First Charity in Scotland to Accept Bitcoin – DIAS

I spend most of my time explaining Bitcoin and digital currencies to people. Delivering talks, helping people install their first wallet and introducing them to the concepts of sound, censorship resistant money.

Now I want to show you how I am helping a local charity in Dundee take the leap into the new digital currency economy by enabling them to accept Bitcoin donations through a brand-new website!

Dundee Independent Advocacy Service

The charity that I am helping with this is called DIAS. DIAS is a small charity offering independent advocacy services for some of the most vulnerable people in the city of Dundee. They have been running for almost 20 years now and have helped countless thousands of people throughout the city.

Our city needs fantastic organisations like DIAS. Whilst we will all celebrate the huge advances Dundee is taking with the new V&A museum and other burgeoning projects around the city we still must accept that Dundee has some deep routed problems that we have yet to solve. Yes, the city is becoming more prosperous, but is everyone coming along for the ride?

For example, here in Dundee we know that over 28% of children are known to be growing up in poverty (End Child Poverty Coalition) and you only need to travel to certain areas of the city to see that whilst the city is improving, some areas are not keeping up.

Thankfully we have organisations like DIAS that offer support for people when they need it most.

DIAS – Taking Steps into the Future.

DIAS is fantastic at what they do, but every charity needs a little help from time to time, especially in a climate where funding is becoming more and more elusive. That’s why I was thrilled to take a position on their board to see what I could do to help.

This started with two clear aims:

  1. They have a tired and dated website that is in desperate need of an update.
  2. They want to look at new ways of increasing their brand awareness, sharing their amazing stories and raising new donations.

So, I set about working on developing a new website for them, and with budgets being tight, decided to fund this myself. The launch of their new website is now only weeks away!

But beyond just building DIAS a new website I wanted to push the charity to do something a little special, something completely new. I wanted to help them become the first charity in Scotland to start accepting Bitcoin donations, so made sure that this was a feature of the new website.

Why Bitcoin donations?

In my opinion any charity should seriously consider any new potential method for raising donations. After all, it’s donations that help charities like DIAS reach and help more people. Bitcoin and other digital currencies represent a new opportunity for charitable organisations to raise money for their causes from an international audience.

The benefits in this case are clear:

  • There is no downside. It’s easy to start accepting Bitcoin donations through your website.
  • You will pay MUCH lower fees to payment processors for receiving large donations.
  • People from around the world can donate, without the cumbersome process of international transfers and exorbitant fees.

And finally, I make no bones about this, being the first charity in Scotland to accept Bitcoin will hopefully raise the profile of DIAS, raise awareness and encourage other charities to keep pushing forward, keep innovating and continue to explore new funding streams.

DIAS also won’t be the first. Some high-profile charities in the UK like the RNLI already accept Bitcoin donations. It’s now time to show the smaller charities out there that you don’t need huge resources to do the same.

It’s also worth pointing out that this isn’t just a PR stunt. All of us at DIAS dare to hope that we will raise some donations with this new digital currency and perhaps even engage with brand new people from all over the globe. Is this guaranteed? Well nothing ever is, but see above, there is zero downside, so it’s worth the effort.

Bitcoin and Altruism

So why do I harbour secret hopes that we would raise some donations in Bitcoin? Well, because it has happened before, and Bitcoin has a fantastic track record of delivering some really amazing stories!

For example, it’s worth mentioning the Pineapple Fund. This is a charitable Bitcoin fund set up by an anonymous donor who goes by the name of ‘Pine’, who claims to be among the 250 largest holders of Bitcoin in the world. To date, Pine’s fund has donated over $55mn in Bitcoin donations to over 60 charities. That’s over 5000 Bitcoin donated already. The fund is aiming to give away $86mn in total.

Now that’s probably the most high-profile link between Bitcoin and charity, but you really don’t have to look far in the Bitcoin world to find many examples of heart-warming and very often anonymous ‘true altruism’. Sure, the Bitcoin bunch can be a bit evangelical about this new technology, myself included, and drone on for too long about the virtues of this new currency. Thing is, you don’t have to look far to find examples of this altruism being exhibited in real life.

Stay Tuned
So, if you or anyone you know has some spare Bitcoin then please point them in my direction. I would also ask you to please stay tuned to hear news of the website launching and the Bitcoin donations going live! I would appreciate the help of anyone who can help spread this message.

Let’s do something cool. Let’s take a small, un-assuming charity in Dundee, Scotland, help them engage with one of the most exciting and modern tech advances of the past century and make something magical happen.

Here’s hoping.

Thanks for reading,

Rick

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