Depending on who you ask, NFTs are either a new and exciting way to invest, or a bearish and overblown sector. Nevertheless, journalists, investors, and collectors have paid considerable attention to the growing NFT market over the past year. The NFT continues to be one of the most popular Web3 entry points, an opportunity for everyone from casual art fans to cryptocurrency billionaires to own unique assets stored on the blockchain.
As NFT pioneers have recently pointed out, NFTs can also be used for amazing causes beyond the collection of digital assets. In the past six months, communities have launched NFTs to increase support for causes such as testicular cancer, human trafficking, and the Ukrainian war. While many believe the NFT trend is finally on the path to sustainable growth, its potential as a tool for charities is poised to reach exciting new highs in the coming months.
This mission-driven innovation is not a new concept to the world of encryption and Web3. The metaverse world connects people you’ve never met in the real world. Digital currencies and DeFi have provided financial access and freedom to millions if not billions of people. Advances in research in the closely related longevity space (the science of healthier, longer-lived human lives) are allowing people to live longer and more comfortable in their bodies. The world we live in today is very different from what it was five years ago and it doesn’t stop there. The next factor to be hindered (or upgraded in my opinion) would be charitable donations via NFT.
Relevant: NFT Charity Shows New Way of Giving Back
showing your support
In the mid-2000s we saw a trend towards supporting your favorite cause. Bright yellow Livestrong bracelets, WWF shirts and tote bags with charity logos have become an easy way to show the world that people care about a cause. Bumper stickers and printed water bottles remain common vehicles for people to show off their philanthropy today, but lack the high-quality, top-notch rewards that offer the same visibility. When a donor makes a donation to a charitable organization, the donation is usually only recognized as a “thank you” note and an opportunity to be listed on a commemorative plaque. This is solid evidence, but it lacks the engagement and community that people find encouraging.
NFTs linked to charitable giving are making it fashionable to show charitable support in the digital world. Founded by charities, NFTs are not only developed with a cause in mind, but are also designed to be engaging and exciting. Buying mission-focused NFTs also gives you a beautiful piece of digital art to show the world. The future of NFT-based donations looks increasingly social as Instagram and Spotify move to bring NFT capabilities to their platforms. As we’ve seen the Twitter community fund members struggling with high medical bills, it’s likely that communities already on these social platforms will come together for meaningful causes. The crypto community has proven over and over again as a powerful force, giving us confidence in the bright future of NFTs and charities.
NFTs benefit artists and foundations.
There’s a lot of interest in new merchandise featuring the latest celebrities and rare art pieces joining the NFT craze, but buying NFTs really means little to charities. I mentioned earlier that it’s time for the philanthropy sector to embrace the cryptocurrency wave, as embracing digital currencies and technologies like NFTs can attract visionary investors who are passionate about innovative ideas and new ways of looking at the world.
When these pioneers or anyone else purchases a purpose-driven NFT, they have the opportunity to uniquely demonstrate support for a specific cause. It is also important not to overlook the artist in these conversations. Creators are redefining their relationship with supporters, including using NFT to encourage their fan base to support causes of interest. There is a common misconception that buying NFTs is a new way for investors to spend their money.
Mission-driven NFTs are challenging this narrative by showing the world that NFTs are a way to unite charitable giving and supporting artists. This allows organizations to enjoy the benefits of new technologies while remaining true to their mission and values. I think longevity is one of the areas that will easily adopt this technology. Longevity proponents are also progressive-minded celebrities and crypto enthusiasts. Perfect for NFT related donations. I expect to see more of this soon.
Relevant: Men Wanted, Women Wanted: NFTs and Cryptocurrency Empower Female Creators
A new approach to charitable giving
In general, the phrase “charitable giving” has elements of “old-fashioned” philanthropy. It reminds me of writing a paper check mailed to you for your favorite 501(c)3. Of course, this still makes it feel good to support a cause, but there’s a lot to hope for in terms of continued engagement. Building a community of passionate supporters with a focus on innovation is an amazing way for charities to reach new audiences and reach their fundraising goals. But making this a reality will change the way we think about giving.
In my opinion, the new charitable giving is crypto-based, social and decentralized. If you accept cryptocurrency donations directly, you can donate directly to the foundation without having to cash out cryptocurrency and you will have to pay taxes. The social component of donations empowers you to highlight the causes of greatest interest through the NFT collection. And it will be truly decentralized. This means anyone in the world can support a meaningful cause. Donor recognition dinners may be a thing of the past, but a virtual network of connected supporters from diverse backgrounds and perspectives offers an exciting alternative future. The NFT-based utility is also a very powerful tool for helping communities track membership and reward contributions with access and benefits to exclusive opportunities and services beyond digital image distribution.
We live longer and we live in a more connected society than ever before. So we should be more supportive and charitable, but to do that we need to make charitable donations.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect or represent those of Cointelegraph.
Garizumze Managing Partner at LongeVC, a venture capital firm based in Switzerland and Cyprus, accelerating innovative startups in biotechnology and longevity. He is a seasoned business professional and angel investor with multiple successful exits in biotech and technology companies. He is a long-time supporter and investor in biotechnology companies including Insilico Medicine, Deep Longevity, and Basepaws.