Skip to main content

When Dave Wahlstedt reached out to our community foundation about giving bitcoin TO HIS DONOR ADVISED FUND, he knew he was going to the right place.

Dave's father had been giving through a donor advised fund with the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation for nearly two decades, and he had experienced the value and creativity that our staff brought to the table.

“Being able to donate appreciated assets like private company stock is incredibly valuable,” said Wahlstedt. “When you don’t have to pay capital gains tax, you’re able to give all of the value of that asset and not just a fraction of it.”

Because of this, he knew donating his bitcoin through his father’s fund would allow for the greatest impact. For us, it was an exciting opportunity to be accepting a donation in cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin is an online, decentralized peer-to-peer payment network. It is the first-ever implementation of the concept of cryptocurrency — a form of money that uses cryptography to control both its creation and its transactions as opposed to a central authority. There are other forms of cryptocurrency as well, including Litecoin, Ethereum, and Zcash. Bitcoin specifically has seen a fair amount of success and has greatly appreciated in value since the network was first created in 2009.

“Being responsive to donor interests and creating more avenues for donors to give back has always been our focus,” said Jeremy Wells, senior vice president of Philanthropic Services at the Foundation. “Dave’s request was one we were eager to fulfill, both for him and for future donors.”

Researching Cryptocurrencies for Gift Acceptance and Liquidation

To see Dave’s donation through, we began educating ourselves on the underlying technology and various types of cryptocurrencies, evaluating any risk, characteristics and platforms needed to accept and liquidate the gifts. We spoke with individual investors, peers and an expert at the Minnesota Federal Reserve.

“We initially did a test transaction to make sure we felt secure in protecting the donor as well as the Foundation as we began to accept these gifts,” said Christine Searson, former Chief Financial Officer at the Foundation. “Our goal was to make sure we could accept donor gifts safely and efficiently at a low cost as we converted their gift to cash and transferred it to their donor advised funds for grantmaking.”

After testing, setting up the account and sorting out any necessary details, Dave was able to officially donate in bitcoin — in turn, creating the ability for all donors working with us at the Foundation to do the same.

“I certainly recommend others to consider giving in the same way,” said Wahlstedt. “It’s a great way to do charitable giving, and the Foundation was friendly, helpful and open minded.”

To learn more about giving back through cryptocurrency, contact our gift planning team.

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors regarding your individual situation before engaging in any transaction.

More Stories

Strengthening Client Relationships

Learn how financial advisor Paul Dadlez partners with the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation to better support his clients in their giving.

Learn More

Why I Partner with a Community Foundation

Attorney Jacqui Dorsey shares five reasons she values her work with the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation.

Learn More

How to Donate Crops and Other Farm Assets

Learn how giving crops, farm equipment or livestock can allow farmers to support nonprofits they care about.

Learn More

How to Partner with the Foundation to Support Your Nonprofit Clients

Learn audit director Cathy Lydon’s tips for fellow advisors when working with nonprofits.

Learn More

The Gift of Cryptocurrency

Here’s how to make virtual currency part of your charitable giving plan.

Learn More

Three Benefits of Donating Real Estate

Charitable contributions of real estate are a great way to give back to causes you care about. Here are three benefits to giving real estate.

Learn More

What are Non-Cash Assets?

Donating assets like real estate or cryptocurrency can allow you to make a significant impact on your favorite causes.

Watch the video

What Is a Community Foundation?

Learn how a community foundation works and can help you achieve your charitable goals.

Watch the video

GET MONTHLY STORIES, NEWS AND UPDATES

JOIN
US!

* Indicates a required field