Protective gear for health workers arrives at Brownsville Health Center in Brownsville, Texas.

BitGive’s first self-led Emergency Fund on GiveTrack – the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund with beneficiaries GiveDirectly, Direct Relief, and One Fair Wage (OFW) Emergency Fund – is now complete and the milestones have been implemented by each organization! With the campaign coming to an official close, we wanted to reflect and shine light on the beneficiaries’ continuous efforts to address some of the biggest challenges of the pandemic.

Typically focused on building our innovative tech solutions for NGOs and on-boarding our nonprofit partners with bitcoin and blockchain technology, BitGive had never hosted its own campaign on GiveTrack. When COVID first hit, everyone was hit hard, and we wanted to help wherever we could. Since GiveTrack is a donation platform, it made sense to support nonprofits working directly to combat some of the biggest challenges of the pandemic on the platform. With RSK as a sponsor, BitGive raised nearly $16,000 to distribute equally among the three organizations. Below, we dive into how the money was used and their overall COVID-19 response programs.  


A GiveDirectly recipient in Kenya receives her direct cash infusion digitally.

1. GiveDirectly is providing direct cash relief to families in extreme poverty in Africa and families affected by COVID-19 in the US.

BitGive donated .2238 BTC each to GiveDirectly’s response in Africa and the US for a total of .4476 BTC (between $5,000 and $6,000 at the time). The donations were made in bitcoin to GiveDirectly’s programs and went on to fund direct transfers of approximately $30* each to nearly 100 families in Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, and Rwanda; and just under three direct transfers of $1,000 each to families affected by COVID-19 in the US. 

In an internal survey, GiveDirectly found that 90%+ of recipients in the US had lost income due to Covid-19, 70%+ stopped working or reduced hours to take care of children, and 85%+ did not have pre-existing savings. Further, they found that 97% of US GiveDirectly recipients prefer cash to a material donation of the same value. The recipients most frequently used the funds on bills, food, personal protective equipment (PPE), transport, clothing, household, healthcare, and childcare. Take a look at what some recipients said about receiving the GiveDirectly transfers: 

“This money will help my family with the bills and buy school supplies for my younger daughter… I really needed this money and this will help my family so much.” – Yazneiry, Bronx, New York 

“I was sick and just within that time, my transfer came, so I used the money to pay for my medications. So, I strongly believe that without this transfer, I would have been dead by now.” Kollie, Liberia

You can see more testimonies from GiveDirectly Africa recipients here and from the US program here


Direct Relief delivering masks and PPE to Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) a health facility in Mexico City.

2. Direct Relief is leveraging its global distribution infrastructure and financial resources to aid impacted areas with emergency deliveries of protective gear and critical care medications leaving daily for medical facilities across the U.S. and world. 

BitGive donated .4475 BTC (between $5,000 and $6,000 at the time) to Direct Relief, using their BTC donation option. Heather B., the Vice President of Partnerships and Philanthropy and Direct Relief explains how the funds were used below: 

“The funds donated by the BitGive Foundation enables Direct Relief to purchase approximately 10,000 surgical masks for deployment into Central and South America. 

As part of Direct Relief’s COVID-19 response, and as supported by the BitGive Foundation, PPE has been sent to nearly two dozen countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Just last month, Direct Relief provided a delivery valued at $815,000 to Fundación IMSS, a not-for-profit health organization in Mexico City. The emergency shipment included PPE such as masks, protective coveralls, face shields, and ventilators.” 

For more information on Direct Relief’s COVID-19 response, please visit their pandemic response page here. Direct Relief has also continued to monitor confirmed cases and hotspots and has been directing aid to healthcare facilities in the most affected areas. A Global COVID Response and Aid Tracking Map can be found here.


OFW Emergency Fund recipients with their direct cash checks.

3. One Fair Wage Emergency Fund is providing cash assistance to restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, personal service workers and more who need the money they aren’t getting to survive. 

BitGive donated $5,270 directly to the OFW Emergency Fund to support restaurant workers, gig workers and other hourly workers facing unprecedented economic hardship from the coronavirus crisis. Lawrence W., the OFW Finance and Development Director explains how the funds were used below:

“With support from BitGive, we were able to provide Cash Relief of $500 to over 100 tipped service workers across the country. In total we have been able to help over 40,000 tipped service workers with our Emergency Fund.” 

A couple OFW recipients explain their reaction and plans for the OFW cash transfer below: 

“I can’t thank you guys enough for your help during this crisis. Without this initiative and your generosity, workers like myself would have been left to fend for themselves in those tough times. I hope you get to raise more money to help all of those in need. Solidarity is really important.” -Margaux B. 

“Thank you for the payment and relief. Because of this, I was able to purchase groceries that will last at least 2 weeks. Your contribution made such a difference in my life, and I’m sure to many others as well” -Julia T.

To see more OFW Emergency Fund success stories, click here

At BitGive, we are so grateful to support these wonderful organizations and sincerely thank you for all of your support with the COVID-19 Emergency Fund and your continued support of BitGive and the projects on GiveTrack

If you’d like to continue supporting nonprofits during this tumultuous time, you can check out our live projects with Heifer International, Save The Children Mexico, and Black Girls CODE

With gratitude, 

The BitGive Team 


*The direct transfer size and number of transfers depends on the GiveDirectly country program. You can see the full breakdown here