Non-fungible tokens are big news lately, with astronomical amounts of cryptocurrency being paid for intangible works of art. (If you haven’t heard of NFTs, you might find our explanation helpful.) Many charities have already benefited from the frenzy. NFTs can be a great way to make money through auctions, enabling organizations to raise funds transparently, attracting new audiences, and building brand awareness.
So, if you want to get in on the action and raise money from NFTs, here are some tips to get you started.
Ask your ambassador to create an NFT
Perhaps you have a great ambassador for your charity that has a large following. You can have them create some artwork (whether it’s digital art, film, music) and then auction it off using a marketplace like Rarible, OpenSea or Foundation (think of them as Etsy or Ebay). The process for minting an NFT differs slightly from site to site, but this how-to guide from the Foundation provides an example of what’s involved. Most trading platforms require users to use a cryptocurrency, so you will need to set up a digital wallet in the corresponding currency in order to use it (which is very easy to do). Take for example Edward Snowden, an American whistleblower and president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. In April 2021, he auctioned an NFT on Foundation which raised over $5.4m (about £3.8m). Stay Free’ is a signature work that combines “the entirety of a landmark court decision that NSA mass surveillance violated the law, with Platon’s iconic whistleblower portrait.” He donated the funds to the nonprofit and, using Aerial, set aside some of the funds to offset the carbon footprint of the transaction.
Partner with existing NFT creators
There can be a lot of money involved in NFTs. In March 2021, digital artist and NFT creator Beeple auctioned ‘Ocean Front’, which raised $6m (approx. £4.24m) for the Open Earth Foundation. If an NFT creator wishes to donate the auction proceeds to charity, he can auction them off using his usual preferred platform. They’ll just need to set the payment address to your organization’s cryptocurrency wallet address (which you’ll need to set in advance). Another option is to use a platform like The Giving Block, which helps charities prepare to accept cryptocurrency donations and actively raise cryptocurrency funds. It already supports more than 200 US nonprofits.
Create an NFT using your creative assets
Does your charity have its own creative assets that could be sold as NFTs? The newly formed Covid:aid is the UK’s first charity wholly dedicated to supporting people of all ages affected by the pandemic. It auctioned off its logo as an NFT, offering the successful bidder the chance to be the world’s first crypto-philanthropist to found a charity. The auction was held at the Foundation, and while it only raised a small amount of money, it is an example of thinking creatively about using NFTs to access new audiences and build excitement.
Work with a business partner to create NFTs
This can be beneficial to both the charity and the business by increasing brand awareness for both and raising money for the charity. In the United States, for example, Taco Bell has sold 25 taco-themed NFT GIFs (NFTacoBells) to support the Taco Bell Foundation’s Live Más Grant. The NFTs sold out within 30 minutes, with one selling for $3,646 (£2,570 approx). The foundation will also receive 0.1% of each subsequent sale, meaning it will continue to earn long after the initial auction. (NFTs can contain smart contracts, which means, for example, that royalties can be incorporated.)
LightDao is a new NFT platform faith-based project started in March 2022. Every sale on the platform helping the chrisitian and churches to raise fund. It will give buyers the option to pay by credit card or cryptocurrency, expanding the range of potential buyers. And it’s committed to minimizing its environmental impact by using an energy-efficient proof-of-stake infrastructure.