Donating to charity is a cultural tenet. Do you want to help someone in need, but don’t exactly know how to go about doing it yourself? Donate to charity, and the organization you give to will take care of the logistics on your behalf.
Do you believe in a cause and want to support it? Give your money to a group who believes in the same thing, and they’ll put your money to use furthering the cause. People donate to charity for a vast variety of reasons, but are you sure your money is being used for what you intended?
In 2017, Americans donated over $390 billion to charity — yes, billion. Most charity organizations are passionate about the causes they ascribe to (thankfully), but oversights do happen, or worse, some charities are fraudulent and have serious issues regarding how they operate. If donors’ money is not allocated for what they were led to believe, that leaves a person in need who didn’t receive aid when they could have.
For example, the Cancer Fund of America became infamous for how it mishandled funds. It pitched the idea of direct aid to people with cancer, but the Federal Trade Commission reported that only 3 percent of donations actually went to that aid (and that the aid itself really only consisted of gift boxes and medications people suffering from cancer didn’t even require).
The remaining money went to “the charity’s staff—principally the founder, James T. Reynolds Sr, and his extended family and friends. A trip to Disney World (with a paid babysitter in tow). A trip to Vegas. College tuition for several employees. Ten cars. Dues for a dating website. A luxury cruise.”
Is this what you would give your money for? Certainly not. That’s where companies like Utopi enter the scene, who seek to improve honesty in charitable giving and spending.
Changing the face of giving through cryptocurrency
When asked about the most pressing issues regarding charitable transparency, Utopi’s Chief Experience Officer Eric Westbrook answered, “In most cases, there’s a lack of transparency to how much donated funds go to overhead vs. actually helping a cause. Especially when concerning rapid disaster relief—where funds can easily disappear or fall to wasteful spending with faulty oversight.”
So how does Utopi help improve transparency, ensuring that when a hurricane comes money is not lost in the chaos, or that another Cancer Fund of America fiasco never happens again? They use blockchain technology.
Mr. Westbrook believes a blockchain-based system “could revolutionize giving. Hands down. Blockchain provides the perfect sort of accountability to facilitate charitable giving that you know is having an impact.” If you are unfamiliar with how blockchain works and how it can benefit charities, you can learn more here.
Using cryptocurrency creates a ledger which donors can view, so they can see exactly how resources are spent. Westbrook expands, “The open nature of a ledger shows us where funds go, but also importantly it shows us where funds come from—giving donors the chance to see what their contributions have done and quantify their impact on the world.”
That sounds remarkable, doesn’t it? If you give using Utopi, you don’t have to throw your money into a void, but can keep detailed track of what you have actually donated to.
Your money is safe
But wait—isn’t cryptocurrency a little… volatile? Utopi’s co-founder and CTO, Greg McGregor, wants to put your worries to rest:
“The coins are used for transactions on someone’s product, the expectation there is that when I buy $5 of X I get that amount of service. However, the same token is used and encouraged to flux similar to stock. If we can make the transaction quicker on the purchaser side (Dispatch), then we can achieve $5 for $5 value and the other party that received the tokens, sell, or play the market with them. The blockchain makes things transparent. It will build a level of trust that when I donate $1, I can see where it went and how it made it there.”
You don’t have to already be cryptocurrency-savvy to use Utopi—it’s for everyone. The people behind this revolutionary idea are prepared to help users understand how it works, and engage with the community in unique ways.
They are already recognized by the dApp community, but folks at Utopi want to reach a wider audience “by creating a consumer-facing platform that offers content to an audience eager to consume it. We are not reinventing the wheel, but rather utilizing a rapidly growing technology (live streaming), celebrities and influencers, and a demographic eager to produce and consume content. All the while this creation and consumption goes towards the greater good, aligning with the 17 sustainable goals of the UN and impacting change in major areas such as poverty, inequality, and the environment. Our users will feel part of the solution.”
Utopi is ready to help improve accountability when it comes to making a difference—so do you plan on working with them for your charitable giving?