We have seen a number of examples recently that perfectly illustrate how Bitcoin’s ease-of-transaction feature could revolutionize donations and charities.
First, there was last weekend’s example of the college student who held up a QR code and Bitcoin wallet address on ESPN’s College Gameday, prompting some $26,000 in donations for the sake of sheer novelty.
Second, an ongoing campaign for/conversation about Florida homeless outreach Sean’s Outpost saw one user donate more than $7,000 in Bitcoins directly through Reddit.
And, of course, Bitme was able to raise more than $60,000 in Bitcoins (at current prices) for Philippine typhoon victims.
M.K. Lords at Bitcoin Magazine has a thoughtful analysis on Bitcoin donations. One campaign she highlighted was called Hoodie the Homeless, in which users could contribute Bitcoins to outfit homeless people with warmer clothes.
It turns out that the same mechanism that allows scary money launderers and online drug dealers to operate also allows the seamless donation of funds directly to those who need it (or at least those who ask for it).
One added benefit for the homeless, Lords points, is Bitcoin’s security. As someone without a home in which to store valuables, a homeless person is often very vulnerable to theft. Bitcoin, however, allows a homeless person to accumulate and safeguard wealth without the threat of it being taken by force.
Elsewhere on the donations front, The Document Foundation — creator of the free software suite LibreOffice — announced that it is accepting Bitcoin donations. The foundation runs entirely on donations to pay salaries and other expenses associated with putting together a free alternative to Microsoft Office.
Document Foundation co-founder Italo Vignoli told CoinDesk that the announcement alone contributed to an immediate spike in contributions through Bitcoin.