United Way Reveals Why It Became Bitcoin's Biggest Charity

CoinDesk talks to United Way Worldwide's Evan Hochberg about the organisation's recent integration of bitcoin donations.

AccessTimeIconSep 30, 2014 at 9:27 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 11:12 a.m. UTC
CoinDesk - Unknown

united way

United Way Worldwide began accepting bitcoin donations to support its Innovation Fund earlier this month, a move that was widely discussed, given that United Way is one of the largest privately held nonprofits in the world, raising more than $5bn annually.

Nearly 20% of the contributions the Innovation Fund receives are from people employed by corporate partners, including Bank of America, Exxon Mobile, General Electric, ING Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co and the National Football League (NFL). However, according to United Way executive VP and chief strategy officer Evan Hochberg, bitcoin is a way to bolster individual contributions to the Innovation Fund.

As such, Hochberg said that United Way aims to continue to engage the bitcoin community as it seeks to diversify the contributions it receives.

Hochberg told CoinDesk:

“Our engaging bitcoin was a recognition there’s a fast-growing, innovative, passionate group of people looking to make charitable donations based on the interest in using this currency. We wanted to be at the forefront of that conversation.”

The United Way Innovation Fund is a division of the charity dedicated to updating solving global challenges with new technologies and innovations.

Investing in innovation

Hochberg called the integration a pathway for investing and donating to the fund and its larger goal of using technology, relationships and efficiency to power change in the social sector.

He said it was the innovation team that helped steer the rest of the organisation toward a greater understanding of bitcoin and the opportunity the technology presented for United Way’s operations.

However, this is a learning process for the organisation, Hochberg said, not necessarily a point of view on bitcoin. Rather, United Way saw enough potential in the bitcoin community to motivate it to become marketable to that group.

Hochberg explained:

“Our first lend was not so much trying to move everybody as it was making sure that for this small but growing group of bitcoin users that we were early, attractive and engaged. […] Obviously by accepting it, it is an acknowledgement that this is growing in interest and relevancy.”

However, he added: “I would anticipate United Way opening up other parts of our program – other kinds of direct work – through bitcoin at some point.”

Engaging millions

Hochberg said that, for the United Way, bitcoin is a way to bolster individual contributions.

Looking to the future, he said, people want to engage participate in philanthropic work and opportunities more and more. They often do so through their employers, but its becoming increasingly easy to get information and drive their community work as an individual.

He added:

“The whole idea is to engage millions of people to become part of the solution. At the core, that's where our interest in becoming attractive to bitcoin users came from.”

Hochberg also acknowledged the possibility that United Way’s supporters could eventually learn about and embrace bitcoin through its support.

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
A New Chapter of Web3: Solana Unveils Smartphone ‘Saga’; Moody’s Downgrades Coinbase

The most valuable crypto stories for Friday, June 24, 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
How Are Institutions and Companies Investing in Crypto?

From putting bitcoin on their balance sheets to setting up shop in the metaverse, the ways brands and institutions are investing in cryptocurrencies continues to expand.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
Consensus 2022: Hollywood, Colleges, Conferences vs. Crypto

The state of crypto and economics live from Consensus 2022 in Austin, Texas.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
Bitcoin se estabiliza cerca de $21K; inversores esperan evitar otra caída el fin de semana

Los analistas se cuestionan si BTC podrá mantenerse por encima del umbral de $20.000 en un clima de desconfianza entre los inversores.

CoinDesk - Unknown