Great Ways in Which Blockchain can Benefit Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
Blockchain technology already has a seemingly unlimited number of theoretical use cases, and more of them are still being discovered every day. One area where blockchain can really help a lot is with issues that NGOs (non-governmental organizations) often face. These organizations have noble goals, often tied to trying to resolve some of the most serious issues of a modern society.
However, in their attempts to do so, they have to deal with their own problems. These issues often revolve around gathering the support of the public, getting donations, raising funds and awareness, ensuring transparency, and alike. All of these things are important, and tied to one another.
If they are not transparent, they cannot gain support, as many might view them as shady organizations. With no support, they cannot hope to raise money. With no money, they cannot make a difference, which means that the problems do not get resolved, and it is regular people who end up suffering.
How Can Blockchain Help?
Around the world, there are around 10 millions organizations like this, according to estimates. Statistics show that charitable NGOs managed to raise around $410.02 billion in 2017 alone. However, issues such as corruption and financial influence are present in all layers of society, which is why a large amount of these funds ended up being “lost”.
As a result, the sector's reputation suffered, and those who truly wish to help had their hands tied.
This is where blockchain technology comes in. Its numerous features can solve many of issues that are currently preventing people from trusting NGOs. Blockchain can ensure transparency that these organizations struggle to achieve on their own, and also, data stored on it cannot be manipulated, changed, or even erased.
This can easily prevent corruption, as any attempt at theft would become obvious immediately, as well as the culprit. With transparency levels of this size, people who wish to help would be encouraged to do so, as they would know that their money is actually reaching those for which it was intended.
People wish to help and donate, however, they do not want to allow rich people to gain more money by exploiting their efforts. Because of that, it is important for those that are donating to know that their money is used as promised. NGOs already have a damaged reputation due to numerous donation thefts, sexual misconduct scandals, and numerous examples of corruption, many of which are still unresolved. As a result, the entire NGO sector lost the trust of those it depended on. It is not only organizations that lost the trust, but their individual leaders as well.
Furthermore, larger NGOs often manage to survive large scandals due to the fact that they have a lot of support. Small, local organizations are often not so lucky. However, even in situations like that, there are things that can be learned, such as the importance of transparency and accountability. This is how a conclusion that blockchain can solve these problems was made in the first place.
As mentioned, all data on the blockchain is permanently locked, not capable of being affected or erased, and — most importantly — publically accessible. As a result, anyone can see what a specific NGO is doing with the money they received at any time. After getting such proof that their money is used correctly, donors will regain some of their trust in NGOs.
Of course, this is only one example of how blockchain can help, and its impact will not be limited to just funding issues. However, as a crucial part of NGOs operations, this is an issue that needs to be addressed among the first.
Implementation of blockchain would also mean that these organizations can start relying on cryptocurrencies more. All of these transactions would be equally traceable and transparent, which would be the start of true solutions for some of the world's biggest social problems. It all comes down to trust and proving that efforts of those who participate matter.