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EMcCauley
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I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:51 am

Hi Everyone,

I am the Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, which was established in mid-2013 and is the first government recognized 501(c)(3) global Bitcoin nonprofit. We have built a positive philanthropic representative organization for the Bitcoin industry, bridging the gap between the innovative technology and its practical applications for nonprofits and humanitarian work in the developing world.

We have built partnerships and raised funds with large nonprofits including Save the Children, The Water Project, TECHO, and Medic Mobile. BitGive recently announced its Bitcoin Charity 2.0 Initiative, which includes a variety of projects aimed at leveraging Bitcoin and blockchain technology to benefit charitable organizations worldwide, the first of which is a donation transparency platform.

BitGive has been featured in Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, Non Profit Times, Inside Philanthropy, and more.

Previously, I worked at BitPay handling non profit and political outreach. I also serve on the Board of Directors of the Bitcoin Foundation as well as serve on the Board of Code to Inspire.

I'll be here until 11am EST today and look forward to answering your questions.

Ask Me Anything!

Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley
Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships, BitGive

Learn More - http://bitgivefoundation.org/
Last edited by EMcCauley on Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:01 am

Hi Elizabeth,

First I would like to thank you for doing an AMA here.

When you were working for BitPay what kind of charitable causes were they supporting? What kind of political outreach did they do?

P.S. if you list your time zone then users who wish to ask you questions will know how long they have to ask, and will know why you have not responded if they ask after 11 your local time :)
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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 2:25 am

Hi Elizabeth,

I know the rules of a 501(c)3 organizations can be rigid. The main thing I would love to see is the ability to choose which project the donation goes to. It's not that I don't trust the judgement, but for me, and I assume many others, giving to the charity of choice feels a bit more personal.

Is it possible, or have you considered such a model for donations?

Thanks
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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:26 am

@Elizabeth, thanks for all you are doing for Bitcoin!!

Question: I don't know anything about BitGive... Do you help other charities get "onboarded" into bitcoin? And if so, I have a friend that runs a charity and is interested in accepting bitcoin. Do I have her contact BitGive?

EMcCauley
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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:17 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

First I would like to thank you for doing an AMA here.

When you were working for BitPay what kind of charitable causes were they supporting? What kind of political outreach did they do?

P.S. if you list your time zone then users who wish to ask you questions will know how long they have to ask, and will know why you have not responded if they ask after 11 your local time :)
Thank you so much! We appreciate your participation.

While I was working for BitPay, my main role was to get charities and political campaigns to accept donations in Bitcoin through BitPay's platform. It was really neat to see the VARIETY of charities interested in accepting donations from tech related organizations to traditional organizations such as the American Red Cross to Green Peace to Save the Children. In terms of political organizations... candidates ranging from Draft Biden PAC to Rand Paul for President to various congressional candidates and even some international candidates and political parties: ie: a representation from across the board.

I will be online for the next few hours and looking forward to hearing more questions!

EMcCauley
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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:20 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

I know the rules of a 501(c)3 organizations can be rigid. The main thing I would love to see is the ability to choose which project the donation goes to. It's not that I don't trust the judgement, but for me, and I assume many others, giving to the charity of choice feels a bit more personal.

Is it possible, or have you considered such a model for donations?

Thanks
Great question! I agree that it is so important for individuals to GIVE to their organization and or cause choice. One of the reasons WHY BitGive exists is to encourage non profits in every country and in every category to open the door to Bitcoin donations :).

One of the main reasons why we are now transitioning to Charity 2.0 and developing the donation transparency model, is to create a great platform for all non profits to use. ie: right now we are seeking donations as we develop such a platform, but later, it will be really great to have something in place that all non profits can use.

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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:23 pm

Hello Elizabeth

I was re-reading Antifragile by iconoclast thinker Nassim Taleb recently. He writes
"Never ask anyone for their opinion [...] Just ask them what they have -or don't have- in their portfolio"
I have come to think it's a very relevant question and you can better weight people's opinions having an idea of how many Bitcoins they hold (or do not hold.) So Instead of asking their opinion on bitcoin, I'm now asking every participants the same question:

- Do you mind to tell us which percentage of your personal net worth and/or liquid assets you hold in Bitcoins ?

EMcCauley
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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:28 pm

@Elizabeth, thanks for all you are doing for Bitcoin!!

Question: I don't know anything about BitGive... Do you help other charities get "onboarded" into bitcoin? And if so, I have a friend that runs a charity and is interested in accepting bitcoin. Do I have her contact BitGive?
Glad you asked about BitGive and thank you for participating in today's AMA!

BitGive was founded in 2013 to take the lead in educating on why Bitcoin is so great for non profits and charitable purposes. BitGive has expanded to work on a Charity 2.0 Donation Transparency platform.

If you are interested in getting charities to accept donations in Bitcoin, you can work directly with payment processors like BitPay, Coinbase, Bitnet and GoCoin. Payment processors provide a functionality non profits can use to accept donations in Bitcoin but then receive a payout in a fiat currency (if they are uncomfortable with holding BTC).

EMcCauley
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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:30 pm

Hello Elizabeth

I was re-reading Antifragile by iconoclast thinker Nassim Taleb recently. He writes
"Never ask anyone for their opinion [...] Just ask them what they have -or don't have- in their portfolio"
I have come to think it's a very relevant question and you can better weight people's opinions having an idea of how many Bitcoins they hold (or do not hold.) So Instead of asking their opinion on bitcoin, I'm now asking every participants the same question:

- Do you mind to tell us which percentage of your personal net worth and/or liquid assets you hold in Bitcoins ?
I do not share personal financial information, but what I can say is... an individual would be foolish to not hold onto and also utilize some Bitcoin (cold and hot storage).

EMcCauley
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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:59 pm

Here is a great testimonial of the impact BitGive has had since it's founding in 2013:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESEI6WazuUA

This year we seek to launch the Donation Transparency Platform enabling not just the donating of Bitcoin but also tracing donations and project completion!

You can learn more about our transparency project here:
http://bitgivefoundation.org/bitcoin-ch ... nitiative/

BitGive continues to stay ahead of the curve and is the first 501c3 in the Bitcoin space.

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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:01 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

Thank you for doing this AMA!

Can you tell us what you feel in your opinion is the biggest challenge that nonprofits give you as a reason to not accept bitcoin at this time? What do they say, and how do you counter their claims?

EMcCauley
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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:25 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

Thank you for doing this AMA!

Can you tell us what you feel in your opinion is the biggest challenge that nonprofits give you as a reason to not accept bitcoin at this time? What do they say, and how do you counter their claims?
Thank you for this great question!

Non profits often do not know enough about Bitcoin to feel comfortable with opening the door to donations in Bitcoin. Education is key. Non profits, naturally are concerned about losing existing donors. However, when non profits learn about the many key benefits of accepting Bitcoin donations: expanding their donor bases, a more secure donation experience for their donors, a potential growth in the value of a donation, no chargebacks and all the great ways to leverage Bitcoin donations in terms of social media, etc, it is hard for them to say no!

With an increased number of success stories and education, accepting donations in Bitcoin becomes a no brainer for non profits.

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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:33 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

Thank you for doing this AMA!

Can you tell us what you feel in your opinion is the biggest challenge that nonprofits give you as a reason to not accept bitcoin at this time? What do they say, and how do you counter their claims?
Thank you for this great question!

Non profits often do not know enough about Bitcoin to feel comfortable with opening the door to donations in Bitcoin. Education is key. Non profits, naturally are concerned about losing existing donors. However, when non profits learn about the many key benefits of accepting Bitcoin donations: expanding their donor bases, a more secure donation experience for their donors, a potential growth in the value of a donation, no chargebacks and all the great ways to leverage Bitcoin donations in terms of social media, etc, it is hard for them to say no!

With an increased number of success stories and education, accepting donations in Bitcoin becomes a no brainer for non profits.
Thanks for the answer! Education is key. I do have a follow up question if I may. How is then BitGive engaging with nonprofits to educate them on bitcoin (if at all)? Is BitGive attending philanthropy conferences to promote bitcoin?

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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 4:40 pm


Thank you for this great question!

Non profits often do not know enough about Bitcoin to feel comfortable with opening the door to donations in Bitcoin. Education is key. Non profits, naturally are concerned about losing existing donors. However, when non profits learn about the many key benefits of accepting Bitcoin donations: expanding their donor bases, a more secure donation experience for their donors, a potential growth in the value of a donation, no chargebacks and all the great ways to leverage Bitcoin donations in terms of social media, etc, it is hard for them to say no!

With an increased number of success stories and education, accepting donations in Bitcoin becomes a no brainer for non profits.
Thanks for the answer! Education is key. I do have a follow up question if I may. How is then BitGive engaging with nonprofits to educate them on bitcoin (if at all)? Is BitGive attending philanthropy conferences to promote bitcoin?
BitGive is generally one of the first organizations a non profit goes to when seeking to learn more about how to accept donations in Bitcoin.

We do definitely participate in various conferences throughout the year, webinars, conduct educational courses, are frequently quoted in the media and really again have the key purpose of leveraging BTC for good.

We are a small team of ... 2 and volunteers and so there is only so much we can do but certainly we hope to expand to be an even greater resources to the Bitcoin community as well as the charitable realm.

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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:17 pm

Great to meet up with you again here, Elizabeth! It seems like forever since we corresponded about getting new nonprofits signed up at BitPay!

I've mentioned in this forum before.. about the list of IRS 501(c)(3) Public Charities That Accept Bitcoin that I maintain over in that other forum -- https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=758674.0 It's a testament to your hard work that most of those charities get their bitcoin donations through BitPay.

Do you know? Did BitPay ever publish a list of their nonprofit partners, something like a merchant list of organizations that process donations through them? Or, in the bigger all-bitcoin universe, do you know of other such lists now?

EMcCauley
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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:24 pm

Great to meet up with you again here, Elizabeth! It seems like forever since we corresponded about getting new nonprofits signed up at BitPay!

I've mentioned in this forum before.. about the list of IRS 501(c)(3) Public Charities That Accept Bitcoin that I maintain over in that other forum -- https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=758674.0 It's a testament to your hard work that most of those charities get their bitcoin donations through BitPay.

Do you know? Did BitPay ever publish a list of their nonprofit partners, something like a merchant list of organizations that process donations through them? Or, in the bigger all-bitcoin universe, do you know of other such lists now?
Thank you so much for your note. To my knowledge, BitPay has not yet published a list of merchants. BitPay does have a highlighted list of some of their larger merchants, including non profits.

There are various lists of non profits accepting donations in Bitcoin, but not one main list, to my knowledge. Sounds like a great project idea!

Last year, for #BitcoinGivingTuesday, we had many non profits accepting donations in Bitcoin participate.

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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:32 pm

Another question -- I guess I'd like to hear your 'sales pitch' on this: If there are all these other individual charities that accept bitcoin donations directly through their web sites, why should I give through a middleman like BitGive? You must take some of my donation for overhead costs or referral fees. And my donation just goes into an indeterminate 'pot' from which you distribute who knows how?

Help me with this? Not to be critical of things I don't know. But I just haven't seen before any compelling argument for giving to BitGive.

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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:52 pm

Another question -- I guess I'd like to hear your 'sales pitch' on this: If there are all these other individual charities that accept bitcoin donations directly through their web sites, why should I give through a middleman like BitGive? You must take some of my donation for overhead costs or referral fees. And my donation just goes into an indeterminate 'pot' from which you distribute who knows how?

Help me with this? Not to be critical of things I don't know. But I just haven't seen before any compelling argument for giving to BitGive.
Thanks for your follow-up! In the past BitGive has hosted donation drives in Bitcoin for orgnaizations who don't yet except Bitcoin- like Save the Children (at that time) and Medic Mobile. We are a gateway for them for education. I really do not know tat without BitGive's efforts Save the Children would have been ready to accept Bitcoin directly - so early in the technology's acceptance stages.

BitGive now is in the process of collecting donations now to fund the creation of a donation transparency platform that will leverage Bitcoin 2.0 technology - a platform that all non profits will be able to use.

BitGive also still serves as an educational organization to encourage non profits to accept donations in Bitcoin.
Last edited by EMcCauley on Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:17 pm

Thank you for coming here and taking our questions!

A very high percentage of charitable giving in the US is through religious organizations such as churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and many para-religious organizations. What kind of outreach are you doing to reach those kind of organizations and educate them about the value of accepting bitcoin?

Have you done much outreach so far to religious or semi-religious organizations or have you mostly focused on secular charitable giving? What about in the future? If you have done outreach, what has their response been?

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EMcCauley
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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:36 pm

Thank you for coming here and taking our questions!

A very high percentage of charitable giving in the US is through religious organizations such as churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and many para-religious organizations. What kind of outreach are you doing to reach those kind of organizations and educate them about the value of accepting bitcoin?

Have you done much outreach so far to religious or semi-religious organizations or have you mostly focused on secular charitable giving? What about in the future? If you have done outreach, what has their response been?

Image

Source: http://nccs.urban.org/nccs/statistics/C ... igures.cfm
You bring up another really great usecase! Bitcoin is certainly being accepted at faith-based/religious institutions. We at BitGive are not directly reaching out to specific types of charities but have an open door for charities, religious organizations and non profits that would like to learn more about bitcoin and Bitcoin acceptance.

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Re: I’m Elizabeth Ploshay McCauley, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships of BitGive, Ask me anything!

Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:56 pm

Many of the charities I know requires collection of donor information, perhaps due to regulation. This runs counter to the nature of Bitcoiners, who generally like to remain as anonymous as possible - where "just give me a damn QR to scan" is the norm. Did you or the charities ever run into problem on either side (regulatory, or complaints about info collection)?



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