GoFundMe

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GoFundMe
Gofundme logo, April 2012.png
Type of site
Crowdfunding for donations
Available in English
Headquarters Redwood City, California, U.S.[1]
Owner GoFundMe, Inc.
Created by Brad Damphousse
Andrew Ballester
Website www.gofundme.com
Alexa rank Increase 1,618 (June 2018)[2]
Launched May 10, 2010; 8 years ago (2010-05-10)
Current status Active

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.[3][4] From 2010 to 2017, over $5 billion was raised on the platform for over two million individual campaigns and 50 million donors.[5] For personal campaigns in the US, Canada, and the UK, GoFundMe is a free platform.[6] 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.[1]

History[edit]

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.[7] 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.[8][9] GoFundMe was founded in San Diego, California.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12] In January 2017, GoFundMe acquired CrowdRise.[13] 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).[14] Ballester remains on the board of directors and holds an undisclosed stake in the company.[15]

Business model[edit]

GoFundMe allows users to create their own website with which they raise money.[3] During this process, members can describe their fundraising cause and the amount they hope to raise, and upload photos or video.[16] 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[17] 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.[18] Payment processors collect 2.9% and $.30 from each GoFundMe transaction.[19]

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.[20][21][22] GoFundMe also has a special section dedicated solely to users who are trying to raise money to cover their tuition costs.[3] One of the most notable tuition projects involved helping a user raise $25,000 to pay out-of-state tuition to a PhD program.[23]

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 and left the company in 2017.[24]

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.[25] As of November 2017, GoFundMe's terms and conditions allow for campaigns for certain kinds of legal defense.[26]

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.[6] The processing fee for online credit card payments will still apply to donations.[27]

Employment[edit]

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.[28]

Notable projects[edit]

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.[29][30] 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.[31][32] 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.[33][34] 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.[35][36] 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 shot and killed Michael Brown. Because of the controversial issues involved, many of the attached comments were considered highly racist and inflammatory.[37] 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.[38] On May 31, 2015, the mmsdefensefund was removed from GoFundMe (an archived copy is available).[39] 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.[40] 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.[41] 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.[42][43] 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.[44][45] 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.[46] June 12, 2016
Las Vegas Victims' Fund $11,874,100 of $15,000,000 (as of April 12, 2018) This fundraiser is GoFundMe's third largest ever. 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
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.[47][48][49][50] November 10, 2017
TIME'S UP $21,513,100 (as of April 12, 2018) This fundraiser is now GoFundMe's largest ever. 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.[51] December 20, 2017
March for Our Lives $3,531,110 (as of April 12, 2018) (currently ongoing) 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.[52] February 18, 2018
Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund $10,009,300 (as of June 30, 2018) (currently ongoing) 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, FL. GoFundMe waived its platform fees and donated $50,000 towards the campaign. February 15, 2018
Funds for Humboldt Broncos $15,185,400 CAD (as of April 19, 2018) 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. This is the second largest GoFundMe fundraiser.[53][54] April 19, 2018
William Osman's Fire Relief $172,471 of $10,000 (as of June 17, 2018)

(currently ongoing)

Created to support William Osman, a content creator in YouTube which house was burnt down by the Thomas Fire on December 4, 2017. A considerable amount of the total raisings were donated by fans of the previous mentioned youtuber. December 5, 2017

References[edit]

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  9. ^ Crowdfunding Web Watch 2012. "Soliciting Donations From Individuals". Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
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  19. ^ "GoFundMe introduces a 0% platform fee for personal campaigns | Charity Digital News". Charity Digital News. 2018-01-17. Retrieved 2018-03-13. 
  20. ^ Daily Crowdsource. "Raising Money For Medical Expenses". Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  21. ^ Daily Crowdsource. "Kickstart Yourself? Not So Fast!". Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  22. ^ 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. 
  23. ^ USA Today (September 13, 2011). "Web Pleas Help Immigrants Pay For College". Retrieved June 16, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Former Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer leaves GoFundMe". Axios. 3 October 2017. 
  25. ^ Hatchet, Keisha. "No, Kim Davis, You Can't Beg for Money on GoFundMe". Yahoo News. Retrieved September 5, 2015. 
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  29. ^ Posnanski, Joe (January 27, 2013). "Emily Scott's Olympic dream embodied in father's love, strangers' kindness". NBC. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  30. ^ Whiteside, Kelly (February 4, 2014). "U.S. speedskater's dream supported by crowdfunding fans". USA Today. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  31. ^ 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. 
  32. ^ 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. 
  33. ^ Thorpe, Devon. "Crowdfunding for Boston Marathon Victims Shows Support from Around the World". Forbes. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  34. ^ Moskowitz, Eric. "Marines bring hope to Marathon attack victims". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  35. ^ Fox, Zoe (May 30, 2013). "Internet Raises Money for Tornado Victim Reunited With Dog on TV". Mashable. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  36. ^ 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. 
  37. ^ "Understanding GoFundMe's Policies: Misinformation and the 'Support Officer Darren Wilson' Fundraising Campaign". GoFundMe. GoFundMe. September 2, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Seller of "Miracle Mineral Solution" Convicted for Marketing Toxic Chemical as a Miracle Cure". 
  39. ^ "Help Daniel Defend His Freedom by MMS Defense Fund – GoFundMe". GoFundMe.com. Archived from the original on May 28, 2015. 
  40. ^ "GoFundMe: #1 Free Fundraising Platform". GoFundMe.com. Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  41. ^ "All-Time Most Successful GoFundMe Campagins". 
  42. ^ Peters, Mitchell. "Christina Grimmie's Manager Creates GoFundMe Account For Late Singer's Family". Billboard. Retrieved June 11, 2016. 
  43. ^ 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. 
  44. ^ Whitten, Sarah. "More than $1.6 million raised for Orlando shooting victims on GoFundMe". CNBC. Retrieved June 13, 2016. 
  45. ^ Wattles, Jackie. "GoFundMe campaign raises more than $1.3 million for Pulse shooting victims". CNBC. Retrieved June 13, 2016. 
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  47. ^ "People have raised $280,000 for a homeless man who lent a woman his last $20". Independent.co.uk. November 24, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  48. ^ 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 www.WashingtonPost.com. 
  49. ^ CNN, Alaa Elassar, (December 8, 2017). "Homeless veteran who received thousands in donations now paying it forward". CNN.com. Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
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  53. ^ "Click here to support Funds for Humboldt Broncos organized by Sylvie Kellington". gofundme.com. Retrieved April 7, 2018. 
  54. ^ Laskowski, Chelsea (2018-04-09). "Humboldt Broncos fund among 5 highest-ever GoFundMe campaigns". CBC News. Retrieved 2018-04-09. 

External links[edit]