By Riley Kaminer
Alex Wilson and Pat Duffy are on a mission to develop the next generation of philanthropy. During the crypto bull market of 2017-18, the duo began to see an opportunity for nonprofits to accept cryptocurrency.
Since then, the argument has become even more compelling – with a reported 83% of millennial millionaires owning crypto. What’s more, 53% have at least 50% of their wealth in crypto, while nearly a third have at least three quarters of their wealth in cryptocurrencies. Compare that to baby boomers, only 4% of which own any crypto.
Wilson and Duffy founded Miami-based crypto donation platform The Giving Block to hop on this trend and unlock crypto donations in the $471 billion market for charitable giving.
Now, the company has also expanded to accept fiat donations through debit and credit cards, as well as the Apple Pay and Google Pay platforms. Additionally, the Giving Block has begun to facilitate stock donations, which brings tax advantages for both the philanthropist and the charity. These new features will be rolled out over the next few weeks, with full deployment by December.
“At the core of what we do, we want to focus on helping nonprofits tap into a new and younger donor demographic that they weren’t engaging with before,” Wilson told Refresh Miami. “Crypto happens to be one of the best ways to do that, but it’s not the only way to do it.”
Wilson explained that the team decided to expand beyond crypto after talking to its users. “We found that a lot of people who own crypto also own stocks. They might also use Apple and Google Pay, which have become pretty popular with younger donors, rather than typing in their credit card number every time.”
“Even though crypto might be their favorite asset class to invest in and store their wealth in, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the only way they’re giving,” continued Wilson.
The expansion of The Giving Block’s platform comes during a bear market for crypto. But Wilson asserts that donations continue to increase. “We recently received our biggest donation ever. And we’re on track to raise $100 million this year, beating the $70 million we raised last year.”
The Giving Block started this year with 1,000 nonprofits using its platform – a figure that has since eclipsed 2,000. Wilson said that most nonprofits on the platform are small to medium sized, although it also counts major charities such as St. Jude’s and No Kid Hungry as users.
The average crypto donation on The Giving Block is around $10,000, according to Wilson. Some 95% of nonprofits have turned on a feature that automatically converts the crypto donations into fiat. But Wilson believes that figure will likely decrease over time as more nonprofits begin to see outsized long-term returns from their crypto investments.
The startup’s team has also expanded from around 20 to 30 last year to 80 full-time employees currently. Earlier this year, The Giving Block was acquired by payment tech company Shift4.
Looking forward, Wilson is excited about a big Q4 – since approximately a third of all donations happen in December.
Learn more about The Giving Block and find charities that accept crypto by visiting their website.
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