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NFT Fundraising Raises Tens of Millions of Dollars for Charities

NFTs (non-fungible tokens) took the world by storm when they first started becoming mainstream in 2021. The very first NFT was minted back in 2014 but it wasn’t until 2021 that they became popular among the masses. Within just a year, tens of millions of dollars’ worth of NFTs had been sold, with numerous celebrities spending a small fortune purchasing NFTs.

Let’s take a step back and revisit the last 2–3 years, when the COVID-19 pandemic caused severe disruptions to the global economy and left millions of people around the world without employment. Plenty of folks desperately needed relief services at a time when blockchain technology and NFTs were experiencing unprecedented popularity. Within this same timeframe, a new initiative for the increasingly popular NFT world emerged — fundraising.

Art & Co, a major online art auction was the first to dabble in NFT fundraising, holding the very first blockchain-assisted charity art auction and distributing the funds to charity in 2021. Earlier this year, Art & Co raised funds by selling artwork from more than two dozen emerging artists and distributed the proceeds to 7 charities. It used blockchain solutions from LuxTag to track sales and the distribution of the funds to charities.

Plenty of the artists behind popular NFTs have made it clear that they are keen on making a social impact from their work. And with some NFTs selling for millions of dollars, it is becoming increasingly clear that NFT fundraising has the potential to make a major social impact. By July 2022, NFT projects had donated millions of dollars to charitable organizations.

For instance, 25% of the mint profits from Blazed Cats’ Cat NFTs are donated to Mental Health America. 10% of sale prices are also donated to the mental health charity. To date, Blazed Cat has donated more than $300,000 to Mental Health America. A new collective called Impact donates 95% of the proceeds it raises to charity and recently partnered with Keep; a Breast Foundation to provide $500 grants to breast cancer survivors.

Another NFT collective that has dipped its toe in NFT fundraising is Fast Food Punk. The collective recently set up an auction of 26 Fast Food Punk NFTs and raised more than $574,000 in proceeds for the Ronald McDonald House Charity. Women and Weapons, another collective with charity at its core, donates 5% of all its proceeds to The Malala Fund.

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who sold an NFT of his first tweet for around $2.9 million, donated all the proceeds to charity. Even small donations can make a big difference, especially for small non-profits without big budgets. NFT projects looking to fundraise for charitable causes can consider corporate partnerships, celebrity-driven auctions, and direct donations to charitable organizations.

The way things are going, it looks like NFT fundraising will complement or even become an alternative to the traditional way of fundraising.

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