Greenpeace USA, a member of the global environmental organization Greenpeace, has started accepting donations in digital currency thus becoming one of the first charities to incorporate cryptocurrency.
The company partnered with Atlanta-based BitPay that will be responsible for processing the transactions. Besides cost savings, bitcoin integration will provide new sources of funds for Greenpeace USA.
Established in 1971, Greenpeace became a leader in environmental preservation. With a budget of $200 million annually, the organization operates offices in 40 countries. The company deals with such issues as commercial whaling, deforestation, genetic engineering and others. In addition, it places huge efforts to promote awareness of environmental issues by carrying out protest all over the world.
Greenpeace USA online strategy director, Ben Kroetz, said: “As a completely independent organization, we do not take money from corporations or governments and rely primarily on individual donations.”
Credit card firms and traditional payment companies charge nonprofits a 3-4% fee per transaction, the same as commercial companies. Because of that, certain amount of donated money is lost to processing fees.
Bitcoin, which doesn’t include these fees, enable charities to save significant amount of money. The charity receives the entire donation as such payment providers as Coinbase and BitPay do not charge any fees for nonprofit firms.
Elizabeth Ploshay, BitPay account manager, said the company is aimed at bringing bitcoin to such companies like Greenpeace. “For each bitcoin donation, Greenpeace gets 100% of what is being donated, increasing the amount of each donation received,” she said.
Kroetz explained why they selected BitPay as a payment processor. He said: “BitPay’s reputation as a trusted and secure third-party bitcoin payment processor made it easy for us to begin accepting bitcoin, thus opening us up to new markets and donors.”
Bitcoin users consider virtual money present certain benefits for charity organizations, among others faster and cheaper payments. Moreover, digital money provide different escrow and multi-signature services for donors and charities.
Although a lot of nonprofits, such as Sean’s Outpost, were opened by bitcoin users, most charities still not include bitcoin. However, the situation is changing now.
In the beginning of September, United Way Worldwide became the largest charity that accepted bitcoin through Coinbase. Notably, the company raised $5 billion in 2013.
Wikipedia, as well as other software organisations, have also begun accepting bitcoin donations.
Greenpeace is the world’s most popular environmental charity organization, which includes over 2,400 employees and 15,000 volunteers. Its decision to accept bitcoin shows approval for the concept of using digital currencies to raise funds.