GoFundMe is a for-profit crowdfunding platform that allows people to raise money for events ranging from life events such as celebrations and graduations to challenging circumstances like accidents and illnesses. From 2010 to 2017, over $5 billion was raised on the platform for over two million individual campaigns and 50 million donors. For personal campaigns in the US, Canada, and the UK, GoFundMe is a free platform. The company is based in Redwood City, California, with offices in San Diego and Dublin, and with operations in France, Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Type of site
|Crowdfunding for donations|
|Created by||Brad Damphousse|
|Alexa rank||1,618 (June 2018[update])|
|Launched||May 10, 2010|
The company was founded in May 2010 by Brad Damphousse and Andrew Ballester. Both had previously founded Paygr which is a website dedicated to allowing members to sell their services to the public. Damphousse and Ballester originally created the website under the name "CreateAFund" in 2008 but later changed the name to GoFundMe after making numerous upgrades to the features of the website. GoFundMe was founded in San Diego, California.
GoFundMe is the biggest crowdfunding platform, responsible for raising over $5 billion since its debut in 2010. GoFundMe receives over $140 million in donations per month. In 2016 GoFundMe made $100 million in revenue. In June 2015, it was announced that Damphousse and Ballester had agreed to sell a majority stake in GoFundMe to Accel Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures. Damphousse and Ballester stepped down from the day-to-day oversight of the company. The deal valued GoFundMe at around $600 million. In January 2017, GoFundMe acquired CrowdRise. GoFundMe's leadership team includes Rob Solomon (CEO), Hoang Vuong (COO & CFO), Raquel Rozas (CMO), Chi-Chao Chang (CTO), and Daniel Gordon (VP of Trust, Policy, and Communications). Ballester remains on the board of directors and holds an undisclosed stake in the company.
GoFundMe allows users to create their own website with which they raise money. During this process, members can describe their fundraising cause and the amount they hope to raise, and upload photos or video. Once the website is created, GoFundMe allows users to share their project with people through integrated social network links (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and email. People can then donate to a user's cause through the website using a debit card or credit card and track the progress of their funding. Those who donate can also leave comments on the website in support of the project. If the user receives no donations, then no charge is made. Payment processors collect 2.9% and $.30 from each GoFundMe transaction.
GoFundMe is unique to crowdfunding in that they are not an incentive-based crowdfunding website. Although it does allow projects that are meant to fund other projects for musicians, inventors, etc., the business model is set up to allow for donations to personal causes and life events such as medical bills. GoFundMe also has a special section dedicated solely to users who are trying to raise money to cover their tuition costs. One of the most notable tuition projects involved helping a user raise $25,000 to pay out-of-state tuition to a PhD program.
GoFundMe targets social media platforms to create awareness for campaigns, and encourages individual users to promote their fundraiser on social media throughout a campaign. According to a 2018 report by GoFundMe based on past campaign data, a donor sharing a campaign on social media results in $15 of donations on average, while any share of a campaign on social media, regardless of whether the user donated to the campaign, results in $13 of donations on average. GoFundMe hired Daniel Pfeiffer in 2015 as the communications and policy chief. Pfeiffer previously served as an advisor to President Barack Obama and left the company in 2017.
In 2015, GoFundMe announced that the site would no longer support legal defense funds on their platform. The news came after the site suspended funding for the defense of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery that was fined for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. As of November 2017[update], GoFundMe's terms and conditions allow for campaigns for certain kinds of legal defense.
In November 2017, GoFundMe announced that it will no longer charge a 5% fee per donation for US, Canada, and UK individual campaigns, and instead rely upon tips left by donors to support the website. The processing fee for online credit card payments will still apply to donations.
GoFundMe has received several awards including best workplace in technology 2017, best workplace in giving back 2017, best small and medium companies in the bay area 2017, and best medium workplace in 2016. GoFundMe has a notable give-back program where employees pick a campaign that inspires them. GoFundMe then donates $1000 to that campaign. In 2015, GoFundMe gave back more than $500,000. GoFundMe employees receive $600 a year for a wellness program benefit. This money can be used for gym memberships, gym equipment, spas, and dietary needs. GoFundMe matches 401k contributions up to six percent. GoFundMe has designed their office with open floor plans to build a collaborative work environment.
GoFundMe has stated that they are the "leader in online medical fundraising". One in three campaigns is intended to raise funds for medical costs, with about 250,000 campaigns for a total of $650 million in contributions each year. This is attributed, in part, to failures in the United States healthcare system in which GoFundMe is used to bridge the gap.
Rob Solomon (CEO) has commented on this, saying that "When we started in 2010, it wasn't purposefully set up and built to be a substitute for medical insurance. We weren't ever set up to be a health care company and we still are not. But over time, people have used GoFundMe for the most important issues they are faced with." In a 2019 interview, he further adds that the large medical fundraising is the result of severe problems in the healthcare system in the United States, stating that "The system is terrible [...] there are people who are not getting relief from us or from the institutions that are supposed to be there. We shouldn't be the solution to a complex set of systemic problems."
|Funds for helping Mitch||$50,000||Fundraising organized by family to help with raising funds to aid in recovery after his cancer, using GoFundMe search on "Mitch Manning Cancer"||December 2017|
|We The People Will Build The Wall||$20,800,100 of $1 billion (as of 22 February 2019[update])||Created with the goal of building a wall as private citizens to inhibit illegal entry along the U.S.-Mexico border.||December 16, 2018|
|Support for FBI Veteran Pete Strzok||$448,357 of $500,000 (as of 17 January 2019[update])||Created to support former FBI agent Peter Strzok with his legal costs and lost income after he was fired by the FBI on August 10, 2018.||August 13, 2018|
|Funds for Humboldt Broncos||$11,163,623 US ($15,185,400 Canadian dollars) (as of 19 April 2018[update])||Created to support the victims and families of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. The staff of GoFundMe got in contact with the president of the Humboldt Broncos as they work out how to distribute the money.||April 19, 2018|
|March for Our Lives||$3,531,110 (as of 12 April 2018[update])||This fundraiser was created to support the March for Our Lives demonstration, set to take place on March 24, 2018. Created following the Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting by student Cameron Kasky, he states on the page that the funds would be used for organizing the march and everything left over would go to the fund set up for the victims.||February 18, 2018|
|Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund||$10,009,300 (as of 30 June 2018[update])||This official Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting fundraiser was created by Broward Education Foundation to help the victims' families, survivors and those impacted by the horrific tragedy on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. GoFundMe waived its platform fees and donated $50,000 towards the campaign.||February 15, 2018|
|TIME'S UP||$24,205,400 of $24.5 million (as of 18 January 2019[update])||TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund will provide subsidized legal support to women and men who experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace and while in pursuit of their careers.||December 20, 2017|
|William Osman's Fire Relief||$172,471 of $10,000 (as of 17 June 2018[update])||Created to support William Osman, a content creator on YouTube whose house was burnt down by the Thomas Fire on December 4, 2017. A considerable amount of the total funds raised were donated Osman's fans.||December 5, 2017|
|Paying it Forward||$402,826||This fundraiser was created by Kate McClure, Mark D'Amico, and Johnny Bobbitt Jr., in order to swindle people. Their fictitious story was that Bobbitt, a homeless veteran, spent his last $20 to assist McClure on the highway when her car ran out of the gasoline. Widely reported in the US and internationally, it exceeded its goal by 4000% but when they began publicly squabbling for the money, an investigation was launched and all three were arrested and charged with theft by deception.||November 10, 2017|
|Las Vegas Victims' Fund||$11,874,100 of $15,000,000 (as of 12 April 2018[update])||This fundraiser was created by Steve Sisolak of the Clark County Commission to help the victims of a mass shooting from the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada.||October 2, 2017|
|Students With Puerto Rico||$216,180||Fundraising organized by Puerto Rican college students living in the United States to help with Puerto Rico's recovery after Hurricane Maria struck the island.||September 20, 2017|
|Stefan Karl's Year of Healing||$169,670||Stefán Karl Stefánsson, actor best known for his role of Robbie Rotten in the children's television show LazyTown, announced in September 2016 that he had been diagnosed with bile duct cancer. In the following month, Julianna Rose Mauriello and Chloe Lang, the two actresses of Stephanie in the same show, created a fundraiser to help Karl with his cancer by offering him a year of healing and rest. The GoFundMe page was then popularized through Internet memes and parodies of "We Are Number One", a song performed by Robbie Rotten in the series.||October 10, 2016|
|Support Victims of Pulse Shooting||$7,853,140 (as of September 2018[update])||This fundraiser was created by Equality Florida to help the victims of a nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. Over 90,000 people have contributed to this campaign. GoFundMe headquarters donated $100,000 and waived every transaction fee for this campaign.||June 12, 2016|
|Support The Grimmie Family||$192,396 (as of 26 June 2016[update])||American singer-songwriter Christina Grimmie was shot while signing autographs after a concert at The Plaza Live in Orlando, Florida, and later died of complications due to injuries. Grimmie's talent agency, LH7 Management, created a fund for the Grimmie family to assist in their time of need.||June 11, 2016|
|Saving Eliza||$2,025,540 (as of 5 January 2016[update])||Saving Eliza is a campaign about Eliza O'Neill started by Eliza's father Glen. Eliza is a 5-year-old girl diagnosed with Sanfilippo syndrome, a form of childhood Alzheimer's. Over 37,100 donors have made contributions. The campaign is funding research to stop the terminal and rapidly degenerative disease in children.||April 18, 2015|
|mmsdefensefund||$131,796 of $200,000 (as of 27 May 2015[update])||Nominally a legal defense fund for Louis Daniel Smith, who faced criminal charges in relation to him selling "MMS" (Miracle Mineral Supplement). On May 27, 2015, Smith was found guilty of fraud and other charges. On May 31, 2015, the mmsdefensefund was removed from GoFundMe (an archived copy is available).||December 17, 2014|
|Support Officer Wilson||$183,259 of $250,000 (as of 27 August 2014[update])||A page was set up to solicit donations in support of Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown. Because of the controversial issues involved, many of the attached comments were considered highly racist and inflammatory.||August 27, 2014|
|Build Barbara Garcia a Home||$73,810||After losing her home during the 2013 Moore tornado in Oklahoma, Barbara Garcia was shocked to discover her dog among the wreckage in a live news interview. Moved by her story, Erin DeRuggiero of Minneapolis created this fund to build her a new home.||May 21, 2013|
|Bucks for Bauman||$809,310||This project was created for Jeff Bauman after he lost both legs during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.||April 16, 2013|
|Celeste & Sydney Recovery Fund||$795,985||Celeste and Sydney Corcoran were both victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. Sydney suffered severe injuries as a result of being hit with shrapnel, and Celeste lost both legs below her knees. This campaign page was created for their ongoing rehabilitation.||April 16, 2013|
|Emily Scott's Dream 2014 Sochi||$59,380||Emily Scott created this project to fund her trip to the 2014 Winter Olympics. The funds helped her get to Sochi to represent the United States on the women's speed skating team.||April 12, 2013|
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