In the most basic sense, a non-fungible token (a.k.a., “NFT”) is a way to store data on a blockchain such as Ethereum. 

Unlike a fungible asset like a US dollar, one NFT cannot be swapped interchangeably for another NFT. That’s because each token functions as a way to validate unique ownership of something, such as a single work of digital art. 

In the case of digital art, NFTs are often misunderstood to be the work of art itself, but that is not the case. Instead, the NFT is the underlying technology that has enabled digital artists to mint and sell uniquely verifiable works of art. 

As a comparison, think of an NFT more like the deed to a house than the house itself. Just like the holder of a deed can prove that they are the owner of the house, an NFT holder can prove that they own the asset in question. 

When a buyer purchases an NFT, they are granted a legitimate ownership deed, embedded deep into the blockchain technology where the transactions are verified. Once the records are made, they cannot be changed or altered in any way, which makes transactions in NFTs a secure bet towards the bonafide frenzy that the NFTs are in at the moment.

Change is a constant in the world of nonprofit fundraising. In recent years, organizations have adjusted their donor strategies because of global disruptions such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Many nonprofits have also identified the need to embrace new technologies to connect with younger supporters. 

NFTs allow:

  • New revenue streams, new fundraising tools
  • Perpetual giving as royalties are reverted to creator even on secondary market sales
  • Innovative community building tool
  • Possible donor anonymity
  • Traceability, transparency and security in all transactions 

Any organization that wants to engage with NFT projects and collectors should first understand one thing: how to process donations they receive. 

For nonprofit organizations to enable a direct form of charitable giving from the NFT community, accepting cryptocurrency donations is helpful, but not mandatory. NFTs are listed, bought and sold on marketplaces that are equipped to handle cryptocurrency transactions. 

Crypto currencies can be a friction point for new comers to the NFT space, several marketplaces are equipped to accept « regular » currencies via credit cards for example. They operate the changes and can either deliver the donations in crypto or in « regular » currencies.

Taxes regulations in some countries offer real advantages for donors and non profits giving/accepting donations in cryptocurrencies. Accepting cryptocurrency donations is becoming more common as nonprofits realize the potential of crypto users as a donor base, including the NFT community. Solution providers make it possible for nonprofits to fundraise multiple crypto assets, generate tax receipts for donors, and even embed a crypto donation widget on your website. 

A blockchain is a distributed software network that functions both as a digital ledger and a mechanism enabling the secure transfer of assets without an intermediary. 

Just as the internet is a technology that facilitates the digital flow of information, blockchain is a technology that facilitates the digital exchange of units of value. 

Anything from currencies to land titles to votes can be tokenized, stored, and exchanged on a blockchain network.

In addition to the secure transfer of value, blockchain technology provides a permanent forensic record of transactions and a single version of the truth – a network state that is fully transparent and displayed in real time for the benefit of all participants.

Foundations & NGOs  : Innovative fundraising tool, community, new revenue streams, perpetual giving

    • Médecins Sans Frontières Receives $3.5 Million ETH Donation From NFT Sale. The donation to the global humanitarian organization made up a quarter of the proceeds of an NFT sale.
    • Noorah Health successfully sold its one-of-one  for 1.3k ETH — valued at $4.4 million at the time. With this funding, the organization was able to forward its mission of saving thousands of lives via the most effective cure in healthcare: prevention.
    • RIP Medical Debt: The sales from toilet paper NFTs created by Dallas-based software developer Joshua Lapidus have helped charity organization RIP Medical Debt settle $7 million of medical debt for low-income families.
    • Auditable chain of giving: NFTs can give companies the ability to track their products/funds from manufacturing/fundraising through shipping and delivery. This gives customers insight into overhead costs as well as maintaining transparency within supply chain. 

Banks & Financial Institutions  : NFTs let companies record and transfer digital assets on the blockchain : data stored while protected  from loss or corruption.

    • Goldman Sachs is exploring the tokenization of real assets and is looking into NFTs in the context of financial instruments. 
    • JPMorgan has opened a lounge in the blockchain-based virtual world Decentraland and claims to be the first major lender to enter the Metaverse. The Onyx lounge is named for JPMorgan’s Onyx blockchain unit, which offers a suite of Ethereum-based services.
    • Central Bank. More than 100 countries, including 19 G20 nations, are now exploring central bank digital currencies

Governments : State Backed NFTs, digital currencies, unique rewards and recognition

    • Government of United Kingdom : In April, then-chancellor Rishi Sunak announced plans to have the 1,136-year-old institution create a state-backed NFT to help the UK become a “crypto hub”.
    • Government of Japan issued NFT rewards to seven mayors for their initiatives to improve the lives of the citizens in their regions of governance in the modern technology space. 
    • Government of Ukraine: raised $63.8 million, through more than 120,000 cryptoasset donations since the start of the Russian invasion.

Luxury Brands : Verified product information (ownership, authenticity, history) & customer loyalty programs

    • Panerai:  50 Panerai Genesis NFTs associated with Radiomir Eilean watch in a unique cryptographic wallet allowing them to truly own this non fungible token.The digital asset will unlock exclusive content directly related to the Panerai Experience Edition watches, and will evolve as the experience unfolds to reveal the art piece.
    • Prada : Prada Timecapsule is renewed by entering a new phase and expanding its creative presence in the Web3 with the Timecapsule NFT Collection: each limited edition physical product will be accompanied by a gifted NFT. 
    • IWC : The Swiss luxury watchmaker created immersive metaverse environment for a tokenized community : the IWC Diamond Hand Club. As members, token owners can unlock unique and exclusive experiences as they venture back and forth between the virtual and physical worlds.
    • Alfa Romeo : the Tonale SUV will come with a digital certificate, that aims to increase the car’s residual value. NFT will record vehicle data, generating a certificate that can be used to assure the car has been properly maintained. An additional source of credibility for owners or dealers.

Social networks : Proof of NFT ownership, Content ownership

    • Facebook and Instagram users in the U.S. can connect their crypto wallets with their accounts and share NFTs. All users in the U.S. also have the ability to cross-post the NFTs that they own across both Facebook and Instagram. Earlier this year, Meta began testing NFTs with select users on Instagram and Facebook.
    • Twitter users will be able to track NFTs and show tokens owned by others. Users can connect a cryptocurrency wallet to their account and import non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to use as a profile picture, NFTs are marked on the profile image with a special icon that will confirm the authenticity of the token. 
    • TikTok will release a collection of NFTs including six videos from the most popular & culturally significant TikTokers. NFTs in the form of videos will become art objects, displayed at the Museum of the Moving Image in NY. The proceeds will be distributed between authors and artists.