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GoFundMe is a 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.[2][3] From 2010 to 2017, over $5 billion was raised on the platform for over two million individual campaigns.[4] The company is based in San Diego, California.[5]

Gofundme logo, April 2012.png
GoFundMe screenshot (19 September 2016).png
A screenshot of a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign illustrating its set goal.
Type of site
Crowdfunding for donations
Available in English
Headquarters San Diego, California, U.S.
Owner GoFundMe, Inc.
Slogan(s) Get money get going
Alexa rank Increase 1,019 (August 2016)[1]
Launched May 10, 2010; 7 years ago (2010-05-10)
Current status Active



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.[6] 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.[7][8] GoFundMe is headquartered in San Diego, California.[9]

GoFundMe is the biggest crowdfunding platform, responsible for raising over $3 billion since its debut in 2010. GoFundMe receives over $140 million in donations per month. In 2016 GoFundMe made $100 million in revenue.[10] 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.[11] In January 2017, GoFundMe acquired CrowdRise.[12] Day-to-day operations were handed over to Rob Solomon and David Hahn. Rob Solomon (former Groupon President) serves as chief operating officer. David Hahn, former LinkedIn head of product, serves as the chief operating officer. Ballester remains on the board of directors and holds an undisclosed stake in the company.[13]

Business modelEdit

GoFundMe allows users to create their own website with which they raise money.[2] During this process, members can describe their fundraising cause and the amount they hope to raise, and upload photos or video.[14] 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 [15] and track the progress of their funding. Those who donate can also leave comments on the website in support of the project. GoFundMe generates revenue by automatically deducting a 5% fee from each donation users receive. If the user receives no donations, then no charge is made.[16] This fee allowed Damphousse and Ballester to run the company without outside capital.[17] In addition to the 5% that GoFundMe deducts from each transaction, WePay collects 2.9% and $0.30 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.[18][19][20] GoFundMe also has a special section dedicated solely to users who are trying to raise money to cover their tuition costs.[2] One of the most notable tuition projects involved helping a user raise $25,000 to pay out-of-state tuition to a PhD program.[21]

GoFundMe targets social media platforms to create awareness for campaigns. GoFundMe hired Daniel Pfeiffer in 2015 as the communications and policy chief. Pfeiffer previously served as an advisor to President Barack Obama.

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.[22]

In November 2017, GoFundMe announced that it will no longer charge a 5% fee per donation for US 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.[23]


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.[24]

Notable projectsEdit

Project Amount raised Notes Date
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.[25][26] April 12, 2013
Bucks for Bauman $809,310 This project was created for Jeff Bauman after he lost both legs during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.[27][28] 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.[29][30] April 16, 2013
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.[31][32] May 21, 2013
Support Officer Wilson $183,259 of $250,000 (as of August 27, 2014) A page was set up to solicit donations in support of Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson, who in self-defense shot and killed Michael Brown. Because of the controversial issues involved, many of the attached comments were considered highly racist and inflammatory.[33] August 27, 2014
mmsdefensefund $131,796 of $200,000 (as of May 27, 2015) 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.[34] On May 31, 2015, the mmsdefensefund was removed from GoFundMe (an archived copy is available).[35] December 17, 2014
Saving Eliza $2,025,540 (as of January 5, 2016) 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.[36] The campaign is funding research to stop the terminal and rapidly degenerative disease in children. Until 2016, Saving Eliza held the record for the most ever raised on GoFundMe for a single campaign.[37] April 18, 2015
Support The Grimmie Family $192,396 (as of June 26, 2016) 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.[38][39] June 11, 2016
Support Victims of Pulse Shooting $7,853,140 This fundraiser was created by Equality Florida to help the victims of a nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.[40][41] This campaign has raised $5 million more than the next largest campaign. Over 90,000 people have contributed to this campaign. GoFundMe headquarters donated $100,000 and waived every transaction fee for this campaign.[42] June 12, 2016
Las Vegas Victims' Fund $11,136,932 of $15,000,000 (as of October 22, 2017) (currently ongoing) 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. This campaign currently holds the record for the largest amount raised for a single cause on GoFundMe. October 2, 2017
Paying it Forward $402,826 This fundraiser was created by Kate McClure to help Johnny Bobbitt Jr, a homeless veteran who spent his last $20 to assist McClure after her car ran out of gas on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bobbitt saw her on the side of the road and walked to the nearest gas station and came back with a can of gasoline. The campaign exceeded its goal by 4000% and later updated to assist additional homeless people. The story was widely reported in US and international media.[43] [44][45][46] November 10, 2017


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved August 14, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Bloomberg Businessweek. "Moneymaking Ideas". Archived from the original on June 24, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ "How to fundraise". Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  4. ^ West, Adam (April 24, 2017). "GoFundMe — How the World's Largest Social Fundraising Platform Has Garnered $3B in Donations for Worthy Causes in 125 Countries". Retrieved August 18, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Financia tus proyectos con donaciones". (in Spanish). May 20, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Paygr Looks To Combine Facebook And PayPal In A Marketplace For Local Buying And Selling". Tech Crunch. Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ Create A Fund. "Big News: CreateAFund Has Joined Forces With GoFundMe". Archived from the original on June 22, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  8. ^ Crowdfunding Web Watch 2012. "Soliciting Donations From Individuals". Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  9. ^ Adams, Susan. "Free Market Philanthropy: GoFundMe Is Changing The Way People Give To Causes Big And Small". Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  10. ^ "How Crowdfunding Platform GoFundMe Has Created A Three Billion Digital Safety Net". 
  11. ^ "GoFundMe Founders to Reap a Fortune in Buyout". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  12. ^ "GoFundMe acquires CrowdRise to expand to fundraising for charities". Tech Crunch. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  13. ^ "A group of investors is buying GoFundMe". Business Insider. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  14. ^ Thrillist. "Go Fund Me". Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Can I donate using PayPal?". GoFundMe Help Center. Retrieved January 31, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Does it cost anything?". GoFundMe. February 5, 2015. 
  17. ^ "How Crowdfunding Platform GoFundMe Has Created A $3 Billion Digital Safety Net". February 13, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  18. ^ Daily Crowdsource. "Raising Money For Medical Expenses". Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  19. ^ Daily Crowdsource. "Kickstart Yourself? Not So Fast!". Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  20. ^ New York Times (June 2, 2012). "It's Not Billions, Bit It Can Help Rescue An Artist". The New York Times. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  21. ^ USA Today (September 13, 2011). "Web Pleas Help Immigrants Pay For College". Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  22. ^ Hatchet, Ketih. "No, Kim Davis, You Can't Beg for Money on GoFundMe". Yahoo News. Retrieved September 5, 2015. 
  23. ^ Lunden, Ingrid. "GoFundMe drops 5% Platform Fee for U.S. personal campaigns, adds tips". Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  24. ^ "GoFundMe". Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  25. ^ Posnanski, Joe (January 27, 2013). "Emily Scott's Olympic dream embodied in father's love, strangers' kindness". NBC. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  26. ^ Whiteside, Kelly (February 4, 2014). "U.S. speedskater's dream supported by crowdfunding fans". USA Today. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  27. ^ Bradford, Harry (April 20, 2013). "Jeff Bauman, Boston Marathon Bombing Hero, Receives Over $360,000 In Online Donations". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  28. ^ Kuruvilla, Carol. "Friends use crowdfunding to collect more than $1 million for Boston Marathon victims' medical expenses". Daily News. New York. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  29. ^ Thorpe, Devon. "Crowdfunding for Boston Marathon Victims Shows Support from Around the World". Forbes. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  30. ^ Moskowitz, Eric. "Marines bring hope to Marathon attack victims". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  31. ^ Fox, Zoe (May 30, 2013). "Internet Raises Money for Tornado Victim Reunited With Dog on TV". Mashable. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  32. ^ Grenoble, Ryan (June 26, 2013). "Barbara Garcia, Who Found Dog In Oklahoma Tornado Rubble, Receives Outpouring Of Donations". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Understanding GoFundMe's Policies: Misinformation and the 'Support Officer Darren Wilson' Fundraising Campaign". GoFundMe. GoFundMe. September 2, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Seller of "Miracle Mineral Solution" Convicted for Marketing Toxic Chemical as a Miracle Cure". 
  35. ^ "Help Daniel Defend His Freedom by MMS Defense Fund – GoFundMe". Archived from the original on May 28, 2015. 
  36. ^ "GoFundMe: #1 Free Fundraising Platform". Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  37. ^ "All-Time Most Successful GoFundMe Campagins". 
  38. ^ Peters, Mitchell. "Christina Grimmie's Manager Creates GoFundMe Account For Late Singer's Family". Billboard. Retrieved June 11, 2016. 
  39. ^ Chiu, Melody. "Selena Gomez's Stepfather Creates GoFundMe Account to Raise Money for Christina Grimmie's Family: 'The Only Worry I Want Them to Have at This Point is That of Recovery'". People. Retrieved June 11, 2016. 
  40. ^ Whitten, Sarah. "More than $1.6 million raised for Orlando shooting victims on GoFundMe". CNBC. Retrieved June 13, 2016. 
  41. ^ Wattles, Jackie. "GoFundMe campaign raises more than $1.3 million for Pulse shooting victims". CNBC. Retrieved June 13, 2016. 
  42. ^ Chillag, Jackie Wattles and Amy (June 14, 2016). "Orlando GoFundMe campaign sets record". Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  43. ^ "People have raised $280,000 for a homeless man who lent a woman his last $20". November 24, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  44. ^ Phillips, Kristine; Eltagouri, Marwa (November 24, 2017). "A woman raised more than $300,000 to help a homeless man who spent his last $20 to buy her gas". Retrieved December 31, 2017 – via 
  45. ^ CNN, Alaa Elassar, (December 8, 2017). "Homeless veteran who received thousands in donations now paying it forward". Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  46. ^ "Generous homeless man gets $500k". Retrieved December 31, 2017. 

External linksEdit