Charities have not been a trustable source for the longest time now, as even in the report published in 2015, it is mentioned that people’s trust in charities is falling. This is because of the scandals related to money extortion and other criminal activities in the name of charity being revealed now and then. Many organizations run in the name of a non-profit but are just a source of unorthodox activities. Due to the scams and scandals being unearthed related to charities, people have now lost faith in donating to a good cause.
Blockchain, on the other hand, has become one of the most reliable ways to facilitate transactions in the present world for several reasons – transparency, traceability, and immutability being the prime merits. The transactions carried out through a blockchain are completely encrypted and trustless,i.e., the blockchain transactions do not require ‘trust’ as an element in transactions, given its decentralized network of nodes that validates each transaction using consensus mechanisms.
Blockchain not only offers capital benefits to the users but because of its limitless data storage and security potential, relief campaigns and charity drives can even use it as a secure platform to store important data. Details of affected areas, relief camp residers, distribution data, requirements, etc., can be stored on the blockchain.
Traceability and Accountability
Blockchain transactions are also completely traceable since every transaction is related to a unique transaction id and is stored in the blockchain network. The transactions can be traced back to the donor or the charitable cause. With the blockchain transactions being easy to carry out, people can donate to relief campaigns and charity drives directly, and the scandalous mediators can be removed from the equation. Charities and relief campaigns face the problem of underfunded administration because people are not donating. But blockchain is a medium to generate transparency and thus resurrect the images of charities in the eyes of the people.
Blockchain helps with the administration
Most of the time, the administration causes people to lose faith in a cause. Since charities are tax-saving options, many charity administrations used the name to extort money from one place to another. With the blockchain network, the administration can become much more reliable.
With people having transparency in seeing whether the money was transferred to the right place, there can be no extortion. Administration costs can be cut down with the process becoming completely automated, and even the transactional costs are minimal. With crypto being a completely traceable asset, there can be a proper check of relief campaigns running smoothly and the charity drives becoming more prominent for the cause they were started.
According to an estimate, blockchain can reduce costs from $26 to $15, saving around $15 billion annually for a normal company or a business. As said by Sean Lowrie, “This partnership could lead to the transformation needed in the way money flows through the humanitarian system.”
Blockchain Marketplace for Charities
Another huge expense to the charities is marketing their requirement for a cause. Directly or indirectly, relief campaigns and charity drives must spend a huge amount asking people to donate to their cause. Whether charity parties, banner advertisements, or even word of mouth, these expenses occur from the donated money. With blockchain, an actual marketplace can be created for the relief campaigns that will provide transparency to the donors as they can see the requirements and how their money is being used. Apart from that, blockchain network is spread all across the world and is now being used by millions of people. This means near to no cost of marketing for the charity drives.
For instance, Binance had launched one such blockchain-based donation portal called the ‘Binance Charity Foundation.’ This foundation uses blockchain to provide a marketplace for non-profit organizations to put in their needs according to their cause. The information is then made public to millions of people on the blockchain network, who can see the financial information and the requirements of the relief campaigns. The whole process is traceable, immutable, and reliable and thus, has gained a lot of popularity as well.
Blockchain for relief programs
In 2017, World Food Program started trialling a blockchain-based payment system, which gave them the necessary proof of concept. With the traditional methods becoming cost abusive and inefficient, blockchain provided them with a more secure and transparent funds transfer gateway. Thus, this resulted in WFP using the blockchain in Jordan relief camps, and in 2018 alone, more than 100,000 people were using a Blockchain-based solution named Building Blocks to redeem their cash-for-food.
Such a system allows the concerned people to be recognized through a biometrics-based method in which all their details are stored on the blockchain. They are recognized at local supermarkets and other places through cameras and biometrics. This method provided WFP with a more transparent way to recognize and help the needy and reduced their costs by 98%.
Conclusion on Blockchain-based fundraisers
The main objective of relief campaigns and charity drives is to help the needy as and when required. This whole process becomes fast and efficient with the use of blockchain. Fundraisers can be a great place to start with blockchain integration. With so much money being donated at fundraisers, the administration can ask people to join the blockchain network of the charity to get complete information about the cause.
It can be concluded that with the blockchain providing total transparency to the charitable process and giving proof of need every time a relief campaign or a charity requires donations, the blockchain can be rightly integrated into this process to help charities gain people’s trust again.