Sign me up for updates. Sign up now

Donate Take Action

Innovating for Impact

United Way envisions a world full of opportunity. For everyone. To make that vision a reality, we must keep innovating to meet the changing needs of the times.  And we believe that the best ideas for solving some of the world’s most critical problems can come from anyone, anywhere.

Your Bitcoin donation will support United Way Worldwide’s Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund drives the development of new technology and new strategies to expand our reach and impact in communities around the world.   We source, vet, test, and scale innovation that aims to address our communities' most critical problems.  Through our investments, we support a portfolio of innovations that mobilize the caring power of communities around the world that advance the common good.

Our funded priorities to innovate for impact are shown below.

Donate Bitcoin

Donate bitcoin or bitcoin cash to the United Way Worldwide Innovation Fund. You will be redirected to United Way's secure bitcoin donation page provided by BitPay. If you have questions or need assistance with your gift, contact innovation@unitedway.org.

  • Invest in Game-Changing Technology

    Seek out and lift up cutting edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, and big data that advance social purpose.

    Technology innovations are driving a revolution in how we advance the common good.  Artificial intelligence is becoming the norm rather than the exception in technology and the Internet of Things.  Mobile-friendly extended reality applications such as 360° videos and virtual reality are opening up new ways to insert individuals and donors into the stories that bring the issues in our own communities to life. There are now 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being created every day, and 90% of all the data that exists in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.[1]  Data collection, analytics, and the interpretation of that data are becoming more readily accessible.

    • Salesforce Philanthropy Cloud is a game-changing platform that inspires, connects, and empowers individuals, employees, and organizations to engage in causes they care about to create change at scale in their communities and across the world.  It leverages digital technology, such as Salesforce Einstein, a layer of artificial intelligence, to create an integrated experience where social and personal purpose intersect.
    • Idea Lab is United Way’s open innovation platform that gives a wide-ranging audience a voice in creating the next great idea.  Idea Lab promotes innovation by combining technology, data-driven decision making, and our network’s greatest asset: 10,000 passionate staff based in local communities around the world. 
    • Through 360° video, United Way is increasingly using virtual reality to tell innovative stories. United Way has invested in the people power and technology necessary to compete in this innovative storytelling space.

    [1] https://www.zdnet.com/article/the-4-hottest-tech-trends-that-are-transforming-the-world-in-2018/

  • Source, Test, and Scale Innovation

    Source, test, and scale promising innovations from diverse individuals and organizations.

    A successful innovation effort needs contributions from all over the network, especially those who are close to the front lines - clients, staff, partners - people in close touch with United Way’s and our communities’ processes. Innovation also needs lots of participants. It’s the wisdom of the crowd: a large mass of participants will always out-ideate a small group of smart people. We manage United Way’s innovation portfolio by sourcing ideas via crowdsourcing, working with a group of Innovation Volunteers to vet the ideas, testing the ideas by validating them with real customers, and then deciding to archive, re-test, or implement ideas in collaboration with subject matter experts.

    • United Way’s Write a Note campaign is an interpersonal digital volunteer experience that connects employees with real people whose lives have been impacted by United Way.  With Write a Note, employees are invited to write or sign a note of encouragement to middle school students.
    • United Way’s Digital Poverty Simulation raises awareness and understanding of the struggles faced by low-income families and individuals by asking participants to make difficult decisions with limited resources.  These digital simulations can be organized for a wide range of audiences, and provide an opportunity to highlight the work of United Way and its partners in assisting low-income individuals in their communities.
  • Support Social Innovation Startups

    Build our muscle in innovative funding models and investment vehicles and provide support for social innovation startups around the world.

    United Way is working towards ambitious goals for addressing our communities’ challenges.  To help, we want to provide the right support at the right time by accelerating innovative startups focused on social purpose, and mobilizing funds for those same goals.  United Way aims to be an accelerator of early stage global impact products that advance the common good.  To help United Ways and our partners achieve scale more quickly we’re looking to seed, validate, and give new impact products the traction they need to be successful.  We’re also working to create the next generation of innovative finance vehicles capable of mobilizing capital from the private sector to fund innovative community impact work.  This is the kind of work we want to replicate:

    • United Way of Salt Lake’s successful social impact bond work expanded high quality preschool opportunities in high-need communities.  Goldman Sachs and J.B. Pritzker provided $7 million in up-front funding to pay for the program.
    • The Capital Area United Way in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is funding eight to 12 organizations that will replicate and/or expand early childhood development programs to increase school readiness among children in low-income and rural parishes within the Greater Baton Rouge area.
    • United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s 2011 Social Innovation fund was a remarkable initiative that brought together highly invested partners who shared a common purpose: to increase the number of young children prepared to enter school (i.e., ready to learn), with a particular emphasis on promoting early literacy.  More than half of participants (57 percent) made meaningful progress over a program year on one or more measures of kindergarten readiness. Among the five subgrantees, this success rate varied between 53 and 61 percent[2].

    [2] https://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/UWSEM-SIF_ChildTrends_March2018.pdf

  • Build an Innovation Culture

    Promote a culture that learns from and rapidly shares failure as well as success with other nonprofits and entrepreneurs interested in changing the world

    The United Way Innovation Fellowship program will empower students, interns, and United Way staff to become social purpose innovators.  We’ll create nonprofit innovators with the necessary skills and knowledge to create breakthrough, creative solutions to our communities’ most challenging issues.  We’re also working to lift up United Way as one of the world’s most innovative nonprofits by creating content, conversation, and conference sessions that highlight our and others’ most innovative efforts.

  • How will donations received via Bitcoin be used?

    For donors, using bitcoin and bitcoin cash ensures your gift will be applied to United Way Worldwide's Innovation Fund, which is transforming United Way and the social sector through technology, relationships, and efficiency. In communities around the world, United Way is working to ensure every child has a quality education, every family has a stable income, and people enjoy good health. United Ways’ impact in communities creates real change that goes beyond charity. Achieving our vision for the world – where all individuals and families achieve their human potential – requires innovation powered by new technology and outreach methods. Donations can be made online by visiting www.unitedway.org/bitcoin.

  • Who can donate Bitcoin to United Way Worldwide? Can I donate from outside the United States?

    Bitcoin is a global payment network, and accepting it enables United Way Worldwide to accept donations from anywhere in the world. Anyone with an Internet connection and a bitcoin digital wallet can donate bitcoin to United Way Worldwide.

  • Will UWW make a profit from users' donations?

    No. As a non-profit organization, United Way Worldwide does not make a profit from its activities.

  • Are U.S. donors eligible for a tax deduction when they make a donation using Bitcoin?

    The IRS issued guidance that bitcoin is to be treated as a property for Federal tax purposes. See more here: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Virtual-Currency-Guidance

    Given the IRS guidance that bitcoin is to be treated as property, donating bitcoin offers compelling tax benefits. Donating appreciated property to charity is an often overlooked tax strategy. It allows taxpayers to deduct donated property that would otherwise be subject to capital gains tax.

    Donors should consult with a tax advisor for properly recording this donation on personal tax return.

  • How do donors use Bitcoin?

    For donors interested in making a bitcoin donation, here are instructions provided by BitPay, our cryptocurrency vendor.

    1. Get a wallet: This is basically an app that stores your bitcoin and bitcoin cash. Here are a few that work with BitPay.
    2. Move Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash into your spending wallet: Transferring your BTC and BCH is easy. Now that you have a spending wallet, you'll want to send your cryptocurrency there.
    3. Make a payment: depending on which device you're using, you can either scan a QR code, open your wallet app directly, or you can copy and paste the URL for the invoice.

    Don't worry, it's easier than it sounds. If you run into issues, email innovation@unitedway.org for assistance.

  • Where can I learn more about Bitcoin?

    For more information on Bitcoin, you can review this frequently asked questions document at bitcoin.org: https://bitcoin.org/en/faq