Seventy-three percent of Americans say it’s very important to trust a charity before contributing, but only 19 percent say they highly trust charities, according to a 2018 survey by the Better Business Bureau’s Give.org. Even worse, just 10 percent are optimistic the charitable sector will become more trustworthy over time. (And who can blame them, given that the president’s own charitable foundation has been accused of engaging in “a shocking pattern of illegality”?) But Connie Gallippi—founder and executive director of the BitGive Foundation, the first (and apparently only) bitcoin 501(c)(3) nonprofit—thinks we can improve the public’s faith in charities. The solution? Why, blockchain, of course.
Gallippi, who has a background in environmental work, founded the Sacramento-based BitGive in 2013. The organization early on partnered with nonprofits such as Save the Children and the Water Project, facilitating bitcoin donations to those charities. In fall 2017, BitGive introduced the beta version of GiveTrack, a blockchain-based, open-source donation tracker, and last December, GiveTrack 1.0 went live. The platform, which currently has four featured projects, allows donors to follow their bitcoin donations step by step, thereby boosting the organizations’ transparency and accountability and, Galippi hopes, the public’s trust.