In brief

In brief

  • Nonprofits and non-governmental organizations face four mission-critical challenges: affordability, accountability, reliability and marketability.
  • Blockchain solutions can help nonprofits improve transparency, efficiency, scale and sustainability—but they must overcome implementation hurdles.
  • Nonprofits will need to make massive operational and financial changes to build exactly the kind of productive ecosystem that Blockchain enables.
  • How can nonprofits align Blockchain with their missions to bring about a strategic transformation through an innovative business model?

The potential to revolutionize

Distributed ledger technology known as Blockchain, holds potential to revolutionize global financial markets.

But Blockchain applications extend beyond the commercial arena. Social innovation organizations such as nonprofits and non-governmental organizations are embracing Blockchain for humanitarian efforts. Still, most of these Blockchain applications are in pilot stages. Why?

Accenture interviewed industry experts and examined about 30 Blockchain use cases for solving social challenges. We also studied a Blockchain implementation at Akshaya Patra, a meal provider serving 1.6+ million children in India.

Our research highlights a four-step process for social innovation organizations to achieve Blockchain transformation.

Distinct challenges

Social innovation organizations face four distinct mission-critical challenges: affordability, accountability, reliability and marketability.

Blockchain solutions can help by increasing transparency, efficiency, scale and sustainability. But reaping the full benefits requires both understanding its strategic implications and overcoming its implementation challenges:

How should a social innovation organization align Blockchain with its vision and mission to bring about a strategic transformation through an innovative business model?

How can non-profits orchestrate an ecosystem to ensure a successful Blockchain implementation?

Taking steps forward

Overcoming social innovation organizations’ special challenges will require a strategic shift in technology adoption, particularly around enhancing transparency, increasing efficiency, promoting sustainability and achieving scalability. This is where technologies like Blockchain have a critical role to play.

For example, a project called Bitland is helping settle land disputes in Ghana through an open ledger of land registrations. Currently in pilot programs in 28 communities in Kumasi, Bitland aims to enhance transparency in the land registration system by allowing individuals and groups to record titles on an immutable public ledger.

Blockchain helps social innovation organizations build a system that is tamper-proof, generates real-time information through the entire value chain, allows operational changes to be transmitted in real time and enables all parties to transact and share information in a trusted, easily auditable way.

Achieving the strategic goals will require huge operational and financial transformation by building the right kind of ecosystem enabled by emerging technologies like Blockchain. In the words of Shridhar Venkat, CEO of Akshaya Patra Foundation: "a key element of scaling up is the power of collaboration for transformational change."

Huge potential

Blockchain clearly holds huge potential for social innovation organizations. But successful implementations that achieve true transformation can be challenging.

Fortunately, there is a roadmap. More specifically, it’s a methodology for managing the "Four Fs"—Focus, Forecast, Funds and Feedback.


  • Fiscal Prudence
  • Resource Management
  • Relevance


  • Legitimacy
  • Transparency
  • Compliance


  • Infrastructure Management
  • Quality Products & Services
  • Trust


  • Brand Management
  • Ecosystem
  • Communication

View All

A new path

As social innovation leaders prepare their organizations for the future, they must answer three critical questions:

  1. Are we prepared for radical, no-limits transparency powered by new digital technologies and social media?
  2. Can we demonstrate the requisite standards and codes of ethics to innovate at pace, while remaining compliant with current and future regulatory standards?
  3. How do we protect and promote our brand in the world of decentralized, two-way communications, crowdsourcing and resource constraints?

Answering these questions can help guide social innovation organizations as they explore the exciting potential of new technologies like Blockchain and set them on a path that will open up huge new possibilities for delivering social programs.

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