Commit Good thinks tokens will offer transparency for donors and support project viability. It’s starting with a housing project in Botswana.
Commit Good is a blockchain-based philanthropy and fundraising ecosystem that has set out to “disrupt the way charities have traditionally functioned.” The innovative charity, which was launched nearly one year ago, uses an ERC20 token dubbed GOOD. Commit Good has recently reached an early milestone by breaking ground on its first proof of concept with the Rentse Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing homes to the elderly and individuals in impoverished areas of Botswana.
Rentse was awarded a grant payable in 58,824 GOOD, currently equivalent to $10,000 USD, from the Currency of Good campaign funded by the Financial Trading Group (FTG), a financial services and investment company. Rentse will use a little over one-third of the gift to build one of 50 desired homes in a remote village of Botswana, utilizing the blockchain as a proof of concept.
Commit Good, a reward-based digital marketplace, directs its value proposition to individuals who are moved to donate but distrustful of the classic business model. That hidebound model relies on chains of fee-generating intermediaries to collect, pool, distribute, and account for donations. A quick look at the CharityWatch Hall of Shame perfectly illustrates the need for change in the form of blockchain technology and the transparency and immutability it promises. Commit Good instead gives donors and volunteers GOOD tokens for their referrals and fundraising efforts. Donate between $25 and $99, for example, and get 2 tokens (kind of like getting a PBS tote bag during a pledge drive).
Commit Good is also striving for the cost-efficiency that is central to the blockchain concept. The decision to make grants is made by consensus; the Commit Good user base votes on the most impactful project in a given month. The project with the most votes is awarded the grant. Once an organization on the receiving end of the gift is placed on the platform, items it needs, such as lumber and building equipment, can be requested to complete the project. In the meantime, donors can see how donations are being used.
“We are honored to support the Rentse Foundation housing project,” said Clay Braswell, founder and CEO of Commit Good. “Commit Good is peeling back the layers of donating by showing investors and donors, step-by-step, where their money goes and how it directly supports these charitable projects.” He also notes that as an added protection, Commit Good places charity coordinators on the ground in needy countries to verify that the charities on the receiving end are legitimate. Moreover, Braswell explained that GOOD is vital because “countries that face extreme poverty generally have unstable currencies and by utilizing our $GOOD currency, business owners can exchange to more stable currencies easily through cryptocurrency exchanges.”
“The philanthropy landscape is one that benefits immensely from transparency,” noted Nick Capetanis, CEO of FTG. “That is why we see campaigns such as the Currency of Good creating a beneficial and needed remodel of the system. FTG is looking forward to ushering in a new wave of philanthropic relations particularly on the blockchain.”
There are other signs that cryptocurrency is expanding with force into the charitable-giving arena. In 2017, Fidelity Charitable saw a nearly tenfold increase in contribution dollars of bitcoin and other cryptocurrency. Let’s hope that the crypto keeps flowing to needy causes whether the price is rising or falling.
Mary Driscoll covers finance and business trends as a staff writer for ETHNews. She formerly served as an editor for management and finance at the Economist Intelligence Unit and a research principal at APQC. In addition, she has written for The Wall Street Journal CFO Report, HBR-online, and strategy + business. Her book on corporate treasury management was published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Mary enjoys hiking and skiing in the Sierras with family. Her goal in life is to win big on Jeopardy.
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