Russia <> Ukraine War Galvanizes Large-Scale Global Giving
According to survey research reported by The NonProfit Times, approximately one-quarter of Americans said they’ve donated to charities addressing the war in Ukraine. Nearly two-thirds of the remaining Americans surveyed say they planned to donate soon. While grassroots giving continues to drive momentum, alternate forms of giving are soaring. An NFT of the Ukrainian Flag launched by a member of the band Pussy Riot raised $6.75 million for the country, in a sale organized by Ukraine DAO. Corporations and companies are donating too, even Fortnite video game creator Epic Games will donate all in-game transactions directly to United Nations relief efforts.
Crypto-Donation Platform The Giving Block Joins Forces with Shift4
The Giving Block and payment processing company Shift4 are teaming up launch the “biggest crypto philanthropy campaign series in history,” according to a press release. Crypto offerings will become available to Shift4’s over 200,000 merchants. With millions of dollars in donation matching pools the new collaboration could continue to rapidly change the growing role of cryptocurrency in charitable giving. The Giving Block is a client of Whole Whale, the publisher of this newsletter.
- Liberal billionaire’s nonprofit splashed $56M in 2020 | POLITICO
- The New Humanitarian | Beyond Ukraine: Eight more humanitarian disasters that demand your attention
- FreeWill Raises $30M in Series B to Transform Nonprofit Fundraising | Nonprofit Technology
- Pain at the pump: Gas prices impact North Central Florida nonprofit | WGFL
- What Happens When a Buffett Buys Your Town? | Tablet Magazine
[00:00:00] This week on the nonprofit news feed, of course, brought to you by whole whale, a digital agency, helping nonprofits. We’ve got some news about the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and how that’s leading to global giving at unprecedented scale as well as big acquisition in the crypto donation sector. So how we doing Nick?
[00:00:22] I’m doing well, George, how are you?
[00:00:24] Doing all right today, another busy week of news.
[00:00:27] Absolutely our first story this week, of course, we will be returning to the war in Ukraine and we wanted to report out some interesting trends that we’re seeing as reported by. The nonprofit times, approximately one quarter of Americans said that they have donated to charities addressing the war in Ukraine.
[00:00:50] We talk a lot on this podcast about surge in attention. It seems that in this case, a surge in attention is being sustained and leading to really high volumes of giving. Not only at the grassroots individual donor level, the. But also an alternate and more broad forms of giving as well. An NFT of the Ukrainian flag launched by a member of the band pussy riot raised $6.5 million for the country in a sale.
[00:01:22] Corporations and companies are donating to, I thought this was really cool. Fortnite video game creator, epic games will donate all in game transactions directly to the United nations over the next couple weeks. And to me, what this is showing is that this isn’t that spike that we see. That often a accompanies global events like Afghanistan.
[00:01:46] We saw that lasted really only a week. The outpouring of support and awareness. This is sustained and not only are individual donors giving, but at the institutional, the corporate level, this is an all hands on deck effort to provide support to Ukraine. George, I wonder. What this is telling us about fundraising as a hold right now as we witness this war and essentially large scale global giving.
[00:02:17] You’re seeing a lot of different sectors step up, which is why we were just picking some of these different industries. You’re talking about games you’re talking about crypto and then traditional giving as well. That once in a generation type of land war has evoked.
[00:02:31] I wanna touch on that sort of question about the trend, right? So you said with Afghanistan or with a natural disaster, you’re talking about the natural half life, which is measured in weeks, not months in terms of how long compassion can and hold. A global focus for giving.
[00:02:48] and response.
[00:02:50] And it’s dangerous because compassion is an unstable emotion. It is something that people pay attention to burns brightly and briefly. The faster, the rise, the faster, the fall, what I’m starting to see, believe it or not though, in things like Google transfer search incidents is that, that decline from initial peak interest from when the war first began, I concern is that as this drags potentially into what some military experts are talking about as a stalemate, it will cease to, to garner that type of reaction.
[00:03:22] And. Immediately they were talking about in that article things around helping refugees, medical supplies, and then less so on the rebuilding. Let’s just be clear. There’s just going to be rubble more rubble than city left in a lot of these situations requiring a lot of ongoing support.
[00:03:39] Hopefully the trend in search isn’t indicative of what may or may not be coming in terms of ongoing support that will be needed to rebuild that country. When this conflict inevitably finds its end.
[00:03:52] Yeah, George, I think that’s a great point. And one of the more interesting facets the various forms of giving that we highlighted was epic games. The creator of Fortnite, one of the most popular games in the world, donating all in game transactions to the United nations one. That’s true, tremendous from the giving perspective, but also.
[00:04:13] From an awareness perspective, think about how many kids and how many different countries are playing that game are now aware of a refugee crisis. And I wonder, are there ways we can build on that for other refugee crisis, other humanitarian crisis? Can this represent the beginning of. A shift in how corporations engage with global events and crises that need attention and outpouring support.
[00:04:42] I don’t know if this is a one-off or this is a sustained change. But to me that’s a really interesting model. Being able to focus attention on a humanitarian event in this way is really interesting to see. So I’m sure that we’ll follow this
[00:04:59] Yeah it’s tracking the classic attention spike that we normally see for a large global scaled natural disasters. But this is a again, once in a generation moment. So it’s hard to say what is actually being learned outside of the fact that. If your organization is adjacent, communication narratives are very important as it’s as it’s part of how people are probably choosing to give right now and make those decisions.
[00:05:26] Yeah, we’ll talk about this in another story as well, but particularly for other organizations, I think what could be interesting is thinking about how to use the crisis and use in Ukraine and uses is the wrong word, but. Use this opportunity of increasing heightened attention to call attention to other crises, other refugee situations in Afghanistan, there are still Afghan refugees coming to the United States that local NGOs are directly supporting.
[00:05:57] And while everyone’s talking about refugees, I wonder if we, you can call attention to other crises that are happening as well. So definitely something we’ll keep an eye on.
[00:06:07] All right, I’ll take us into our next story. And this is about crypto donation platform, the giving block, joining forces with payment processing company shift four. So in a press release. Provided by the giving block this week, they announced the biggest crypto philanthropy campaign in series and history.
[00:06:28] So the giving block is a crypto donation platform service company, and they are teaming up with this payment processing company shipped for shift four, excuse me. And they’ll be offer. Crypto philanthropy options to nearly 200,000 of shift fours, merchants. And there’s also millions of dollars in Don donation matching pools that in some ways, this has the potential to really change the game when it comes to crypto philanthropy with lots of merchants involved and huge ability to reach different customers.
[00:07:03] Full disclosure. The giving block is a client of whole whale, the publisher of this newsletter, but George, this could represent a really big moment in the world of crypto philanthropy. What are your thoughts on this?
[00:07:16] I’m really excited about this. And as you mentioned they’re a client and this?
[00:07:20] is a a pretty big purchase showing that there is a lot of growth to come and opportunity there in crypto philanthropy and helping giving block become and cement themselves as the leader in terms of solutions there.
[00:07:33] I was also excited that shift for CEO Jared eman. We’ll match 10 million in crypto, which is just awesome and donations on the giving block. So it’s also a nice level boost to to encourage that giving
[00:07:45] Absolutely. You’d love to see matching when it comes to when it becomes millions of dollars. That’s lots of impact. That’s exciting. All right. Shall we dive into the summary?
[00:07:55] Let’s get to it.
[00:07:56] All right. Our first story comes from Politico and this is about a liberal donor by the Swiss born billionaire, Hans York, vice. And I apologize cuz I know I mispronounce that, but this billionaire sent 31 million to the 1630 fund, which is a. Quote unquote, dark money fund on the left political action fund.
[00:08:25] That spent approximately 56 million in 2020. So we talk a lot about money moving around via nonprofits on this podcast. And this is just another example of. Quite frankly, the scale of money churning through various organizations and how it impacts our politics. And I don’t have a specific take on this, but whenever a story pops up in our feed and it starts talking about 20, 30, $50 million it gets our attention.
[00:08:58] And I think it again, brings to the forefront. Lots of conversations about just the amount of money sloshing around. In American politics on whether or not this is healthy.
[00:09:08] Yeah. According to that nine 90, the 1630 fund has become massive growing from what it used to be. If. You million of dollars in revenue a year in the last decade to 400 million in the final year of the Trump presidency. I think that’s not insignificant going to, to something of that size and scope.
[00:09:30] Absolutely. That’s a lot of money. And I think that, I think it’s time that we have renewed conversations about campaign finance and lots of these organizations, which quite frankly are not household names. And how they’re influencing elections, politics, ballot measures, that sort of thing, a across the whole spectrum, the whole ideological political spectrum as well.
[00:09:53] It happens on both sides. So an interesting conversation. And a story will follow going into this year. Of course, the 2022 midterms, which should be another record spending year for midterms, but something will continue to track.
[00:10:08] All right, I’ll take us into our next story. And this comes from the new humanitarian. This is a source that we’ve not yet featured on the podcast, but one that does really good, critical analysis of the humanitarian and international NGO sector. They provide lots of really interesting analysis and opinions.
[00:10:26] Often with the perspective of trying to improve the humanitarian industry as a whole, but they have this article called beyond Ukraine, eight more humanitarian disasters that demand your attention. And it does a really good job of highlighting different crises. Across the world beyond Ukraine, it talks about crisis in the horn of Africa, talks about the number of millions of peoples being impacted there.
[00:10:55] Me on Mar. Which unfortunately just saw a coup and just yesterday, secretary of state, Tony blink, officially called what was happening in Myanmar a genocide. It takes a long time for governments to get to that distinction because genocide actually has legal requirements, not requirements to say, but it has legal parameters.
[00:11:14] And I wanted to just surface this article because I think it offers really. Interesting perspectives on how we respond to humanitarian crises. And right now the crisis in Ukraine is nothing short of extreme and requires all the attention. But I think at the same time, there are lots of other crises that.
[00:11:32] Also require attention and for nonprofits, I think this can be an interesting moment of heightened attention when people are especially in tune to refugee crises, for example, to acknowledge that there are other ongoing refugee crises around the world in Myanmar, in Afghanistan. Lots of different places.
[00:11:54] So Georgia, I wonder what your perspective is on this kind of analysis and using this moment to bring other crises to the forefront as well.
[00:12:02] Hopefully the infrastructure that is currently being built up to support the millions. Of displaced people and refugees from Ukraine, that type of infrastructure and support will hopefully include the ability and capacity for these organizations and institutions to take on refugees from other areas.
[00:12:25] And it’s especially important to note. And I’m glad you included this, that when there is a sort of massive focus a world. Attention grabbing event, as we were just talking about, it sucks, the oxygen out. It sucks. The the attention which money follows quite closely from other areas. So all things being equal, it is probably a very bad time.
[00:12:46] It’s always a bad time to be a refugee, to be somebody in a place of conflict in crisis. But especially when there is a larger one overshadowing, it it’s easy to miss. Unfortunately other people, regions and communities in need.
[00:13:02] Absolut. I think that is a great point. And to your point about infrastructure, I think what you’re seeing is a lot of organizations that are able to respond to the crisis in Ukraine have been building infrastructure for quite a while. Ukraine has been fighting a war for quite a while. Doctors with borders has been operating there for quite a while and have in so many other places.
[00:13:25] So it’s really tremendous to see NGOs and nonprofits. When they have that on the ground infrastructure, they’re ready to go. When the crisis happens, they’re the first responders there. So building capacity, not just in Eastern Europe, but all over the world is vitally important.
[00:13:42] All right. Our next story is about a organization called free will. They are a social good enterprise. That quote is at the nexus of philanthropy and a estate planning and quote, and they have announced it is raised. 30 million in series B funding led by ban capital double impact. The takeaway from this is you have an organization that is supporting estate planning and planned giving that has just gotten injected with a ton of money and funding to hopefully help nonprofits.
[00:14:19] And other charities increase their ability to process and accept planned giving as a vehicle for fundraising and George. We were talking right before the podcast about why this is so important at this moment. And I’d love to hear your thoughts.
[00:14:34] Yeah, free will is a pretty elegant tool I’d say for creating will and we’re entering into the largest wealth transfer in human history. If you’re talking about the boomer generation passing on their wealth and life’s assets to the following generation and it’s it can be A’s topic to talk about it’s not about death.
[00:14:56] It’s about. Legacy. And it’s about an opportunity, frankly, for a lot of nonprofits to include the potential question in ways of bringing up big quests for the organization, we had a previous podcast with with an expert on that topic that will include in the show notes as well.
[00:15:12] Absolutely. That’s a great perspective. All right. Our next story comes from my CBS four.com local CBS four news affiliate out of Florida. And the title of this story is paint at the pump. Gas prices impact north central, Florida nonprofit, and the story delves into how nonprofit organization children’s table, which provides food and other services to underserved folks in their community is really struggling because of rising food costs and gas costs.
[00:15:47] They move lots of physical goods across the state food and whatnot, and. They have big vans, big truck type things. And when gas prices go up, they start to feel it. So we just wanted to, I think, highlight this story and show that these kind of macro economic issues, gas prices, food prices, inflation, not entirely separate.
[00:16:09] Unfortunately the global events you’ve been discussing this has real impact for nonprofits and just acknowledging that and the story here.
[00:16:16] We saw a lot of these stories. I just happened to throw a dart at you north central Florida. But this story is certainly popping up on a lot of locals. Anybody who is. Bringing resources that last mile to underserved in resource communities is dealing with very direct cost at the pump type of pieces that don’t necessarily quickly translate into increased revenue.
[00:16:40] Right? There’s no sort of, Hey, sorry We delivered this meal for you. It’s gonna cost extra actually. No this is done by the volunteers were doing this out of pocket to provide this service. So it’s pretty tough to I think. Impact a lot of nonprofits, locally, local community based organizations that are doing this.
[00:16:56] Also I just did a quick look up on that last topic about planned giving. Our friend is Tony martini planned giving accelerator.com. Just to give him a little plug here, planned giving accelerator.com. Look, he’s helping folks do these planned giving programs and walks your fundraisers through to avoid the common mistakes and demystify itself.
[00:17:16] Shout out there for a resource.
[00:17:18] We love a good shout out. Thank you for sharing. All right, George, we don’t have a feel good today, but instead we’re going to bring up an opinion piece and this comes courtesy of tablet magazine, and the title is called. What happens when a buffet buys your town? George, I know you have thoughts. What, what stuck out to you about this?
[00:17:38] There’s a lot that stuck out to this and it’s just wonderfully written first off, just wonderfully written from tablet magazine, and they just do such a brilliant in depth. Look at what happens when Peter buffet one of the children of Warren buffet is running the Novo foundation.
[00:17:56] With his wife and they had a particular history of giving to certain causes related to women and African American and bipo communities. And then suddenly they just an about face completely just saying, all right, we’re done with this?
[00:18:11] type of grant making we’re instead going to focus all of our time, attention and wealth on.
[00:18:16] A community in Kingston, New York, and have just gone about rearchitecting the town by writing giant checks, underwriting, various things, creating their own local, like community currency and this type of utopia, borderline potential dis opiate, if potentially, I don’t know, say the opinions of a billionaire change.
[00:18:39] I think this is not meant to just throw stones at the Noah foundation or this particular piece, but to abstract more broadly into macro narratives of what happens when you have independently wealthy individuals guiding this much in terms of resource is in philanthropic communities.
[00:18:57] And sometimes the damage that can be done when. Priorities shift on a whim and we’ve causes that are trying to build for decades long solutions virtually overnight. And it is a cautionary tale to both the people that work, run and support and are probably more important. Certainly reliant maybe on some of these types of philanthropic gifts from.
[00:19:22] Independently wealthy family foundations like this it’s worth a read and it’s very well written.
[00:19:28] Absolutely. I think you bring up so many questions and this article does a great job of bringing them up as well. Absolutely worth a read in the nonprofit news feed, which you can subscribe to [email protected] George. That’s it for the podcast
[00:19:45] Thanks, Nick.
[00:19:46] thanks, George.