A New Era of Giving: Embracing Cryptocurrency

In 2005, RefugePoint was founded to identify refugees who fall through the cracks of humanitarian aid. Over time, we began to develop full-service response models that look at long-term solutions that enable refugees to lead healthy, dignified lives and become contributing members of society again. These solutions, which are continuously evolving and advancing, are what makes RefugePoint unique.

By embracing curiosity and learning, we celebrate the emergence of innovative ideas to bring about positive change. That’s why, in 2021, RefugePoint partnered with The Giving Block and began accepting cryptocurrency donations to support a new generation of donors who want to make an impact through charitable giving beyond a standard cash donation. In a recent survey conducted by Pew Research, roughly 3 out of 10 Americans between 18-29 say they’ve bought or invested in crypto—half of which invested for the first time between 2020-2021. That’s not all:

  • Over 50 million Americans are likely to invest in cryptocurrency in the next year
  • Fidelity Charitable donor-advised funds reported an increase in crypto donations from $13M to $158M over the last three years
  • 83% of millennial millionaires own cryptocurrency

As cryptocurrency continues to expand and change the landscape of commerce and philanthropy, RefugePoint wanted to be an early adopter to support this virtual currency and form of giving. Through our partnership with the Giving Block, supporters can now donate over 25 types of cryptocurrencies, from Bitcoin, Ethereum, to Dogecoin. Once donated, RefugePoint immediately sells and converts the cryptocurrency into USD to support at-risk refugees around the world.

Why Crypto vs. Cash?

By accepting crypto as a form of giving, our goal is to give supporters more ways to connect with our mission. Cryptocurrency is a global payment network and, unlike traditional transaction methods such as credit card payments and ACH, which can take days to process and clear, donating cryptocurrency only takes minutes for RefugePoint to receive. Supporters can verify receipt of their gift from anywhere in the world, and they can donate anonymously. When donating cryptocurrency through our website, supporters can also choose to keep their name anonymous and avoid any enrollment into our mailing lists. Of course, we would love to know  our donors so that we can express our gratitude directly and share impactful program updates, but we respect that some donors want to remain anonymous.

Not only is donating crypto easy, but if you live in the United States, the IRS has classified cryptocurrency as property. This allows donors who give via crypto, instead of cash, to avoid capital gains tax on the appreciated amount and deduct their gift come tax season. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency donations are now one of the most tax-efficient ways to support your favorite cause. Compare this to the alternate option of selling crypto and donating the after-tax assets, which would be subject to a 23.8% long-term federal capital gains tax rate as well as state level taxes depending on where you live. Yikes!

Social Impact of Crypto

Besides its tax advantages for our donors, RefugePoint believes cryptocurrency has the potential to be used as a force of good. In many countries around the world, women face difficulties in accessing funds and generating income – cryptocurrency gives them an opportunity to sidestep these challenges due to its privacy and decentralized nature. 

Cryptocurrencies are held in a virtual wallet that requires a private key to access them, making it nearly impossible for family members or members of the government to take away the account. These wallets also use pseudonyms which ensures a woman’s crypto account is kept private. Additionally, due to cryptocurrency being decentralized, this currency exists outside of government and central authority control meaning any limiting banking rules that women face do not impact their crypto wallet.

Further, in countries where the economy is collapsing or financial entities cannot be trusted, cryptocurrency provides a stable solution to accessing funds. For example, following the 2021 Afghanistan crisis, the country’s economy began to collapse leaving Afghans unable to withdraw large sums. One organization found a solution and was able to send money to female students in Afghanistan via cryptocurrency. Supporting women, especially refugee women, is a big part of our mission, and we will continue to support the cryptocurrencies that make stories like this possible.

Supporting RefugePoint with Crypto

Cryptocurrency donations support all of RefugePoint’s programs, including the Sponsor Circle Program, which was launched in the fall of 2021 to support Afghan refugees, as well as our other programs that support refugees on a pathway to self-reliance and safety. To learn more about our programs and what we do, click here.

At RefugePoint, we accept no barriers to achieving our mission and supporting those at-risk around the world. Accepting cryptocurrency is just one of the ways we make this possible. 

Interested in making double the impact with your crypto donation to RefugePoint? To celebrate The Giving Block joining the Shift4 family, Shift4’s CEO Jared Isaacman will match $10M in crypto charitable donations to nonprofit organizations, such as RefugePoint, on The Giving Block!

Do you have other questions about cryptocurrency? Check out our FAQs here