The world’s largest non-profit organization United Way Worldwide announced it is now accepting donations in digital currency, thus becoming the largest charitable institution to integrate bitcoin.
Coinbase wrote on its blog: “We’re thrilled to enable the Bitcoin community to contribute to United Way’s longstanding mission of mobilizing the caring power of communities across the world to advance the common good. United Way seeks to improve education, help people achieve financial stability, and promote healthy lives through community initiatives and partnerships with major organizations such as General Electric, Exxon Mobile, and the NFL.”
US-based United Way Worldwide is aimed at enhancing education, contributing to income stability and healthy lives. The organization includes 9.7 million donors, 2.8 million volunteers and annually raises more than $5 billion. Moreover, it entered into partnerships with such companies and as the National Football League (NFL), General Electric and Exxon Mobile.
Bitcoin donations will support United Way Worldwide’s Innovation Fund, which is committed to develop projects based on technology, efficiency and relationships to provide the global movement of the organization.
United Way Worldwide’s site states: “All over the world, we’re building stronger communities by improving education, financial stability and health. We create real and lasting change that goes beyond charity by tackling the source, not just the symptoms of community challenges. But we need your support. Achieving our shared vision for the world – where all individuals and families have an[sic] opportunity to succeed – requires innovation powered by new technology and new strategies for expanding our worldwide movement.”
The organization also partnered with Coinbase that is expected to bring new donors by providing an easy way of paying with digital currency. It enables users to make small donations ($1 or less) without charging any fees.
The users who want to make payment are directed to the website of United Way Worldwide, where they can see a bitcoin address to which send money.
In addition, Coinbase customers can make the payment using their account within 10 minutes. Bitcoin is an attractive payment method as it allows individuals to send money knowing that 100% of the donation will go to the organization.
Speaking on the bitcoin legal status, United Way Worldwide explains: “Given the IRS guidance that bitcoin is to be treated as property, donating bitcoin offers compelling tax benefits. Donating appreciated property to charity is an often overlooked tax strategy. It allows taxpayers to deduct donated property that would otherwise be subject to capital gains tax.”
This year, such companies as Sean’s Outpost and Women’s Annex Foundation also accepted bitcoin. In summer, Wikipedia began accepting bitcoins, thus becoming one of the first non-profit companies to include cryptocurrency.
Until now, United Way Worldwide is definitely the largest charitable organization that integrated bitcoin.