallippi commented:
One of our first goals was to secure our 501 (c) (3) status, which enables BitGive to provide US donors a tax deduction for their donation and provides a number of legal and financial benefits to the organization. We are very grateful for the expert legal team we have at Perkins Coie, LLP, who provided pro-bono services to establish the Foundation and apply for this tax exempt designation.
If the name sounds familiar, that is because Gallippi is also the name of BitPay’s CEO, Tony Gallippi. BitPay provides free Bitcoin processing to charities, and even offers their basic plan for free to any merchants, charities, or services interested in giving Bitcoin acceptance a try. 501 (c) (3) status will allow BitGive to move forward with all the chug-a-chug determination of a bullet train running at top speed in attaining their goals:
- Establish a multi-million dollar investment fund to provide sustainable support to the BitGive organization and its mission.
- Make financial contributions to sound and effective organizations that are working to improve public health and the environment
BitGive’s Previous Projects
Earlier in 2014, BitGive donated 1 BTC to Team Rubicon to aid in tornado relief efforts. Team Rubicon is a fellow non profit organization that sends veterans to support disaster relief efforts. BitGive’s donation was used to assist in the repair and relief efforts for the American Mid-West’s Spring 2014 tornado season. As a probable result of their partnership with BitGive, Team Rubicon now maintains their own Bitcoin donation webpage.
In January of 2014, BitGive worked with Save the Children to provide aid to children effected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. In one day, BitGive and other Bitcoin users were able to raise $4,850 USD for Save the Children’s Phillippines Typhoon Haiyan Children’s Relief Fund. BitGive also led the charge to include a charity drive in the increasingly popular annual event: Bitcoin Black Friday.
BitGive’s Current Project
BitGive is currently working with The Water Project to raise $10,000 USD worth of BTC. The Water Project provides for clean, safe water in the sub-Saharan African region. In BitGive’s first official fundraiser as a fully-designated non profit organization, the target has already been reached 75% thanks to help from BitPay, Xapo, Libra Tax, and Bitcoin entrepreneur Roger Ver. The previous list of donors are also referenced as BitGive’s Founding Donors. BitGive is still looking for other Founding Donors. Beyond that, if donating to public health and the environment using Bitcoin sounds like something to do, maybe becoming a Founding Donor is something you may want to consider.