SmartAid News

Why We Need SmartAid – A Winning EU Horizon 2020 Solution

We are proud to announce that SmartAid is under the winning team of two EU funded Horizon 2020 programs: Blockchers and Blockpool.
SmartAid is the next generation marketing, funding and reporting tool for non-profit organizations, seamlessly connecting donors with charitable projects. Blockchain technology allows SmartAid to introduce a new era of transparency, efficiency and effectiveness within the aid industry. By drastically reducing costs, SmartAid maximizes the value, which arrives at the people in need.  

The Background

Our world is facing global challenges. Next to the almost ordinary crisis, like natural disasters, the effects of climate change, and wars, we need to deal with the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19, which has been tragic and costs many lives. However, while the economic consequences are going to hurt developed countries, they are going to be devastating for the developing world. Already before the pandemic, over 200 million people were assessed in need of humanitarian assistance.
To fight sorrow and misery, to create perspectives for humans living in less privileged countries, and to turn our world into a better place for everyone, requires the help of the wealthy population. In the year 2019, over 25.3 billion EUR have been donated worldwide for international humanitarian assistance, almost 2 billion EUR from EU institutions alone, and over 2.5 billion EUR from Germany.

The Problem 

In poor countries, even small amounts of money can make the difference between sending your kid to school or sending them hungry to bed. Unfortunately, any type of costs diminish the value, which arrives at the people in need.

SmartAid addresses the high costs, arising through a lack of transparency and automation in the charity industry. Opaque and outdated systems result in high expenses for both donors and aid projects. For receiving organizations, financial reporting to their sponsors is related to substantial efforts. In return, the financiers also need to invest money to audit their aid projects. Manual reporting is not only costly but also vulnerable to human error and even fraud. Corruption is often an issue in aid-receiving countries. Furthermore, uncertainty about whether their donations indeed arrive at the intended destination might reduce the willingness of private donors to contribute.

In addition, the costs related to foreign fiat currency transfer are exorbitantly high. Bank fees, which eat up to 30% of the transaction volume, are no rarity. Furthermore, once donations are transferred and covered into the local currency, funds are exposed to high inflation risk, possibly making them worthless within weeks. Last but not least, measuring the impact of a donation today is very costly and can be only vaguely estimated through long term studies and surveys.

The Solution 

Transparency and automation allow the creation of efficiency gains. SmartAid eliminates unnecessary cost drivers, caused through manual reporting systems, in the charity and non-profit industry. In the current development phase, SmartAid uses a pull approach to mirror donations in fiat currency, like Euro, on the SmartAid blockchain. A PayPal API connects the traditional fiat payment world with our blockchain system, where all funding streams are documented tamper-proof, transparent and in historical order. For each donor, an individual token contract is deployed, a matching amount of tokens minted, and transferred to an address, representing the beneficiary’s bank account. By representing individual donations through a unique – thus distinguishable token, full transparency about the usage of each donor fund can be provided. This allows users of SmartAid to trace the journey of their very own donation. Certainly, also, outgoing payments are documented on the SmartAid Blockchain fully automated via the PayPal API without the costs and risks of manual accounting.  

In future development stages, SmartAid can switch to a push approach. In that case, aid projects can use tokens received in multiple ways and leverage their utility. Tokens will be redeemable as vouchers at the SmartAid platform for national currency. 

Further, these value units are going to be transferable to addresses, representing cost centres within an organization. Also, tokens will be usable as a medium of exchange between the charity organizations, aid implementing projects and final recipients without intermediaries, bank fees or inflation risks and fully transparent. Lastly, it will be possible to create new project tokens, leveraging a donor fund backed reserve to increase the liquidity.
The digital documentation of newly created project tokens allows non-profits and their financiers to automatically measure the impact and the value created by a donation. This will allow an effective fund allocation in the future, maximizing the generated value.

Why Blockchain?

Blockchain technology allows SmartAid to document transactions in a transparent, tamper-proof, and trustless way. Distributing copies of the ledger, which keeps track of the past and current state of the SmartAid ecosystem, makes it secure and eliminates the risk of any single actor manipulating the history. Also, blockchain allows creating and managing new vouchers aka. tokens in a secure manner at neglectable costs. 

Join SmartAid!

If you want to learn more about SmartAid, check out our previous posts. Please feel free to contact us if you want support SmartAid by becoming a sponsor or have interesting project proposals.   

SmartAid – Traceable Donations For A Better World

Will my donation arrive at the people in need? Or will it get lost, somewhere in the administration costs of a humanitarian organization? Today, intransparent systems confront donors with a high degree of uncertainty, which diminishes their overall willingness to donate. Therefore, we at Datarella teamed up with the YOU Stiftung to create the next generation of donation platform for sustainable aid projects – SmartAid.

SmartAid is reinventing online charitable giving by implementing our Traceable Donation Technology – powered by Blockchain. SmartAid offers its users a unique donation experience with three distinct key value propositions:   

  1. An effortless donation experience 
  2. An engaging donation experience 
  3. A trustless donation experience

An Effortless Donation Experience 

The first barrier, which hinders people from supporting impactful aid projects is the haze related to donating. Our goal is to make supporting these projects, which are often located on the other side of the world, as easy as buying a coffee. No login, no IBANS, no SWIFTs, no hidden fees, no subscriptions, no minimum amount, no bs. Simply scan a QR-Code, whether it is on a billboard at the metro station or on your computer screen or click a link and you will find yourself on the highly intuitive donation home page of SmartAid. Just a few clicks are required to conduct your good deed. Simply choose your favorite payment method and you help to create prospects for less privileged people.

An Engaging Donation Experience  

After your payment was processed, you will be rewarded with a unique QR-Code. Share this code and the attached link with your friends and family to show them the journey of your donation. Sending it to your community will also make it easy for you to find it back in your messaging history. Also, since SmartAid is a web app, you can download it to your home screen – just like a traditional app but without the hassle of downloading it from the app store. 

A Trustless Donation Experience 

The received QR-Code makes it not only easy to find your donation ID back in your message history, but it holds all the information required to track your very own donation among all others. At this point, SmartAid differentiates to traditional donation platforms – no trust is required since everything is documented immutably and transparently on the SmartAid Blockchain. 

Traditional donation systems vs. SmartAid’s traceable donations

As illustrated in the graphic above, traditional donation systems allocate fiat currencies, like EUR, USD, in one pot, and distributed to different cost centers of an aid organization. Therefore, traditional donation platforms cannot provide donors visibility about the usage of their funds.  

In contrast, on SmartAid each incoming donation is documented on the private Ethereum SmartAid Blockchain. To enable full transparency of the whereabout and usage of each individual donation, each payment will be represented by its own ERC-20 token contract. Each of these token contracts are distinguishable by their contract address. As visualized in the graphic above by different colors, this allows granting SmartAid donors blockchain secured clarity about how their funds will be used.    

The donation tracker then provides the user an overview of the status of his donation. Here she will also be informed about the actual usage of her kind donation.

Donating hard-earned money to charity is a noble gesture. It requires a high amount of trust and transfers a significant amount of responsibility to the receiving party. Unfortunately, intransparent systems confront donors, as well as aid organizations, with a high degree of opaqueness. Donors face a high degree of uncertainty about the usage of their givings, which in turn diminishes their overall willingness to donate. At the same time, aid organizations are suffering from high costs of reporting to and providing their donors with formal audits. In both cases, the value which arrives at the people in need is significantly reduced. Therefore, we at Datarella are working with our partners on SmartAid to create the next generation of donation platform.  

We are proud to announce that SmartAid is also among the winners of the EU funded H2020 accelerator Blockchers and Blockpool. Here we are going to extend the functionalities of SmartAid for aid organizations.

Stay tuned! 

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