||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (April 2013)|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2008)|
|Type||Health Crisis Information Portal|
|Structure||14 Board Members
66 Paid Staff
|Leadership||Sona Mehring, Founder and Chief Executive Officer|
|Governance||Janice Aune, Chair of the Board|
|Field||Health Crisis Support|
|Scope||Provide communication portals to families and friends during significant health crises|
CaringBridge is a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1997, which offers free personalized websites to people facing serious medical conditions, hospitalization, undergoing medical treatment and/or recovering from a significant accident, illness, injury or procedure. The service allows family members and friends to receive information. Visitors who are provided the personal Website address (or URL) and password, if required, can read updates on the patient's condition and post messages to the family.
CaringBridge allows patients, caregivers, families and friends to exchange information about a patient's medical condition on an ongoing basis. The websites are designed to become conduits between patients, their families, friends, neighbors and colleagues. When visiting an individual’s website, visitors can post messages of support during a significant medical condition, crisis or event.
How it works
Anyone can set up a site for him/herself, a friend or family member. Sites can be accessed on CaringBridge.org, a mobile site m.caringbridge.org, or with an iPhone or Android app. The creator enters basic information about the patient or situation, posts photos, and writes about the current condition. As the situation changes, the creator posts updates to that information. When those updates are made, anyone who registered on that website can receive an e-mail or text message notifying them that an update is posted. Guests can also leave messages for the patient or family in an online guestbook on that site. Website authors can share journaling and website tasks with a co-author. Co-authors can add journal entries, post photos and change website settings, allowing multiple people to be directly involved in communicating about a health journey.
CaringBridge is a space for personal and private conversations. CaringBridge does not share or sell user information. In addition to the standard security features, site authors can choose additional levels of security on their site, including adding a password or creating an approved visitor list. The only way to receive a CaringBridge site name is by requesting it from the person who created the site.
Each day, over half-a-million people connect through CaringBridge. In total, those websites have received nearly two billion visits from family and friends.
CaringBridge was created in 1997 by Sona Mehring when a close friend suffered a life-threatening pregnancy. The site was intended to keep family and friends informed about the friend's situation. It then he gained popularity and recognition since its inception.
1997: Sona Mehring creates the first site
1998: More than 50 sites are established
2000: Donor supports begins
2001: Board established
2002: Nonprofit status is granted
2005: Donations top $1 million
2006: More than 5,000 sites established
2007: First national media coverage
2009: Spanish-language access is created
2010: CaringBridge.org visits top 1 billion
2012: 132,000 donors; 110 volunteers
2013: Visits to CaringBridge.org total 46 million
The website and mobile apps allow users to make donations, which are termed "tributes", in the name of specific individuals. The donations support CaringBridge and are not disbursed to individuals or families.
- Connections between different personal groups: Newsweek cover story, April 17, 2007, 
- Numbers of those connected by CaringBridge
- Prather, Shannon (June 25, 2012). "CaringBridge connects hearts". StarTribune (Minneapolis, MN).
- National Health Council membership: NationalHealthCouncil.org website.
- BBB.org CaringBridge report
- CaringBridge links
- Information links
- NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams "Making A Difference" story on CaringBridge
- WCCO News "Made in Minnesota: CaringBridge's Local Roots"
- Coping with Cancer "Providing Free Websites for People with Cancer to Connect with Their Loved Ones"
- Charities Review Council report on CaringBridge
- 2012 Report on CaringBridge by Charity Navigator, an independent charity evaluator. CaringBridge received a top 4-star rating. According to Charity Navigator, only 2 percent of the charities they rate have received at least seven consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that CaringBridge consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way.