Case Studies & Testimonials » The Water Project

The Water Project Testimonial | The Giving Block

How raising $4 million in crypto donations has transformed The Water Project’s impact

The Water Project was one of the first nonprofits to accept bitcoin donations. It turned to The Giving Block to increase its visibility and enable more options for crypto donors. Today, this mid-sized nonprofit has built a reliable crypto donation revenue stream, raising millions in crypto to further its mission.


Average annual crypto donation volume in the past three years


Average donation size received via The Giving Block


All-time donation volume raised using The Giving Block


Since 2006, The Water Project has provided reliable water projects to communities in sub-Saharan Africa suffering from a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation.

Make a gift to support The Water Project’s “Built By Crypto” fund today. Give now →

How does a relatively small nonprofit like The Water Project raise millions in crypto donations?

The Water Project raises 99% of its revenue from charitable contributions and grants, with growing support from cryptocurrency donors. (In 2021, for example, crypto donations provided The Water Project with an incredible 32% of its annual revenue.)

Here’s a brief timeline of their journey into crypto fundraising:

After welcoming bitcoin donations in 2014, an anonymous bitcoin donor made a gift that would affirm The Water Project’s conviction in crypto fundraising.

The Water Project’s CEO, Peter Chasse, was one of the earliest nonprofit leaders to spot crypto donations as a viable fundraising trend.

The premise was simple but profound: a growing user base enjoying exponential gains would want to take advantage of the tax benefits of donating crypto.

“It was a no-brainer. No one questioned the reality of the support we were receiving and the altruistic intent these donors brought, having met a number of them. This was more akin to accepting Venmo than some radical choice,” said Chasse.

So the organization began to accept bitcoin donations, but there yet was not an easy-to-use platform for doing so.

To receive these donations, Chasse had to personally liaise with crypto exchanges to process individual gifts. This process was not ideal, especially at scale, but it worked as a temporary solution.

A few years later, an anonymous donor who went by the pseudonym “Pine” emailed Chasse with an offer to donate $1 Million in the form of bitcoin.

This generous offer was a cause for celebration, as it would make up a notable amount of its annual revenue that year. The organization would use the grant to fund numerous water projects across Sub-Saharan Africa, digging wells, installing hand pumps, and building rainwater catchments.

A sampling of The Water Project’s initiatives funded by the Bitcoin grant from The Pineapple Fund

However, the difficulty of accepting this donation—which again required jumping through a few bureaucratic hoops—made Chasse and his team decide to find a more reliable platform for accepting crypto donations.

After researching solutions and navigating board member concerns, The Water Project was ready to fully unleash the potential of crypto fundraising.

In 2020, Chasse and his team reached out to The Giving Block to learn more about its crypto fundraising platform for nonprofits.

They learned about what kinds of headaches they could avoid in the future by using a comprehensive, secure crypto donation form with features such as:

  • An easy to embed online donation form
  • Support for multiple cryptocurrencies
  • Emailed gift acknowledgments to crypto donors
  • Automatic liquidation from crypto to cash

The Giving Block’s streamlined donation form would enable The Water Project to actively direct donors to a crypto giving form on their website.

Before signing up, Chasse would have to get approval from the nonprofit’s board of directors. Because previous solutions had not been ideal, the board initially had some doubts. But it liked The Giving Block’s unique approach to crypto philanthropy, which provides strategic guidance, expert resources and viral campaigns to grow crypto philanthropy into a larger movement.

“We joined The Giving Block for the community. We learned very early that finding platforms to speak to this emerging group was going to be key. The Giving Block brought not only helpful tools, and regulatory understanding, but a plan to get their portfolio of clients in front of the right people,” said Chasse.


The organization conducted a review of its gift acceptance policy, made a few necessary amendments, and was finally ready to commit.

Equipped with the tools to succeed, The Water Project would begin to establish its crypto fundraising program on a bigger stage.

Using every available opportunity to steward crypto donations, The Water Project has raised millions from crypto donors.

Once The Water Project was fully onboarded with The Giving Block, their first step was making sure their form was easily accessible on their website. 

Simple choices, such as linking to this form in the top navigation bar, make a world of difference for their crypto donors. 

With the guidance of The Giving Block’s fundraising team, The Water Project’s crypto giving page ranks in the top five search of Google results for queries like “donate crypto to water charity.” 

This is the result of a thoughtful approach to SEO, which inspired them to use relevant keyword queries through the page, such as in the headline and meta title.

The Water Project’s crypto giving form is paired with an image that is evocative of its mission

Chasse and his team also understood that crypto was growing in popularity, and that many of their current supporters might be crypto investors. So instead of downplaying their crypto friendliness, they regularly mention it in The Water Project’s donor newsletter and on social media platforms like X. 

These efforts to be discoverable by crypto donors soon paid off. When The Giving Block announced a donor match campaign in Spring 2022, Chasse and his team were able to move quickly and hold conversations with crypto investors in their network. 

When all was said and done, The Water Project received crypto donations valued at $1 million which was matched, bringing their campaign fundraising total to $2 million in value. 

“This donation is transformative in that it allows an organization like ours to know what we have to count on. Big gifts like this allow us to not only have the hope and faith, but the certainty to move forward in communities and take some bold steps,” said Chasse.

The Giving Block signature year-end campaigns, like its annual Crypto Giving Tuesday initiative, provide additional touchpoints for The Water Project to reach potential crypto donors.

With millions raised from crypto donors so far, Chasse wants to do more to make his supporters feel empowered by their generous donations to The Water Project.

Looking ahead, crypto philanthropy will play a major role in the organization’s bright future.

Over the past few years, crypto donations have accounted for a large portion of The Water Project’s annual revenue, mostly in the form of major gifts. But no matter how big or small, every crypto donation can make a lasting difference for the communities they serve.

Heading into 2024, The Water Project is even more excited about the potential for crypto donors to further impact its mission.

It recently launched a new crypto-only fund, Built by Crypto, that would track the support and effect of crypto philanthropy on future water projects. Donors can even earmark if their donations are to be held as an investment. 

While the nonprofit sector continues to struggle with donor engagement, The Water Project has a revenue stream—crypto philanthropy—that can help sustain its mission for years to come.

Can your nonprofit replicate The Water Project’s crypto fundraising success?

The Water Project’s first bitcoin donation was unexpected. But the millions of dollars raised since then have been the result of consistent effort from a small team committed to expanding their mission through crypto philanthropy.

  • Crypto donors are highly charitable. While some prefer to be anonymous, many are open to building relationships with nonprofits organizations.
  • Expertise in crypto isn’t required, but displaying your nonprofit’s crypto friendliness will eventually reach crypto donors eager to support your cause.
  • Raising millions in crypto donations doesn’t happen overnight. But with consistent effort, your nonprofit can boost its major gifts revenue with crypto philanthropy.

Building a successful crypto revenue stream for your nonprofit takes commitment, but can be transformational for organizations of all sizes.

Learn how to build an active crypto fundraising program

The Giving Block is the world’s leading solution for nonprofits accepting cryptocurrency donations. 

Our work has helped thousands of charitable organizations increase and diversify their donation revenue, modernize their gift acceptance, and future-proof their fundraising efforts. 

Talk to our team about engaging a new donor demographic and accepting crypto donations.