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Pat Duffy thinks about cryptocurrency’s role in charitable giving

Over the last two years, nonprofits have seen digital marketing and fundraising accelerate at lightning speed. In this season of Groupthinkers, we’re dedicating each episode to discussing digital advancement with some of the industry’s leading experts.

On this episode, we sit down with Pat Duffy, co-founder of The Giving Block, to discuss cryptocurrency and the role it plays in charitable giving. Tune as we talk about:

  • What cryptocurrency is
  • Why it makes sense for charitable giving
  • The barriers between cryptocurrency and charitable giving
  • How nonprofits can get started

Meet our guest

Pat Duffy Headshot

Pat Duffy

Co-founder, The Giving Block

“We always ask, ‘Are you good at the Internet, and are you good at fundraising?’ And if the answer is yes to both of those, then of course you should be taking crypto. And if it’s not yes to both of those, then you have other things you should be working on first, and this [crypto] is probably just a lottery ticket or a distraction.”

Listen now



Podcast transcript

Justin McCord: Hey, everyone, welcome to Groupthinkers, the podcast from RKD Group. I'm your host, Justin McCord. With me, as always, is Ronnie Richard. Good to see you, Ronnie.

Ronnie Richard: Good to see you, Justin. I'm feeling refreshed and ready to go after a week in the most magical place on earth, Disney World. So I'm good to go.

Justin: You know, when you said you're feeling refreshed, I was wondering if you were going to let out where you were, you know? You know, people keep tabs on where you are. They're looking for your check ins and those sorts of things.

Ronnie: I'm a pretty big deal. You know that.

Justin: Yeah, Ronnie, he he's keeping check ins alive from his location. So, so listen, so on each and every episode, you guys know this, but I'm going to roll through it anyway, on each and every episode, we sit down with influencers in the nonprofit space, people who're doing something that's different, that's innovative, that's forward thinking. And we're constantly looking for fresh perspectives on what's happening. And we are in the middle of a series of conversations on digital advancement. And I don't know if we can get more digitally advanced than today's topic and our guest, Pat Duffy, co-founder of The Giving Block, which is a crypto solution for nonprofits and donors. Pat, you are allegedly coming to us from the future. Is that correct?

Pat Duffy: That sounds about right, yeah.

Justin: So, so how are things in the future?

Pat: I was hoping we could do, like, 15 more minutes of the banter between you two. I would love a podcast of, like, 20-25 minutes of banter and, like, 15 of shop talk.

Justin: Just, we're just sitting here talking about what's been happening in our lives and you're just sitting there just watching.

Pat: I would love that. Yeah, yeah, just complaining about neighbors. But everything, yeah, everything is good from …

Justin: Everything, everything's good in the future. That's good. So, all right, so we need to talk about crypto, and we need to understand it, and we need to understand your path to The Giving Block, and so I want to start there. And so, tell us your journey to get here, from the halls of Congress as it were, tell us your journey to get here. And then, you know, I've got to be honest with you, my mom listens, and there are other people that listen that may not exactly understand what cryptocurrency is. So, after you talk about your path, just give us a little 101 on the foundational elements of cryptocurrency.

Pat: Yeah, sure. So, my background was in alliance development originally. So, just working with pharmaceutical companies to partner with nonprofits whenever there was something like patient access, say, related that they need to, you know, go to Capitol Hill and kind of lobby together, more or less. So did that for a little while. I ended up at one of the nonprofits that we worked with to help him build a kind of a new management structure. Just thought it'd be cool to figure out, like, how an organization gets run sort of end to end instead of the consultative side where you're kind of in a more narrow lane. And that was same time more or less that I had a buddy who got me into trading crypto, now co-founder Alex Wilson.

Toward the end of 2017 is when I first started, like, really actively trading, which is like the perfect time if you want to lose all of your money because, like, everything just started skyrocketing. So I just, like, dabbled as it went up until Ethereum hit, like, $1,300 a unit. And then I just yo-yo’d and rode it down to $88. It's a lot of lessons there, but what happened at the end of 2017 was the pineapple fund. Ashton Kutcher went on, Ellen DeGeneres was sending crypto donations.

My mom, to your point, finally wrote to me. It was like, OK, I'm cool with this crypto thing because of all the donations and the charity stuff going on. And we pretty much identified two things, like one, crypto could be an awesome force for charity. There's, like, now trillions of dollars in this stuff, and it's super tax incentivized to give. It just could bring a lot of innovation from this younger donor demographic, there’s a real incentive to connect with nonprofits outside of just their impact areas.

And then the other piece was mainstream crypto adoption, which we were just super hell bent on as two people who were sitting around trading crypto. We wanted to see it go more mainstream. We wanted everyone's mom to think it was cool, and we just saw through fundraisers and donations that that was a really good path to get there.

Justin: That's, uh, OK, so, so you and Alex, you conceived of this idea. And then, what did that path look like over the course of the last four years? You know, you're talking about developing a platform, you're talking about, you know, trying to have these initial conversations with organizations who might not exactly understand it, just talk about some of the different lessons and things that you learned or observed over the last 3 1/2 years.

Pat: Yeah, well, pretty much, I guess like the way that it has looked until really recently, it's like, if you've ever seen Napoleon Dynamite, where he's, like, trying to feed the lasagna to the alpaca, and it's, like, and it just keeps trying to get its head out of the way, and it keeps flinging the lasagna off the ladle. It's like, it was like that on both sides of it. But we just knew it made sense on paper.

So, the first big realization was, like, huge tax incentive to get this way. But no one in crypto liked spending crypto, like, they would much rather get rid of dollars. They hate dollars. They're hyperinflationary, and crypto was the best performing asset ever. So that's why no one goes and buys, like, a pizza with bitcoin, like you hear the horror stories from back in the day. But even today, it's the same reason you don't go to a baseball game and buy stuff with stocks. So there was this artificial measurement of crypto adoption based on whether or not you're spending crypto in the for-profit arena.

We saw that on the other side of the fence, it's actually more tax efficient to give crypto than dollars, which is like a huge use case opening for users, and you've trillions of dollars sitting there. And what that means, now with 300 million users, like there's tens of millions of users in the US alone who are most tax incentivized to donate this way. They need tax education, they need campaigns and moments to give, the industry needed a Giving Pledge, the companies needed integrations, we just saw the giving culture on the donor side. It needed to be built. It wasn't just, like, if you pop a donation option on a charity site, funds are going to start flowing through. It just wasn't there yet. So that was one of our big realizations in the early days.

And then the other side was on the charity side of the fence. Charities were, we found a couple of dozen as of 2017 who were accepting it. None of them got donations. And then we saw, you know, a handful who did get donations, and they were taken in the worst way as possible. So, like, donors were just showing up to a random charity who had nothing set up. They were, like, pop open a wallet, we'll send it to you. And then they were just sitting there waiting for a month and a half for an exchange account to open as they watched Bitcoin tank by 40, 50, 60%. So it was this miserable experience. Then there's the accounting for the donor and the nonprofit, there's the automatic generation of a receipt that didn't exist, there's the reconciliation and then the fundraising, ultimately.

No nonprofits were getting in front of donors, on top of just getting all the headaches out. So we made two big, deliberate decisions. One was, let's build a crowdfunding platform and campaigns and sort of actual connective tissue on the donor side, not just do it from the nonprofit side of the fence. And then the other side was to take the least scalable, most consultative approach to crypto and then back down instead of making, like, the kind of half version of, like, a Shopify for crypto and just pop it on as many nonprofit sites as possible and let the chips fall where they may. So those were, like, the two big realizations. Charities needed a hell of a lot more than, like, a payment solution, and donors needed a lot more education and opportunities to give.

Justin: So you hinted this a little bit, but just to be a little more direct, how normalized is crypto as a form of, I'm going to call it, walking currency. So maybe not that I would go down the street and buy a pizza with it. But how normalized is it as a form of usable currency that donors are interested in exchanging or giving to nonprofits?

Pat: Yeah, this is, I skipped your second half of your first question, which is, like, what is crypto? And this answers the question. It’s, one of the biggest branding errors was calling it cryptocurrency to begin with, like, it should have been called something different because everyone now associates it with currencies, like, they don't recognize that it has features like gold and stores of value. It has features like stocks and assets that are speculative that you invest into and out of based on how you think a thing might perform, say, a company, and then currencies, like things you exchange, value that is exchanged between two people to transact. And those things aren't hard, set values, these are just constructions, right, by people. There is no reason for just those three areas to exist. You could have 15, you could have one. All of these things have different unique features.

So, like, what a cryptocurrency is, like a Bitcoin, like the basic kind of original versions, is it's got the features of a currency that you would want, for the most part. It's very fungible. You can transfer it anywhere. It's divisible down to cents on the dollar. You can send a billion anywhere in the world. The transaction record is unchangeable. No one can alter any transaction record, and no one can add fake Bitcoin into the network or claim that it is somewhere where it isn't. It's this blockchain ledger that's immutable is like the whole tech behind it versus dollars where every record is more or less fake. Like if everyone went to their bank today to take the money out, it doesn't exist. It's a system called fractional reserve, so it's, like, made up on a spreadsheet. This is like a hard and fast exchange system that no one can alter the records. And if you're holding, you're actually holding it, like, no one can say that it doesn't exist. So that's fun and exciting.

The issue, though, is price volatility, right? Like, if you're selling a Bitcoin and it's going up a lot, you've now tax implications when you spend it. Like if you spent stocks getting coffee every day, you're triggering taxable events, you owe the IRS money and you're reducing your portfolio size. So Bitcoin doesn't really work like a currency in the day to day, except for places like Venezuela, which gets you to a stablecoin. Think of all of those features of a bitcoin, but it's just pegged to the price of a US dollar. So when people think about a cryptocurrency, you get all of those cool features: you can send it anywhere, it's really fast, easy to send, it's a perfect transaction record, you can audit any government, every dollar that went anywhere, no one can ever change that record, you absolutely know you have it when you do, but it's pegged to a dollar, like that's kind of the next stage of the use cases. And that's more like, to your point, a walking around currency. We're just starting to see that kind of take form.

Justin: When you went through the use cases and you start talking about on the donor side and creating those campaigns, talk to me about what the universe looked like and the number of potential donors that you found or have seen for, you know, people who are interested in or willing to make campaigns that support nonprofits.

Pat: Yeah, I mean, we're at a point now where, like, tens of millions of dollars are donated in crypto every month. We have, like, a campaign going on right now. We have a $10 million match poll and some is coming from companies and individuals. It's a bit of a mix. There's two main donor demographics as individuals. And then there's sort of the corporate entities in the partnerships for the individuals. You have kind of millennial/Gen Z, as you would expect, this average quote unquote crypto user who's, like, late 20s, early 30s, high income, on average, highly tech and financially literate. They tend to be, you know, more generous than traditional investors from the fidelity report last year. They're 50% more likely to give $1,000 or more than any other investment demo, which is fun, and they're exactly what you would expect, like the analogy, or not the analogy, but example we give all the time, it's like we have donors who are, like, have fun saying core, like doing internet memes with each other back and forth all day. And then they just, like, form a DAO and, like, pile up a million and a half dollars to give it to, like, human rights organizations fighting poverty. And it's, like, it's the same people. So you have this inane meme internet culture of, like, young folks having fun on the internet and playing with interesting technologies, and then they're giving to nonprofits with this, like, highly incentivized mode of giving. And then the other demo on the individual side is traditional investors.

So the majority of wealth in crypto is already held by Gen X and boomers; like, it happened very quickly, but it's just a fractional percentage of their portfolios. But they just have so much of the wealth. So, like, 95% of hedge funds either have crypto or diversified into it. If you're in endowments, like, you've diversified into crypto in some way, shape or form, oftentimes treasury management is moving in that direction. That's the other side of the fence. Sort of like your old school donors who now, if they have any crypto, if it's gone up more than their stocks, they're giving that instead. And then sort of corporate partnerships would be the last one outside of individuals. And that's, like, crypto changes, right? When you watch the Super Bowl, they're buying up all the stadiums, they're buying up all the ads. You know, the billionaires in the Forbes top 30 list are more frequently these men and women. Those crypto exchanges, those payment companies are kind of the next wave of financial innovation. From a corporate partnership standpoint, that would be your other vector.

So classic crypto people, the B-Gen, as people call them, traditional investors who are diversifying in, and then the companies who are building the fabric of the ecosystem. That's kind of the next wave of big picture corporate partners like what Facebook and Twitter kind of used to be.

Ronnie: So one of the things we know from being in the nonprofit fundraising space is that donors, we need to make it easy for them. We need to remove barriers between them and giving.

When it comes to crypto, where are the barriers and where do they need to come down? Is it, you know, it seems like on the donor side, these would be people who are very familiar with using, you know, whichever cryptocurrency they're working with, they're aware of it. They're very knowledgeable. Maybe the nonprofits aren't so much. Is it on their side that they need the tools, the platforms, like, what is, what is the holdup, or what's standing in the way?

Pat: Yeah, it's a very good question. There's sort of, the intersection between the two of them is where, like, a lot of the issues emerge, like, both have problems. So, like, the donors don't necessarily understand the non-profit side of things. They might not be as literate on the tax consequences of taking certain actions or, like, getting an appraisal on a donation of a certain size. Or they also don't know what the rules, regulations are around a nonprofit. So you sometimes get a donor who is crypto literate but doesn't understand what that means for an institution. So they’ll, like, pop up a wallet for a non-profit that’s not linked to an exchange account that’s in the nonprofit’s name with documentation. They'll send a million bucks there, and then they go to the IRS, and they're, like, I gave a million dollars to a charity, and the IRS says, prove it, and they're, like, I have a blockchain ledger. It's like, ledger, yeah, but for what? You know what I mean? Like, where, show me that the nonprofit owns this address. It's like they'll tell you they do, and it's, like, there's zero documentation. So it's little things like that where they just don't know what the nonprofit needs are, and they can butt into issues.

And then the other piece is the nonprofits not understanding crypto. So, like, in the early days, there are, like, horror stories. Nonprofits still do this sometimes for, like a donor will send an NFT to, like, a dynamic wallet address and just set it on fire. Or nonprofits will try to set up their own solution, like, connected to something. And they won't show that something isn't an ERC 20 token. Like, you know, you can have versions of the same token go across different protocols, and they'll send, like, something from sold, like, on any ERC 2020 version of the token because they don't, like, market accordingly. And then again, the money is just gone forever.

So, yeah, technical considerations on the nonprofit side, compliance with protocols that need to have in place. And then the main issue is, like, donors and nonprofits, when they historically try to set up their own account somewhere, or if a non-profit solution provider tries to go from that into crypto, the support team isn't ready for what donors’ needs are because they're not crypto literate enough, or if it's an exchange, they're crypto literate, but they're not ready for nonprofit needs, and they're like, how do I update my gift acceptance policy? And the nonprofit is just toast. So it just leads to a lot of, like, six hour Saturdays for someone on their team trying to piece together what this might mean.

Justin: The, OK, so first of all, so it's fascinating, it's all fascinating. I somewhat feel like I'm talking to C-3PO, but this is like, I mean that in the highest regard, in the absolute highest regard because there is this, there is this element of digital advancement that is baked into everything that you're about and everything that you're doing. And I applaud you and the number of languages that you can speak and help translate this for our audience. I'm also, I'm amazed at the parallels I'm mentally drawing, by the way, to donor advised funds and the process of being connected to and giving through crypto formats and, and there is this massive transference of wealth from, you know, the greatest generation and boomers that it's primarily happening through upper-level, you know, they'd be called upper level giving platforms, like donor advised funds or transferring other assets. Last year, we spent a considerable part of our year talking about Gen X as an emerging group of donors. And you're just, like, right on that wake of talking about, no, no, there are assets that this group has that they're looking for ways to tie in to, to give them to charities. And we've seen this even with our own clients of, you know, you know, NFTs being a part of donations or someone sells off a group of NFTs and then takes that and provides it over to a non-profit.

The biggest challenge, and, so I'm getting to a question, and it's the question that we kind of talked about earlier. So I'm preparing you. You can't say, just us. Nonprofits are historically slow to adopt. I mean, even with mobile, it's taken a long time for nonprofits to get comfortable, not just adoption, but comfortable with the use of certain technologies. What's the biggest challenge for a nonprofit to adopt? The solution sets that you're offering. The market’s there. The dollars are there. The willingness from the donor is there. So like, those things all line up. What's stopping them?

Pat: Yeah, it’s a great, there's two main things. One is just not paying attention, which is just a fact of life. Where it’s just like, you explain certain things, like the fact that for, like, interest earning accounts, if you're familiar with these, like a BlockFi or Gemini or like, they've been around now for multiple years, just over a significant period, you can just leave your principle intact, the USD dollar value, and you can earn usually somewhere between 7 and 12% on that money, just flat. And it's like, you tell people and they're like, that can't possibly. And then you see institutions that are doing that, like moving tens of millions of dollars, and they're just earning that. It's more just like being unaware. So like when we talk to universities and we set them up, that's the primary thing, like just not paying attention at all.

We talk to universities when we set them up to take crypto, so we work with the University of Alabama and UNC and just a lot of universities do this now. Then the, you know, the endowment side, like the finance team is like, should we be looking at investing in crypto? And just as a point of clarification, I'm not saying you should go out and buy a bunch right now. Like, sometimes it's overvalued, sometimes it’s undervalued, like there's a million considerations, but like what we tell endowments, it's like, your job is to manage a big pile of money, right? Like, as effectively as you can. And they're like, yeah, and it's like, well, crypto is the best performing asset class of the last five years, the last 10 years. Just go over any multi-year period. It's outperforming literally everything else. So it's like, if you even looked at it for more than a decade, like the best performing asset, then, like, what are the odds you're doing your job as effectively as possible? It's like, the answer is zero. Like, you have to look at it. You can say no, but like, look at it, I guess we'd be like. So that's the main thing.

And most nonprofits are just like, they just spent a, you know, 20 minutes in the unit, they say, there's 300 million people, but there's more money in this than silver? And it's like, yeah, this is like, it's not a small thing. And then they're like, oh, American Cancer Society, Save the Children, United Way, Worldwide, PETA, St Jude, it's like everyone has it. It's like, yeah, it's been, it's kind of a thing. So that's the first thing, like, pay attention.

And then the second piece is like the muscle group of innovation, like just working that muscle because you shouldn't necessarily start with crypto if you are, to your point, like behind the eight ball on social media and, like, search engine optimization and mobile optimizing your site and taking basic things like Zelle, you know, like, oh, they're just like a regular payment method? Like, there's a lot of things, you should have a list of these things that you should be exploring iteratively and then looking at, like, how much time and energy it takes to do something and what is the potential upside, right? And the average, like, you have to be analyzing trends and then hitting them consistently. If you do that consistently, then your organization can get into new things because you're good at it. You know what departments need to be tapped, what questions need to be answered. You know how to look at a solution. It's very efficient for you to do a new thing.

But if you're constantly not doing that, then this is not a thing you should be doing. And you shouldn't be doing anything, you just got to wait to die, you know? Because it's a muscle group thing. So for nonprofits, who can, we always ask, like, are you good at the internet in some fundamental sense? And are you good at fundraising, and if the answer is yes to both of those, then of course you should take crypto, and if it's not yes to both of those, then you have other things you should be working on and this is probably like a lottery ticket or a distraction.

So, like, I would say, those are the two main things, like, you have to look at this, and other trends, is not the only interesting thing in the world for nonprofits or what can help them. And then you've got to be exploring trends actively and trying to do things, or you're going to be really bad when you absolutely have to do a new thing for the first time, the muscle group will have atrophied.

Justin: And that's where I get to say, and when you are ready, that The Giving Block is a group that you need to contact. We'll talk about this because clearly, I mean, you guys have the knowledge and the expertise and some very mature solutions already in place to help organizations get further down the road with this.

Pat: Yeah, for accepting it. It's like opening a bank account. If you can open a bank account, you can accept it, but you shouldn't necessarily be doing it. You know what I mean? Because if you're going to accept it and think you did it, and you're just going to set it somewhere for a year, like, you're going to be kicking yourself a year from now because, like, you didn't even just do the light lift stuff, splicing it into your existing fundraising opportunities and adding that passive revenue stream. You want to be able to hit it, and if it becomes a thing that you had all these internal meetings around afterwards and there’s over investing into some low ROI, high bandwidth stuff, like, you know if it's a shiny object or a lottery ticket type thing, and you shouldn't be doing crypto, then, either way. Like most nonprofits are in that 95% in the middle where it's definitely a thing they should explore and then potentially implement.

But yeah, the actual setup of it, it's like opening a bank account. You just fill out an application and then it comes down to, how are we going to get this? How do we tell our audience that we're taking it? And how do we get in front of them? Crypto users is like a new donor demo, and there's like level 1 all the way up to 10, right? You can just come in with a full head of steam. But like, that's not the move for everybody. The one thing you don't want to do is pop it on your site, fall asleep for two years and then show up like someone who created a website in the early 2000s and then shows up a decade later. It's like, why isn't anyone coming here? But you didn't add any content. You didn't make a newsletter, you didn't open social accounts, like you just sat there and wasted your chance to be, you know, early.

Ronnie: It's just like many of the other avenues that nonprofits are looking for, you know, many are after monthly sustainers, and you have to pursue it, you have to constantly make donors aware of the possibility for it, send out emails and mail and mention it on social. So, like you say, you have to keep going after it and pursuing it. It's not going to fall in your lap.

Now, I'm just kind of curious, you've given some stories about a couple of missteps that, or alluded to missteps that nonprofits have made. What are, what are some of your favorite positive stories? You know, maybe you don't need to say your client's name or something, but you know, just give us an idea of what is a great outcome for a nonprofit.

Pat: Yeah, no, we can say names, for ones that are public information. We have, we have 1,400 clients on the platform now. So we've got, like, a 30-page packet of case studies and testimonials, whereas like, back in the day, we had one and had to just keep calling everybody and saying it's cool.

But, like, for a small organization, someone like Orangutan Outreach, this is an example of a group that usually we say no to, like when they come through, like as a lead. Like, we say no to a lot more organizations than we sign up just because we have a 99% retention rate and, like, our averages and our standard, like, performance is just a very big thing. We want orgs that can have a crypto philanthropy program. So they came in at $500,000 a year. We were like, that's usually below where we'd start feeling a little nervous about how good are you with the internet? How good are you at fundraising? But they were great at both, and it was like, obvious pretty early on, and the founder had an interest in NFTs specifically that wasn't lottery tickety, you know, because you can feel that too. You get the 2:00 a.m. emails and they're like, should I buy this? And it’s like, I don't know. I can't tell you that. And this was much more nuanced.

And they had an ape-related nonprofit, right, orangutan outreach. And they caught wind of the Bored Ape Yacht Club stuff as it was going down. And they were just not all at once and then getting frustrated after a week of it and then shutting down until end of year, which a lot of nonprofits do, even with us. They just consistently sent messages to people, engaged on content, built this kind of crypto Twitter following, and they engaged Bored Ape Yacht Club, and it worked, and they wanted to donate fees from stuff that was going down and drops they were doing. It's like one of the big NFT projects, and it hit, and they raised over a million in crypto in a single year, so they literally tripled their budget with it.

That's obviously not what everyone's experience looks like. If you have a $30,000 to $50,000 program in your first year, like, that's very normal, and that's exciting. But they smashed it by just, like, really over a multi-month period, slowly building an audience, fundraising a little here and there, like activating folks, engaging campaigns. And then they found a partner, that was super exciting. So that's a good example. And then I'd say in terms of developing a program, this is like, if you're a blue-chip nonprofit like, forgive me for working it this way, but it's insane to not accept crypto because everyone knows how it works.

If you just put, like, Burger King, St. Jude, Bitcoin and, like, it's the number one story in the world always, like, it's just a very exciting opportunity to have two million Twitter followers. It's pretty easy to make dramatically more money all of a sudden, just by saying, hey, we like Bitcoin now, but American Cancer Society did it in a really kind of calculated way. They were like, we want to make space for crypto users, we want to have a stewardship model in place. We know, it's kind of like a Gen-Z engagement method but like a white glove, major gift conversion journey. And they called it The Cancer Crypto Fund. They set a million crypto goal specifically, they said, we want to raise a million dollars for cancer research in crypto. We're going to give an identity. We'll have a wall of honor. And they activated it really strong and got a following, built like a seven figure plus crypto program really quickly and without doing their own NFTs or trying to create a blockchain patient registry, like, they really looked and worked with us to find, like, high ROI and low bandwidth stuff, built an incredible foundation, from search engine optimization to what their calls to action will be and who on what team will handle it. And they were just braced for success and they gave it an identity. An op Ed came out. They built up a following, raised money really quickly and efficiently.

And then when we listed Doge on our platform, we sent out a note where it's like, every nonprofit should post about this because it's like, a fun, high engagement thing to talk about. And they got 12,000 retweets on that, which is, I think, their second-best performing tweet ever. But that's because they had a base, and they had enough people following to get that ripple effect.

They almost made a mistake after that, though. They were like, we need to go all in on Doge, like their leadership, but I was like, don't do that, you're going to be like a meme, like immediately. They were like, we're going to do nothing but Doge guys, and we were like, please don't do that. But up until.

Justin: Please don’t, please. Yeah, the fun part is the, you know, is the walking up to the cliff with all this stuff and kind of peering over and thinking, what does it look like, you know? So thank you all for helping continually provide that service of strategy and engagement and consulting to help them walk through what is an ever-changing landscape.

This is this is cool stuff, man. It really is. And you know, we love the success that you all have had so far, and we're excited to see how it continues and for you and Alex and your team to be on the front edge of a really interesting aspect of digital advancement. And so, if one of our listeners wants to learn more about your team, how can they get in touch with The Giving Block? Where do they go? How do they find you? What, what should they look for?

Pat: Yeah the main thing we recommend to everyone is just go to There's a big, shiny accept crypto button. There's a form you fill out. And then you just talk to, like, an expert who runs through what's a needs assessment and an opportunities assessment. So they just bang through all of that, and then you get that as a follow-up, and then you can kind of figure it out from there.

We're, of course, going to try to pitch you to join our platform, but that's a very good starting point. It’ll pretty much run through, do you have all of these basic fundamental attributes, like you're in a hot spot city, you’ve a very young donor base, you're super active on Twitter, just basic things like that. And then also needs assessment. Large organization, there's endowments, less treasury management related needs. We need to accept more than just cryptos. There's an NFT component. Getting through those, the basic understanding of what you might need to look, for saves, like, the most time up front. So you're not just, like, trying to research and make a makeshift version.

And then after that, you know, figuring out how actively you actually can get into crypto is a really important thing. And go in there like that. If you're really into crypto, you can create blockchain fatigue, so don't do that. You could just come in super hot and everyone's annoyed three weeks in because now you're like the Bitcoin guy at Thanksgiving, but at your charity. And then same thing, if you start too slow, you slap a button up there and fall asleep. But that's, yeah, is our website, and then for me, I'm @thisispatduffy across socials.

Justin: Fantastic man. Thanks for, thanks for joining us, thanks for lending your expertise and, honest to goodness, my dog even agrees, like the things that you and Alex and team are doing, thank you all for leaning in and helping continue to advance nonprofits in this space. It's uncharted territory, and that's why it's so exciting is because there's a lot of opportunity there. So, we appreciate you, man, appreciate you being a part of the show today.

Pat: Yeah, we love it, man. Thanks so much for having us.

Justin: So, that's this episode. Ronnie, you know, I'm really torn on whether or not we should continue the banter or if we should talk about creating an NFT of a rhino with a really twirly mustache like we were talking about with Pat before we got on today.

Ronnie: I think it's all of the above. Like, we should just say now, if you stay with us, we're going to keep talking for another 45, maybe 60 minutes about rhinos with mustaches. That's the only topic. So stick around.

Justin: And you know, Ronnie, Pat, you should know that he looks at the analytics, and he knows when people start to fall off. And so this is a test for him. He's trying to see if we have something, you know, possibly absurd but interesting. Will people stick around?

Pat: You got to do magic, you know what I mean? You got to get some cards.

Justin: It’s true, it's true. So hey, listen, if folks have missed any of the other episodes, you can find them across all the places that you listen to podcasts. Please throw us a follow. Be sure to check out our other resources on, and we look forward to continuing our conversations on digital advancement. We'll, we'll see you next time. See you guys down the road.

Groupthinkers is a production of RKD Group. For more information, visit Special thanks to our production team, including the talented Ryan Mellinger, for his work on mixing every episode. Also, a shout out to the content team that helps pull together research and guests, puts the marketing efforts behind Groupthinkers, Suzanne, Ronnie and others for their work on this and every episode of Groupthinkers.

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Groupthinkers is the podcast for RKD Group. This is a must-listen experience of thought-provoking content that inspires insight on the industry and strategic decisions. Groupthinkers brings together innovators and curators in nonprofit marketing, branding and direct response to tackle the major issues facing nonprofits today. Be sure to tune in for the rest of Season 8 as we drop new episodes throughout the coming months.

RKD Group

RKD Group is North America's leading fundraising and marketing services provider to hundreds of nonprofit organizations, including hospitals, social service, disease research, animal welfare, rescue missions, and faith-based charities. RKD Group’s omnichannel approach leverages technology, advanced data science and award-winning strategic and creative leadership to accelerate net revenue growth, build long-term donor relationships and drive online and offline engagements and donations. With a growing team of professionals, RKD Group creates breakthroughs never thought possible.

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