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Author Topic: BDK Donation Drive for Western High School Band Dep't  (Read 1057 times)
Kluge
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May 01, 2012, 08:49:07 PM
 #1

I talked about this earlier with Phin, but this appears outside the scope of BTC100.

Subject to plenty of budget cuts, this band dep't is getting squeezed rather tight. I went to school here and can say both the band department and director are fantastic. The guy really cares and is well-known in the community. Many extracurricular activities in the school are being cut, as well as classes (lately, they've been resorting to online AP courses to replace many of the "non-essential" classes they're cutting). They don't spend money lavishly, and for the students and high marks they consistently receive at contests, probably are one of the most frugal districts in the state. You can find their none-too-elaborate webpage @ http://westernschools.schoolfusion.us/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=143065

As happens, I'm temporarily residing within a couple miles of the school. I just sent an email to the director asking if I could have permission to launch a donation drive for the program. One of the four options I presented to him (which I liked the most) is me collecting BTC at an address, then purchasing goods the band department needs from the community, perhaps a fund-raiser for one particular expensive item the department's in need of. As well, people could send items directly to me and I can present them to the director, perhaps with a photo. I believe he would also be willing to write (I certainly will!) an article to the local newspapers about this donation drive and the results. Going this route would also be fee-free outside of the shipping charges. -- However, this may not be the option he uses (I also presented options such as using Bit-Pay to receive USD, but this requires donors to effectively sell their BTC to donate USD using Bit-Pay).

The press would likely only be local. There may be positives coming out of buying needed supplies using BTC, and buying from the community. This is more of an "out of the goodness of your heart" donation than anything.

I'm hoping to be able to collect donations by the start of next week, figure out my own pledge, and match amount. I'm expecting this drive to raise the USD equiv. of $250-1500 excluding my own donation. Any thoughts would be appreciated.



Cheers,

Ben

(ETA: Wasn't sure which thread this should've been in, so apologies if I placed it wrong. Was considering Project Development, but it seemed to be occupied entirely by commercial ventures & software development, then thought maybe "Off Topic," but this subforum seems to be more of a catch-all.)

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terrytibbs
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May 01, 2012, 09:21:32 PM
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I'll donate a coin or two.
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May 01, 2012, 11:27:31 PM
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I'll donate a coin or two.

Ditto.

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Kluge
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May 01, 2012, 11:34:52 PM
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Thanks, guys.

Will update when I hear back from director.

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May 01, 2012, 11:43:11 PM
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Donation address?  Sounds like a good idea.

Edit: for the Kluge's following message - can you make the Band Department accept the coins?  For instance, I send five coins to them direct as opposed to sending one coin to you.
Kluge
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May 01, 2012, 11:54:44 PM
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Donation address?  Sounds like a good idea.
Waiting on director whether or not I can do this and how he wants to proceed. Was hoping to get some thoughts - specifically, if people would prefer sending coins directly to the band department if they effectively sold the BTC to receive USD using Bit-Pay, or if they'd rather take the risk of a third-party (me) collecting BTC donations and spending the BTC on items from within the BTC community which the band program needs.

I also threw out that I'd be willing to "buy" the BTC donated and donate USD to the band department at no fee. Or, I could manually handle donations, selling BTC donations for USD through Gox, having the USD go to my bank account, then sending the band dep't what I received (.5-.6% fee from Gox + $.25 for each withdrawal from Dwolla, which is significantly cheaper than Bit-Pay, which I believe charges 2.99%, but that'd be a faster and more direct way for the dep't to receive the donations).

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May 02, 2012, 12:07:59 AM
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Donation address?  Sounds like a good idea.
Waiting on director whether or not I can do this and how he wants to proceed. Was hoping to get some thoughts - specifically, if people would prefer sending coins directly to the band department if they effectively sold the BTC to receive USD using Bit-Pay, or if they'd rather take the risk of a third-party (me) collecting BTC donations and spending the BTC on items from within the BTC community which the band program needs.

I also threw out that I'd be willing to "buy" the BTC donated and donate USD to the band department at no fee. Or, I could manually handle donations, selling BTC donations for USD through Gox, having the USD go to my bank account, then sending the band dep't what I received (.5-.6% fee from Gox + $.25 for each withdrawal from Dwolla, which is significantly cheaper than Bit-Pay, which I believe charges 2.99%, but that'd be a faster and more direct way for the dep't to receive the donations).

I certainly approve of supporting the Bitcoin community whenever possible, but unless the band program desperately needs expensive GPUs or dedicated servers, you might be hard-pressed to find what they need here; the only Bitcoin-accepting musical instrument shop AFAIK is in Germany. (http://www.realmusicshop.de/en/index?x7ef4c=9e613266daf84ccb6af0ab3ec41d70bc) The most important aspect here IMO is supporting the band program in the most effective way possible. If we can do that and also support the Bitcoin economy, by all means do so, but I don't think it makes sense to support the Bitcoin community at the expense of the band program getting what it needs.

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Kluge
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May 02, 2012, 12:17:22 AM
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Donation address?  Sounds like a good idea.
Waiting on director whether or not I can do this and how he wants to proceed. Was hoping to get some thoughts - specifically, if people would prefer sending coins directly to the band department if they effectively sold the BTC to receive USD using Bit-Pay, or if they'd rather take the risk of a third-party (me) collecting BTC donations and spending the BTC on items from within the BTC community which the band program needs.

I also threw out that I'd be willing to "buy" the BTC donated and donate USD to the band department at no fee. Or, I could manually handle donations, selling BTC donations for USD through Gox, having the USD go to my bank account, then sending the band dep't what I received (.5-.6% fee from Gox + $.25 for each withdrawal from Dwolla, which is significantly cheaper than Bit-Pay, which I believe charges 2.99%, but that'd be a faster and more direct way for the dep't to receive the donations).

I certainly approve of supporting the Bitcoin community whenever possible, but unless the band program desperately needs expensive GPUs or dedicated servers, you might be hard-pressed to find what they need here; the only Bitcoin-accepting musical instrument shop AFAIK is in Germany. (http://www.realmusicshop.de/en/index?x7ef4c=9e613266daf84ccb6af0ab3ec41d70bc) The most important aspect here IMO is supporting the band program in the most effective way possible. If we can do that and also support the Bitcoin economy, by all means do so, but I don't think it makes sense to support the Bitcoin community at the expense of the band program getting what it needs.
I was planning on putting out a list of goods. Those items could be sent to me at no charge, or I could purchase them using the donated funds. Student instruments aren't hard to find, and I'm hoping that'll be one of the goods they're looking for. IIRC, there's a company which rents out instruments to students, but the band program tries to lease students instruments at no charge when possible. If I can't find sellers at a reasonable price, I'd just buy whatever BTC is remaining in the donation address at GoxLast, send it to one of my personal wallets, then send a check to the band department for the USD equiv. amount.

I also encouraged him to consider specifying a particular large item like an enclosed equipment trailer so we can have a clear goal. Currently, all the students have to carry it on buses in their seats. It's a pain in the ass, takes up a lot of seat-space, and the district is extremely stingy with buses. At that point, I'd want to secure a seller willing to accept BTC prior to accepting donations. We could do smaller items like that, too -- request donations only for items already lined up to be purchased.

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Kluge
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May 13, 2012, 09:05:51 PM
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Never received reply to email, so will put this off at least until I visit in a few months or whenever.


Cheers.

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May 13, 2012, 09:46:58 PM
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Never received reply to email, so will put this off at least until I visit in a few months or whenever.


Cheers.
Bummer! Keep us posted.
Kluge
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July 02, 2012, 10:23:19 AM
 #11

I wanted to revisit this. I can have charity accumulation integrated into BDK-BLoC without too much problem.

For example, BDK could multiply interest due to a CD-holder by 1.1, and have the extra 10% go to a charity of their choosing from a list of my choosing. Additionally, something like 5-10% of interest from loans made can go to charity. I think an even better idea would be to match percentage, so someone could, say, deposit 100BTC @ 4%/month, and say the maximum BDK will match is 50%, so a CD-holder could choose to allot 50% of his interest toward charity, and I'll match the entirety of that, for an effective CD rate of 6% instead of 4%, but 2/3 of that interest goes toward charity with the CD-holder receiving only 2% interest on his deposit directly. All else the same, if someone chose to allot 100% of their interest toward charity, I would still only match 50% of that, but then 6%/month would go toward charity. The user could also choose to allot 0% of interest toward charity, in which case nothing would go to a charity, but the depositor receives maximum interest.

I like the idea of visiting the charities and meeting them face-to-face very much. I hate donating to organizations that spend obnoxious amounts of money soliciting donations - like... say I donate $50 to a political campaign, then over the course of a couple years, they spend more than that on postage and phone calls trying to pressure me into donating $500 while they're convincing me the money's being wasted on hassling me. It's infuriating. - Or in cases like Wikimedia where nearly 30% of what you donate to them goes toward administration and fundraising compared to 8% with the American Red Cross (though AMR operates much more like a business than a charity -- sales account for nearly 4x revenues over donations). For reference on some other major charities, Susan G Komen Foundation spends ~17.5% revenues on admin/fundraising, American Cancer Society spends 28% of its income on admin/fundraising, and the ACLU spends ~13% revenues on admin/fundraising.



Once BDK-BLoC is finished, I could have the dev work on a relatively simple website for charity interfacing. If you have something you want to sell at a discount or give to the charity (but have the BDK charity fund pay for postage on it), you could submit your item with image and/or description of the product with a price, which then appears on a list for the charity which displays something like eBay/Craigslist/BitMit. Charities don't need to ever touch the Bitcoin client, or understand what the Hell they are, just know they're being donated x coins, and they can spend these coins on items listed for them. BDK handles the work, charges nothing, and all charities need to do is browse through a list and purchase what they please with their coins hosted by BDK. There's no justification for fundraising or admin costs this way -- and they couldn't directly use BDK charity funds for salaries or fundraising efforts even if they wanted to (unless a cashout option were presented). Charities access funds through what is effectively an e-wallet. Donation pages can be done up nice, and it gives me a good excuse to visit and take pictures. Idunno... I think I'd like to get it finished first, then start organizing meetings with some small-time charities... Give them a rudimentary understanding of Bitcoin and why people would donate, have a demo charity account to show them the website from their PoV. ETA: Actually.... Maybe the BitMit dev would be willing to recycle a fair bit of the BitMit code to make this happen.

I'm not sure how to explain tax/reporting on this for them, though. Could be a sticking point.

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Kluge
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December 14, 2012, 08:12:28 AM
 #12

BDK & BDK-BLoC is dead. Tosaki was actually interested in the eBay-for-charities idea, but not really worth visiting anymore.

However, there should soon be another opportunity to donate to one or more departments of the school (or possibly the district itself). If I can't get a department head to bother a district accountant about it, I incidentally know the small restaurant the school board meets for breakfast and am back in Michigan. Wink

Though I dislike the idea, the easiest and most appropriate temporary solution is to just have BitPay convert BTC to USD for the school. I could do the conversion off-market, but then people'd be sending funds to me, which is especially inappropriate while I hold a debt to Bitcointalk members.

First Bitcoin-powered school district? Satoshi Stadium?  Shocked  Tongue

Will update when I hear something or before I present the idea formally in a board meeting.

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