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Type of site
Available inEnglish
San Francisco, California
Founder(s)Brock Ketcher, Naomi Ketcher, Luke Miner
Current statusacquired by Gofundme 2018

YouCaring was a crowdfunding website for personal, medical, and charitable causes. The company is a Certified B corporation based in San Francisco, California.[1] YouCaring does not take a percentage of funds raised on its site, or charge those raising funds a fee (any fees associated with third-party credit card processors such as PayPal are paid by donors).[2][3][4] The company relies on voluntary donations from donors to fund operations.[5] YouCaring was acquired by GoFundMe in 2018.[6]


YouCaring was founded in 2011 by Brock Ketcher, Naomi Ketcher, and Luke Miner. After returning from two years of international mission trips, the three friends wanted to continue to give back.[5] They created a free crowdfunding website so people could raise money to overcome hardship.[5] To date, YouCaring has raised over $800 million from more than 8 million donors.[7] In March 2017, YouCaring acquired GiveForward.[8][7] In May 2016, YouCaring became a Certified B Corporation.[9] Each year, YouCaring releases internal fundraising data to show which cities in America are (by their own estimation) the most compassionate.[9]

Business model[edit]

YouCaring users create crowdfunding campaigns to raise money for personal, medical, and charitable causes. Nearly 50% of the money raised on YouCaring is for medical expenses.[10][7] Users write an explanation of their needs, set the amount they need to raise, upload supporting photos and video, and share their fundraisers through social channels and email. Donations can be made using credit card processors PayPal, WePay, or Stripe. YouCaring trademarked the name Compassionate Crowdfunding to describe its service. YouCaring doesn't charge a fee to those raising funds, but a third-party credit card processing fee exists. Operating costs (including salaries for YouCaring employees) are funded by voluntary donations.[5]

Fee structure[edit]

YouCaring does not charge the fundraiser a fee, but YouCaring does ask that the donor provide a "Tip" to YouCaring.[5] The credit card processing fee for each donation is 2.9% plus $0.30 per donation, which is paid by the donor.[11][5] All crowdfunding platforms charge money either through the tipping fee structure that YouCaring charges or through a straight percentage which the fundraiser pays on the total amount raised.


Many journalists have pointed to crowdfunding for medical expenses as evidence for the failings of for-profit healthcare in the US and elsewhere.[7] Some of that criticism has also been extended to crowdfunding sites.[11][12]

Notable fundraisers[edit]

A fundraiser via YouCaring in 2017.
  • Help Save Matthew! – Aidez-nous à sauver Matthew!. Matthew Schreindorfer was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia shortly after his wedding. Matthew and his wife Katie raised $700k so Matthew could participate in a clinical trial.[13]
  • The Ridley Sandler Memorial Foundation, Inc. After their daughter's death, Riley's parents started the Riley's Way Foundation to help her joyful spirit and compassionate nature live on. Their community raised $560,000 to honor Riley and help children facing major obstacles reach their full potential.[14]
  • Fire Relief, Recovery, and Resiliency Fund for Oakland Fire. Following the tragic Oakland Ghost Ship fire that took 36 lives in December 2016, the Oakland, CA nonprofit Gray Area Foundation for the Arts started a fundraiser for a relief fund. The foundation raised $924,820 to support the more than 300 people affected by the tragedy.[15][16][17]
  • Oakland Fire Relief. The Oakland A's baseball team started a relief fund on YouCaring in response to the Oakland Ghost Ship fire. Together with local sports teams the Golden State Warriors and Oakland Raiders, the A's donated a total of $150,000. Sutter Health also pledged $75,000. The fundraiser raised a total of $555,747.[17]
  • Heat for the Sisters. When a 150-year-old convent needed major heating repairs, its nuns turned to crowdfunding. More than 1,500 donors helped raise $160,686 to buy four new boilers, repair the chapel, and fix a leak into their Records and Archive Rooms.[18]
  • Restore WA Soldiers Home Cemetery – Orting. A patriotic family decided to help restore the Washington State Soldiers Home Cemetery in Orting. The family raised $254,109 on YouCaring and rallied volunteers to complete the project.
  • Help We Are Messengers replace their vehicle. The band We Are Messengers were in a serious car accident that destroyed their vehicle and tour equipment. Band members used crowdfunding to purchase a new tour van and necessary music equipment, raising a total of $77,542.[19]
  • Girls who survived Portland's MAX Attack. Three strangers stepped in to defend two young girls from racial slurs on the Portland, OR MAX train. Sadly, two men were killed and the other was wounded for standing up to hate speech. A crowdfunding campaign was created to help the girls heal from this trauma. The surviving defender posted a Facebook Live video that went viral, urging people to support the young girls through the YouCaring fundraiser, which raised $148,675 for basic necessities and mental health services.[20][21]
  • Help Kati defeat Ehlers-Danlos medical expenses! Kati McFarland is a college student who suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia, Gastroparesis, and Mast Cell Activation Disorder. She is raising funds to help pay for her extensive medical expenses. McFarland confronted Arkansas senator Tom Cotton about the need for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at a town hall meeting; her story was picked up on CNN and other news sources.[22][23]
  • #LiveLikeSusie Memorial Fund for Lung Cancer Research. Adam Klein, winner of reality show Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, created a fundraiser on YouCaring for lung cancer research to honor his late mother.[24]
  • Musical group Doomtree created a YouCaring campaign for rapper P.O.S to help cover the secondary costs associated with a kidney transplant.[25]
  • Dickon Edwards, former lead singer of Fosca and guitarist/lyricist for Orlando used the site to help raise money for funeral costs for his brother Tom, guitarist for Adam Ant.[26]
  • Science fiction author Jay Lake used the website to pay for whole genome sequencing, towards the "small possibility that the results of such a test...may suggest a treatment path"[27] for his colon cancer, which since 2008 has "progressed from a single tumor to metastatic disease affecting the lung and liver, recurring after multiple surgeries and chemotherapy courses."[27] After his successful campaign, Lake publicly criticized PayPal for the terms and processes the company uses when it thinks there's a fraud risk.[28] His experience was cited in news coverage over PayPal's public promise to introduce "aggressive changes" to its frozen funds policy.[28]
  • Houston Flood Relief Fund. Hurricane Harvey severely damaged many homes and personal belongings, and caused large amounts of damage to Texas and Louisiana. This fundraiser is for all of the victims of this storm. As of September 1, 2017, the goal has been raised multiple times after surpassing each prior one, and is currently at $20,000,000. Many celebrities and organizations have partaken in this campaign, such as Drake, Ellen DeGeneres and Walmart, and the Tennessee Titans.[29]
  • YoXMéxico. 2017 Central Mexico earthquake struck at 13:14 CDT (18:14 UTC) on 19 September 2017 with a magnitude estimated to be Mw 7.1 and strong shaking for about 20 seconds. This fundraiser is for all of the victims of this earthquake and was initiated by Mexican soccer players Javier Hernández and Miguel Layún.[30]
  • A number of publications have implored donations to YouCaring to celebrate Giving Tuesday.[31][32][33]
  • Las Vegas-based artist Jska Priebe created a YouCaring page for her brother Michael Charter who was diagnosed with end-stage liver disease.[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Certified B Corporation: YouCaring". B Corporation Listing. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  2. ^ Kulp, Kayleigh. "Crowdfunding to Pay Medical Bills and Expenses - Health Care - AARP". Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  3. ^ Kulp, Kayleigh (27 April 2012). "How to Use Crowdfunding to Cover Health-Care Bills". Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  4. ^ "The Sick Turn To Crowd Funding To Pay Medical Bills". Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Jain, Chet. "These Free Crowdfunding Platforms Are Making Lives Easy for Fundraisers". Entrepreneur India. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  6. ^ "GoFundMe Acquires YouCaring – Giving Matters: Notes From GoFundMe". Giving Matters: Notes From GoFundMe. 2018-04-03. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  7. ^ a b c d Woodley, Suzanne. "American Health Care Tragedies Are Taking Over Crowdfunding". Bloomberg. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  8. ^ Graham, Megan. "Competitor acquires Chicago-based crowdfunding site GiveForward". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  9. ^ a b Hurst, Samantha. "Brief: YouCaring Becomes Certified B Corporation". Crowdfund Insider. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  10. ^ Ramsey, Lydia. "Almost Half of all Money Raised Through Crowdfunding is Going Toward Medical Expenses". Business Insider. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  11. ^ a b Serena, Katie. "Crowdfunding Sites Are Making Lots of Money Off America's Miserable Health Care System". Salon. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  12. ^ O’Neil, Luke. "Go Viral or Die Trying". Esquire. Hearst. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  13. ^ Fidelman, Charlie (June 1, 2015). "Man With Rare Blood Cancer Gets Bone Marrow Transplant in Montreal". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  14. ^ Gordon, Amanda. "Financiers Schooled in Empathy Over Barbecue at Riley's Way Gala". Bloomberg. Bloomberg. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  15. ^ Adamczyk, Alicia (December 6, 2016). "How to Help the Oakland Warehouse Fire Victims". Time. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  16. ^ Cameron, Katrina. "Oakland Fire Victims: How to Help". East Bay Times. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  17. ^ a b Gaillot, Ann-Derrick. "How to Donate to Oakland 'Ghost Ship' Fire Victims & Their Families During This Heartbreaking Time". Bustle. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  18. ^ ABC 7, Eyewitness News (November 18, 2016). "Franciscan Sisters in Peekskill Will Get New Boilers for Convent Thanks to Donors". Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  19. ^ Law, Jeannie. "Christian band 'We Are Messengers' Involved in Fatal Tour Bus Accident". The Christian Post. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  20. ^ Ellis, Ralph (June 1, 2017). "Portland attack survivor says people should support 'those little girls". CNN. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  21. ^ Domonoske, Camila (June 2, 2017). "After Appeal By Portland Survivor, More Donations For The Girls He Defended". NPR. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  22. ^ O'Neil, Luke. "Go Viral or Die Trying". Esquire. Hearst. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  23. ^ Peterson, Anne Helen. "The Real Peril Of Crowdfunding Health Care". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  24. ^ Dugan, Christina. "Survivor's Adam Klein's Mother Died Two Days After the Show Ended". People. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  25. ^ Rothman, Lily. "Musician Health Care Crisis: Rapper P.O.S. Crowdfunds New Kidney". Retrieved 23 May 2017 – via
  26. ^ "Click here to support The Tom Edwards Memorial Fund". YouCaring. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  27. ^ a b "Sequence a Science Fiction Writer". YouCaring. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  28. ^ a b Pepitone, Julianne (January 21, 2013). "PayPal: 'Aggressive changes' coming to frozen funds policy". Retrieved 2013-01-21.
  29. ^ "Click here to support Houston Flood Relief Fund". YouCaring. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
  30. ^ "Click here to support Mexico's 2017 Earthquake Relief Fund". YouCaring. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
  31. ^ Eisenberg, Richard (28 November 2017). "4 Giving Tuesday Tips For A Year Of Donor Fatigue". Forbes. Forbes, Inc. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  32. ^ Grenoble, Ryan (27 November 2017). "How To Make Sure Your Donation Goes The Furthest On 'Giving Tuesday'". HuffPost. Oath Inc. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  33. ^ YouCaring staff (27 November 2017). "Where to Give this #GivingTuesday: Stories of Hope from YouCaring". PR Newswire. Cision Ltd. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  34. ^ Ventura, Leslie (15 February 2018). "Vegas artist Jska Priebe commissions work to support her ailing brother". Las Vegas Weekly. Greenspun Media Group. Retrieved 20 February 2018.