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Heart Kids first New Zealand charity to accept donations in cryptocurrency

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Heart Kids has become the first charity in the country set up to accept donations in a range of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, responding to the impact of Covid-19 on traditional fundraising.

The charity, which supports children and their families living with congenital heart defects (CHDs), is the first Kiwi charity to sign up with The Giving Block, a US-based company, to allow people to donate cryptocurrency to support its work.

The Giving Block provides the technology as well as strategic advice and support to not-for-profits, equipping them to fundraise cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin. It runs fundraising events and campaigns on its platform, raising awareness in the wider cryptocurrency industry of the work done by the charities. It also supports charities to attract crypto donations through their own fundraising and awareness campaigns.

Heart Kids had been looking at a way to accept cryptocurrency payments for over a year but had to wait until all the pieces of the puzzle were in place, including the lengthy process to prove compliance with anti-money laundering regulations.

Heart Kids chief executive, Mark Longbottom, says part of the attraction was a potential revenue stream that was not affected by the global pandemic.

"Heart Kids provides practical and emotional support to families affected by CHDs but receives no government money. Much of our funding comes from events and activities in the community like golf days, bake sales and street appeals," he says. "We’re acutely aware that Covid-19 has impacted not only our ability to hold such events, but also people’s disposable income.

"Because we’re a progressive and agile operation we were able to leap on this opportunity," says Mark.

Crypto donors are often new donors who haven’t donated to a charity before and they tend to be younger. The donations tend to be larger than average and encompass individual giving, planned giving and major giving.

People can donate directly via the Heart Kids website or via the Heart Kids page on The Giving Block’s site. The Giving Block sorts compliance, set up and integration. Gemini provides the exchange for donations, which are automatically converted to US dollars. Heart Kids can then draw down the funds whenever it chooses.

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