When fundraising online, charities are faced with a dilemma: take offline donations, or use an online payment processor and take a hit on the fee. Services like PayPal may have pre-designed donation buttons, but they still charge the same amount for processing.

Now, charities are starting to change. Bitcoin is the ideal alternative to these expensive payment services, since there are no fees for moving money around. And while some payment processors charge for their service, some are taking a stand and processing charitable donations for free.

Promoting the Red Cross

BitPay, along with Coinbase, provide a payment framework for businesses so that they can track and organise bitcoin payments more easily. Bitcoin transactions are always free, but BitPay and Coinbase normally charge for processing services.

The American Red Cross recently partnered with BitPay to take bitcoin payments for their charitable work. It said that it wanted to make it easier for bitcoin users to donate to their work, while also putting its charitable projects in front of a new audience.

But there’s another benefit. BitPay has set up a dedicated BitPay donation page, adding creditability to the donation process. This authenticity is something that bitcoin is perceived to lack, and BitPay’s backing will clearly be a benefit here too. By building a trusted brand, BitPay is helping to improve bitcoin’s reputation and ensure it can be matched with charities that need its resources.

BitPay and similar services also take the risk out of bitcoin, since they immediately convert received funds and deposit them to your regular bank account once a day. The risk of devaluation is completely removed.

Helping Ferguson Library

Bitcoin also helped citizens of St Louis, Missouri to keep community spaces open despite turbulent times. The town of Ferguson has one public library employing one member of staff, yet it was able to stay open through riots and conflict thanks to its sole employee, Scott Bonner.

Bonner knew that Ferguson was volatile, but he was determined to make a stand and provide his community with a safe haven for learning and play. BitPay again stepped in to help. It took donations towards the library’s funding. And, again, it set up a dedicated page to collect monies in bitcoin and other currencies.

Find Out More

If your charity wants a way to collect fee-free donations, take a look at BitPay’s guidance here. Note that BitPay only offers its free service to US-registered charities, so organisations outside the US will need to wait for more developments. However, services like Coinbase and BitPay are likely to be cheaper than other services that your charity is currently using.