Innovations in Charity: How Crypto Projects Give Back [+11 Examples]

by | Dec 5, 2023

When you hear the word “philanthropy,” you may instinctively picture a high-net worth donor pledging a large gift to a charity. In reality, the charitable giving landscape also includes companies, giving circles, family offices and other entities. 

The same is true for Crypto Philanthropy, the growing movement that uses cryptocurrency as a force for social good. 

Just as there are individual crypto donors making an impact, there are also plenty of companies, projects, and foundations in the sector that want to better the world through acts of charity.

Read on to learn about the kinds of impact made possible by companies, DAOs and NFT projects in the crypto ecosystem:

Corporate Social Responsibility

Effective corporate social responsibility can take many forms, as we’ve seen (and championed) with numerous crypto businesses and projects. 

They have made charitable donations, pledged proceeds from specific initiatives to nonprofits, or even created entire divisions that are devoted to social impact. 

Here are five prime examples:

1. Ripple

Ripple is one of the companies responsible for putting Crypto Philanthropy on the map within the crypto community and among the general public. 

Its co-founder Chris Larsen is a philanthropist in his own right, supporting causes like education and small business relief. 

Meanwhile, Ripple has been actively involved in making a positive difference through Ripple Impact, its social impact generator. It has matched donations for Maui hurricane relief, and pledged millions for numerous charitable causes. 

2. 1inch

Crypto Philanthropy isn’t just a donor-led movement, it’s an ever-growing ecosystem of ideas and solutions that use blockchain for good. Case in point? 1nch’s integration with The Giving Block.

When 1inch placed a donation link on its homepage, it became one of the first Decentralized Finance (“DeFi”) platforms to encourage crypto users to be a part of the giving landscape.  

Through this initiative, the 1nch community has donated crypto valued above $2 Million to nonprofit organizations. Visionary projects like 1inch’s charity integration harness the power of the crypto community for social impact.

3. Brave

Brave is an internet browser that plays an important role in the crypto ecosystem, in part through its secure browser and by providing a crypto wallet that can be used for payments. 

Brave’s native BAT token and can even be donated to charity via The Giving Block. 

In 2021, the Brave team collaborated with The Giving Block to launch the Brave Ad Grants program, which provided free ad grants to nonprofit organizations like The Tor Project and Code to Inspire that accept cryptocurrency donations. 

The program reflects the Brave team’s desire to use their innovative technology for good, and has provided tens of thousands of dollars worth of ad free advertising per month to select charities for the duration of the initiative.

4. Polkadot

Polkadot is another major crypto company that supports charitable giving. 

Co-Founder Gavin Wood and his company have, respectively, donated millions of dollars in value in the form of the $DOT cryptocurrency (the Polkadot ecosystem’s native asset) to the Ukraine government. 

By working with the Ukrainian government to set up a DOT wallet, they enabled many Polkadot users and DOT holders to make donations. 

Clearly, the sky’s the limit for the possibilities of CSR among crypto businesses.

Social Impact DAOs

What’s a social impact DAO? Imagine a group of people united by a common cause, pooling together resources to donate cryptocurrency while working out the details in a digital forum. (Kind of like a nonprofit based on the internet.)

For DAOs (or Decentralized Autonomous Collectives), which are a crypto invention, governance and decision-making is often done via proposals that are voted on by members. 

Impact DAOs practice a form of giving that’s unique to crypto, as this kind of non-hierarchical collective philanthropy is rare in other spaces. 

(Note: While not every DAO is a “social impact DAO,” many DAOs exist for other reasons but still come together to make a social impact.) 

Check out these examples of DAO-driven charitable giving:

5. UkraineDAO

When the conflict began in Ukraine in early 2022, the crypto community was quick to use their holdings for charitable purposes. 

Several DAOs formed in response, including UkraineDAO, which has donated more than $7 Million in crypto. Recipients include the Ukrainian government and organizations like Come Back Alive, helping the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Outright International’s Ukraine Fund supporting the LGBT community.

6. Big Green DAO

As the “first non-profit led philanthropic DAO,” Big Green DAO is Kimbal Musk’s bold experiment in nonprofit governance. 

Bringing together nonprofit leaders and donors, Big Green DAO helps solve food insecurity issues by collective decision-making to determine how funds are distributed. To date, it has provided $2,200,000 to grantees.

7. VitaDAO

VitaDAO is focused on advancing longevity sciences, primarily through funding research efforts. The DAO’s community includes researchers, technologists, and longevity enthusiasts who are committed to working together to tackle aging. 

To date, VitaDAO’s community has granted more than $4 million in research funding to 20 organizations and research projects.

NFT Philanthropy

One of the most effective and inspiring forms of Crypto Philanthropy uses art as a vehicle for social impact. We’re talking, of course, about non-fungible tokens (aka “NFTs”) and their role in supporting charitable causes. 

NFT creators have been highly supportive of nonprofits, helping raise and/or donate millions of dollars to these organizations in recent years. 

Explore some of the many examples of NFTs used for good:

8. Yuga Labs

The Yuga Labs team is the creative force behind blue-chip NFT collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Otherside. 

As their collections exploded in value and popularity, the team made several impactful crypto donations to Orangutan Outreach, a nonprofit that rescues and rehabilitates Apes in Borneo and Sumatra. The transformational gifts led the nonprofit to fully commit to its then-new crypto fundraising program—even using a Bored Ape “Julius” as its unofficial mascot. 

(P.S. Charities using The Giving Block can accept ApeCoin donations!)

9. Nyla Hayes

Nyla Hayes is a teenage NFT creator who has netted millions from her unique hand-drawn collections. Nyla’s work has brought her attention from media, a large following from NFT collectors, and an opportunity to use her platform for good. 

Nyla has donated some of her proceeds to charity and has collaborated with TIME Magazine and Fidelity Charitable on NFT charity fundraisers.

10. Hackatao

The creative duo known as Hackatao is one of the pioneering groups in the crypto art movement. They also have been on the cutting edge of crypto philanthropy.

In October 2022, Hackatao donated 39 ETH (worth about $50,000 at the time of donation) to Outright International. This generous gift showcases the potential for web3 artists to give back and support causes they’re passionate about.

11. Jack Butcher 

Jack Butcher’s crypto fundraisers have helped bring more attention to the power of NFTs in philanthropy. 

Jack has launched several collections to raise money to provide women and children with basic needs in Afghanistan and to serve meals to combat food insecurity in the United States. Nonprofits like CARE and Feeding America have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in crypto through Jack’s efforts.

Discover the rise of NFT fundraising. Learn more about this creative new trend in crypto philanthropy.

Crypto Philanthropy: Easy, Impactful and Secure

One of the best use cases for crypto? Donating it to support a good cause. 

Your project, DAO or company can join a growing community of crypto builders, founders and visionaries helping crypto become the world’s greatest force for good. 

Partner with us or give directly to a charity on our donation marketplace.

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