A former Griffith University student is combining with one of its leading senior lecturers on a game-changing project that has the potential to transform the not-for-profit sector.
Co-founder of Gold Coast startup Little Phil and Griffith Alumnus Josh Murchie is working with Dr Craig Cameron, a Senior Lecturer in Corporations Law with Griffith Business School (GBS), on a project to make the use of Blockchain technologies more accessible to charities.
Little Phil, which stands for Little Philanthropist, is a nonprofit micro philanthropy platform founded in 2017 to bring transparency to the charitable sector by enabling donors to track their donations from start to finish and prevent third-party fundraisers from taking a large share of the funds raised.
Using Little Phil as a test case, Dr Cameron is conducting research on how a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) - an online organisation controlled by its members and operated according to rules, typically code in smart contracts recorded on a blockchain - can be a potential new organisational template for charities - completely transforming the current business model.
“DAOs are a mechanism for organising like-minded communities, with many potential applications for transparently supporting charitable causes,” Dr Cameron said.
“This includes the community voting on the distribution of digital tokens following a charitable donation made using crypto, fiat money, or even property contributed by the community - with the technology then allowing them to direct to a specific cause(s) that best aligns with their objectives. A new DAO can also be quickly created for a specific event like the 2019/2020 bushfires, or a DAO can be established to only focus on a specific region - the usage applications are extensive, and the potential social impact is very positive.”
Dr Cameron’s current work focuses on the legal issues within the Australian context around crypto-assets, DAOs and crypto-philanthropy in the not-for-profit sector, as well as legal reform which recognises DAOs and facilitates crypto-philanthropy in a legislative environment where technology is fast outpacing existing law.
For Josh Murchie, this work is critical given Little Phil’s position as one of the country’s first DAOs, specifically working with charities and within the not-for-profit sector.
“Our partnership with the Griffith University Yunus Centre - a unit within Griffith Business School that focuses on impact-led business - and Craig has been absolutely vital in us understanding the existing and evolving legal framework for us to work within as one of the country’s first charitable DAOs,” said Mr Murchie.
“Our goal is to disrupt the not-for-profit sector using Web3.0 technologies such as DAO’s as we see its strengths in community building, transparency, flexibility, and connectivity as absolutely vital in effectively taking on the social and environmental challenges facing us as a country and planet. We have been at the forefront of applying Blockchain technology to charitable causes, but Craig’s work has ensured that we are at the forefront of working within the new legal frameworks that are beginning to emerge.”
About Little Phil:
Little Phil (short for little Philanthropist) was founded in October 2017 and believes that with the latest scalable technology and passionate people, we can make the world a better place.
It all started with a mission to develop a smartphone optimised giving platform designed for the next generation of givers. Little Phil has now evolved into creating a total giving ecosystem that connects donors, businesses, and brands more directly with charities and beneficiaries. This provides donors full transparency around where their donations go and charities the ability to showcase the difference every dollar makes in real-time.
Little Phil has won industry awards for innovation, represented Australian Fintech and Social Enterprise Startups at the largest technology conferences in the world, and is proudly supported by the Queensland governments Ignite Ideas Fund.
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