CINCINNATI: Some people think NFTs should be tossed in the trash like diapers. But Pampers, a brand of baby and toddler products, thinks non-fungible tokens could help to solve a serious problem: the higher-than-average mortality rate among Black women in the U.S.
The brand has created an NFT collection to raise money for the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, a nonprofit that works to improve Black maternal health.
The Pampers brand, produced by Procter & Gamble, launched the effort on April 11, the start of Black Maternal Health Week. The brand partnered with Rock the Bells, a hip-hop company founded by artist L.L. Cool J, to commission a limited edition NFT designed by artist Keah Adams of Art By Venus Studio, which was auctioned on Thursday on the NFT platform Curio.
The effort comes amid increasing attention in recent years to the higher mortality rate among Black women in the U.S. compared to the general population. In 2020, the maternal mortality rate for non-Hispanic Black women was 55.3 deaths per 100,000 live births, almost three times the rate of non-Hispanic white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The auction featured a package, including a motion-designed NFT and two VIP tickets to the Rock the Bells Festival on August 6 in New York City, starting at a reserve price of $6,000, and also included an unlimited number of open edition digital collectible NFTs for $60. Rock the Bells and Curio stated that they would donate up to $10,000 to Black Mamas Matter Alliance each time a major milestone was hit on the open edition NFT.
While some people who study NFTs have expressed concerns about potential problems with using them for charitable endeavors, Curio saw the collection as an effective fundraising tool for Black Mamas Matter Alliance.
“These specific NFTs are seen as proof that there was a donation made rather than an investment vehicle, and donors tend to identify with the community or cause at hand,” said Ben Arnon, cofounder and co-CEO of Curio, via email. “It’s a brand new concept that Curio has coined, called ‘proof of a philanthropy,’ and as we spearhead this initiative, we’re also looking to educate the larger market on new use cases for NFTs overall.”