BREAKING NEWS: Blockchain Trust Accelerator Announces New Blockchain Pilot Project with TechSoup

Effort will harness Blockchain technology to help move support worth $1 billion annually to 850,000 civil society and philanthropy organizations worldwide

As featured in Politico

VIDEO: About the Blockchain Trust Accelerator

WASHINGTON, D.C. — March 13, 2017 — The Blockchain Trust Accelerator (BTA), the leading global organization charged with developing Blockchain pilot projects for global good, announced today that its newest Blockchain pilot project will be a partnership with TechSoup, the leading online platform connecting validated nonprofits to in-kind technology and philanthropic resources at scale. The pilot project will use Blockchain technology to strengthen TechSoup’s global validation services, as well as using Blockchain-based smart contracts to create new opportunities for social impact for the thousands of civil society organizations and philanthropic actors who use TechSoup’s information platforms.

TechSoup operates the world’s leading registry of verified civil society organizations. The platform is critical to the thousands of donors, socially responsible programs, and social benefit organizations that rely on its architecture to help match philanthropic resources with critical community needs in countries around the world. Maintaining the security, integrity and efficiency of the registry is critical to TechSoup and its partners. The registry’s global scope of more than 850,000 organizations, as well as the reality that social benefit organizations are often targeted for political reasons, present real challenges. Blockchain technology will bring unprecedented levels of security and transparency to the system, safeguarding data, ensuring accountable access to information, and enabling philanthropic resources to solve tough problems as efficiently as possible. Once the system is complete, many of the world’s leading foundations and NGOs will be relying on Blockchain technology to help advance their work.

The news of this new pilot project was announced at the BTA’s first-ever panel at South by Southwest (SxSW), one of the largest technology, music and film festivals in the world. Jamie Smith of The Bitfury Group, Tomicah Tillemann of New America and Dan Swislow of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) will be presenting on March 13, 2017 at SxSW Interactive from 5–6 p.m. on the goals of the BTA, as well as the progress made in the BTA’s pilot project in the Republic of Georgia and details regarding this second pilot project with TechSoup.

About the BTA/TechSoup/Bitfury Project:

The goal of the BTA is to harness Blockchain technology to build solutions to social impact and governance challenges. Working together with a broad range of institutions, organizations and companies, BTA generates pilot projects that deliver positive social impact along with insights into how Blockchain can enhance accountability, efficiency and transparency.

The Accelerator’s new pilot with TechSoup will focus on integrating Blockchain and smart contract technology into TechSoup’s proprietary Cooperative Technology Platform (CTP) to help TechSoup, donors and organizations streamline their data management processes and internal governance. In this use case, Blockchain technology will address administrative burdens, reduce costs, and supplement philanthropic due diligence for all partnering organizations.

The pilot project will also explore using Blockchain technology as a validation/notary service. Many organizations that TechSoup serves could benefit from an extra layer of validation, as they often offer key services and benefits without local or regional government support. A Blockchain-based system that validates the KPIs of these organizations could enable a global standard of validation for TechSoup and its donors that transcends political boundaries.

“When we launched the Blockchain Trust Accelerator, we knew that this initiative would provide a way to deploy Blockchain-based solutions to critical social and governance problems,” said Valery Vavilov, CEO and founder of The Bitfury Group. “We are honored to be partnering with TechSoup to use Blockchain technology to help strengthen their existing data platforms, as well as to provide an additional avenue for TechSoup and its donors to verify and support the world-changing work being undertaken by their partnering organizations.”

“Through TechSoup, nonprofits around the world connect directly to US$1 billion annually in donated technology, cloud computing products and educational resources. Those nonprofits also gain access to an additional $1B of support resources, such as volunteers and individual and employee donations, offered directly by corporate and nonprofit partners each year via their own online consumer models and enabled by TechSoup’s technology,” said Rebecca Masisak, CEO of TechSoup. “We are excited to collaborate on innovations that will strengthen critical enabling infrastructure for social good.” Added Sheila Warren, Vice President of Strategic Alliances and General Counsel, “TechSoup and its international partner network validate that all of these recipient nonprofits have been vetted against legal, regulatory, and corporate/donor eligibility requirements. The inclusion of Blockchain through this pilot project will enable TechSoup to expand its services to responsibly include additional civil society organizations and further our mission to strengthen civil society worldwide.”

“This pilot project will dramatically accelerate the efficiency and security by which TechSoup and its partner organizations share information, conduct audits and manage trust,” said Dr. Tomicah Tillemann, Director of the Bretton Woods II initiative at New America and former Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies at the U.S. Department of State. “Accountability, transparency, and trust are essential for building strong organizations, and we’re eager to see Blockchain technology strengthen those qualities in TechSoup’s already stellar oversight.”

About The Blockchain Trust Accelerator:

The Blockchain Trust Accelerator is harnessing one of the most significant innovations of our time — Blockchain Technology — to build solutions for social impact and governance challenges. Working together with a broad range of institutions, organizations and companies, the Accelerator generates pilot projects that deliver positive social impact along with insights into how Blockchain can enhance accountability, efficiency and transparency. The Accelerator is a partnership between The Bitfury Group, New America and the National Democratic Institute.

About TechSoup:

TechSoup provides the transformative technology solutions, the digital platforms, and the in-person experiences that enable people to work together toward a more equitable world. The TechSoup Global Network operates the world’s only fully global technology philanthropy program. TechSoup’s Validation Services help connect philanthropy and giving beyond the TechSoup catalog by making accessible vetted information on 851,000 NGOs in 236 countries and territories in order to help givers expand the resources they offer and help validated nonprofit organizations gain access to a diverse set of critical resources. TechSoup’s online and offline resources engage a community of experts to enhance connections, education and impact in the global social sector.

About The Bitfury Group:

The Bitfury Group is the leading full service Blockchain technology company and one of the largest private infrastructure providers in the Blockchain ecosystem. The Bitfury Group develops and delivers both the software and the hardware solutions necessary for businesses, governments, organizations and individuals to securely move an asset across the Blockchain. The expertise of The Bitfury Group ensures successful, easy, fast, secure and cost effective connectivity to the Blockchain. The Bitfury Group is a global team of experts in technology, business, communications, security and civil society. The Bitfury Group believes the Blockchain can and will open new doors for global economic opportunity and prosperity, and its mission is to create and advance Blockchain applications that will further promote innovation and the advancement of the peer-to peer economy.

About New America:

Founded in 1999, New America is a think tank and civic enterprise committed to renewing American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age. We generate big ideas, bridge the gap between technology and policy, and curate broad public conversation.

About the National Democratic Institute (NDI):

The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization that has supported democratic institutions and practices in every region of the world for more than three decades. Since its founding in 1983, NDI and its local partners have worked to establish and strengthen political and civic organizations, safeguard elections and promote citizen participation, openness and accountability in government.


Rachel Pipan