Category: Top Posts

Preparing for Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew is already wreaking havoc, affecting the Caribbean and threatening the U.S. Florida and South Carolina have declared a state of emergency, and communities up and down the eastern seaboard are preparing for the hurricane’s landfall.

As our giving community prepares for this storm, we here at GoFundMe are working with all parties involved to ensure that campaign recipients get the help they need. We are working closely with state and local officials, including the Florida Attorney General, to ensure resources get to people in need as soon as possible.

The Safest Place To Give, Guaranteed
As we all get ready to help those who could be affected by Hurricane Matthew, here’s an overview of how we ensure every dollar gets to the right person. We deploy proprietary technical tools and have multiple processes in place to verify the identities of campaign organizers and intended recipients of campaign funds, also known as beneficiaries. We also use other measures on par with the financial services industry in order to prevent misuse. In addition to these technical tools, our dedicated team of experts work around the clock to vet campaigns and investigate anything suspicious. When members of our giving community of more than 25 million users see something that’s not right, they tell us and we look into it.

It’s also important to understand that our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means donors are now protected by a refund policy, and funds raised by GoFundMe campaigns are guaranteed to go to the right person. We want to ensure GoFundMe donors’ intentions are honored and the recipient gets the funds raised on their behalf. If something isn’t right, the donor will get their money back. Users can learn more about the GoFundMe Guarantee at gofundme.com/guarantee. Bottom line: when individuals and communities are going through a tough time, we have their back.

How Campaign Funds Are Released

It’s helpful to know how a donation ends up getting to a beneficiary (the person or group a campaign is intended to benefit). Generally, funds are collected by our payment processors, held, and then released only to the person named as the beneficiary. If a campaign organizer has a direct, personal connection to the beneficiary, then in some instances the campaign organizer may withdraw the funds to provide directly to the beneficiary. If any questions arise, our team will hold the funds unless the beneficiary is verified to our satisfaction. This layer of protection ensures that funds only go into the right hands.

We are here to help
There are two crucial features users can find on each and every GoFundMe campaign: a contact button for the campaign organizer (the person who started the campaign), and a ‘Report Campaign’ button. If you have any questions about the campaign, you can easily reach the organizer and ask them directly. In addition, clicking the ‘Report Campaign’ will result in one of our specialists investigating the campaign. If you can’t find the campaign you want to report, then you can send us a message here, and please provide as much information as you can about the campaign. We take these reports very seriously, and we will take immediate action if anything is wrong.

When all’s said and done, what matters most to us is that you are protected and those who need help get the help they deserve. If you have a question, please let us know.

We hope this sheds light on our safety and security measures. For additional information, please visit our Safety hub: gofundme.com/safety. For more information about the GoFundMe Guarantee, click here: gofundme.com/guarantee.

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GoFundMe Des Moines: Lending A Helping Hand To Those In Need

Meet Lily, Alexis, and Ava. They don’t know each other, but these three girls have something in common: They’re following their dreams in spite of challenges no children should face, and they’ve brought out the best in their communities.

Lily Frank, a 7-year-old with cerebral palsy, wants to be like every other kid and ride a bike. Alexis Myers wants to see the world before she loses her sight. Ava Hutchinson, struck with terminal cancer, wants to spend the time she has left just being a kid.

Day in and day out, when faced with adversity, these tough kids keep pushing forward. And when Iowans heard their stories, hundreds of folks stepped up, opened their hearts and lended a helping hand during a difficult time.

Because of their generosity, Lily is riding a special bike of her very own. Over 150 donors made it possible for Alexis to travel to Germany, London, and France. And Ava celebrated her 11th birthday with the entire town of Bondurant, IA,receiving thousands of birthday cards from near and far, including a note from the White House.

We urge you to take a few minutes and read about these strong, inspiring girls, and we hope you continue to support their campaigns. The compassion and kindness taking place in our communities across the state of Iowa is nothing short of inspiring.

A Special Bike for Lily: On May 31, Dawn and Dan Frye launched a GoFundMe campaign to purchase an adaptive bike for Lily, a 7-year-old girl who has been overcoming obstacles since the time she was born. Lily has been through forty surgeries and lives with cerebral palsy, but just wanted to be like every other little girl: she wanted to ride a bike. Iowans rallied together to make it happen. The campaign raised over $7,600, and last month, Lily was able to take her first ride. Take a few minutes to watch Lily take her first ride on her new bike.
WHOTV: GoFundMe Campaign Successful, West Des Moines Girl Gets Adaptive Bicycle

Alexis’ Traveling Fund: Alexis Myers was born with normal hearing and vision, but due to Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy, she has since lost her hearing and has had 2 cochlear implant surgeries. Alexis is now slowly losing her vision, but she’s not backing down. She wants to see the world before she loses her sight. She started a GoFundMe campaign and raised over $13,000. She’s traveled to France, Germany, and London. Read her full story here: Des Moines Register: Teen going deaf and blind lives dreams in Paris, London, Germany.

CF helping the Hutchinson’s: Ava has been battling cancer since she was two. Ava and her family need our support. ABC News in Des Moines has more on her unforgettable story:

ABC News: Strength For Ava
“Since she was 2-year-old, Ava Hutchinson’s life has revolved around cancer treatments. She knows how to fight and win; twice she beat cancer and was hopeful there would never be a third time.

“This past July, a yearly MRI check-up revealed what Ava and her family fear most. Cancer had returned on the stem of her brain and this time, there was little any treatment could do. Determined to never give up, she continues to fight while her parents are taking time away from work to spend as much time as they can with their daughter.

“Thanks to the town of Bondurant, they’re not fighting alone. To celebrate her 11th birthday, volunteers got together and coordinated one of the biggest birthday parties anyone in the town has ever had, complete with over 15,000 birthday cards from around the world – including one from the White House.

“If you’d like to donate to the Hutchinson family to cover medical and living expenses, donations can be made to: https://www.gofundme.com/helpingavahutch

Collectively, the GoFundMe community in Iowa is making a difference. Whether it’s a $5 donation or a $1,000, you’re having an impact. You are changing and improving lives. To the GoFundMe community in Iowa: keep it up. Help your neighbors when they ask for help. Your support makes a difference.

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GoFundMe Donates $100,000 to Campaign Supporting Orlando Shooting Victims

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., June 13, 2016 — Today, GoFundMe donated $100,000 to the campaign supporting victims of the horrific shooting at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida. Started by Equality Florida, an LGBT advocacy organization, the campaign is the second largest and fastest growing in GoFundMe’s history, so far raising more than $2.1 million.

Our thoughts are with the victims and all those affected by this terrible attack. To view the campaign, visit this page: https://www.gofundme.com/pulsevictimsfund

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GoFundMe Fundraising Contest for Flint Water Crisis

Today, we are excited to launch a contest to help raise even more money for the Flint Water Crisis.

The GoFundMe campaign that raises the most money between 6:00am PT on Friday, January 22, 2016, through 6:00pm PT on Friday, January 29, 2016, to provide clean drinking water to the people of Flint, will receive a $10,000 contribution from GoFundMe.

Please carefully read the official contest rules at this link: http://bit.ly/1PrPwjg

Start a Campaign for Flint

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A $1 Billion Year, One Million Lives Touched

By Rob Solomon, GoFundMe CEO

This week GoFundMe celebrated a significant milestone: In the past 365 days, one million campaigns were set up, raising $1 Billion for personal causes, and making GoFundMe the world’s largest crowdfunding platform. Nearly twelve million friends, family, and community members came together in the past twelve months to help pay for medical bills, provide a much-needed boost to cover educational costs, be there when disaster strikes, and to fund over one million causes. While these numbers are impressive, what is truly remarkable is that GoFundMe has quickly become an important technology platform.

One billion dollars raised is a good start, however, I’m convinced that it is just the beginning for cause-based crowdfunding. The renaissance that has occurred on the Internet over the past five years is awe-inspiring. Facebook recently saw one billion people on its platform in a single day. Twitter was there to instantly report and help enable the Arab spring. Uber makes cars magically appear within minutes at the touch of a button. AirBnB is turning anyone who wants to share their home into a revenue-generating innkeeper. Apple has sold more than 750 million iPhones. LinkedIn is building an economic graph connecting 400M professionals around the world. The pace of change is mind-boggling, and the impact on everyday life staggering.

While technology has disrupted many major industries, this has yet to happen in the charity and cause-based space at large. Giving is a vital aspect of society. Not only does GoFundMe make giving easy, but anyone can give at any level, and it brings together family and friends across the country.

There are nearly two million charities in North America, and the non-profit industry is a $300 billion per year market. One billion dollars of donations on the GoFundMe platform in the past year places GoFundMe among the ranks of the top 10 largest charities in America, puts it second only to the Gates Foundation if it were ranked among foundations in annual giving, and ranks it third among personal donors, just behind Bill and Melinda Gates and Ralph Wilson.

These numbers are massive, but the stories of the lives these campaigns have touched are even more powerful. In fact, it was these stories that brought me to GoFundMe just two months ago. I joined the company to build upon the work started by co-founders Brad Damphousse and Andy Ballester. I wanted my next job to be at a company with the potential to make a truly meaningful impact in the real world. GoFundMe is exactly that. The impact is evident in stories of people like Terelle Robinson who is going to college with the help of a GoFundMe campaign.

Terelle was raised by his grandmother. When she passed away during his first month of college, he found himself on his own and homeless. Community members launched a campaign to support his tuition at William & Mary, raising $5,600.

Rev. Jeff Obafemi Carr and Rev. Dwayne A. Jones, two Tennessee men, raised more than $66,000 with a GoFundMe campaign to build micro homes for Nashville area homeless

They have built six micro homes. With 60 square feet, a Murphy bed, mini refrigerator, microwave and heating and air conditioning unit, the homes offer a secure personal space.

Sage Nelson, a 7-year-old described as “vibrant, silly and spunky,” is being treated for Burkitt’s lymphoma. Sage’s family and friends gave more than $40,000 in two weeks to a GoFundMe campaign to help with his medical treatment.

Each of these individual stories is inspiring; together, they are astounding. In today’s digital era, we are honored to be a technology that brings people together to support one another during times of hope, crisis, and times of basic need.

I am privileged to work alongside an extremely talented team of leaders. Together we share the same mission and know what it means to build something meaningful. Our team comes from the likes of LinkedIn, Yahoo!, Google, Twitter, GoPro and Kayak, and includes some of the most talented executives working on the Internet today. David Hahn, President and Chief Product Officer, spent a decade at LinkedIn helping to grow the business from a few million to hundreds of millions of users, and most recently served as an Executive-in-Residence at Greylock Partners. Ujjwal Singh, CTO, joins from Google, where he led the charge on Google Hangouts and managed the build-out of YouTube’s vertical channels. Hoang Vuong is our CFO and COO joining from Benchmark Capital where he was also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, and before that he ran a big part of DemandForce which was acquired by Intuit. And this team is growing week-by-week. I’m honored to work alongside these great executives, and humbled that some of the best VCs in the world have invested in GoFundMe, including Accel Partners, TCV, Greylock, Iconiq, Meritech, and Stripes Group.

Together, we are honored to celebrate this incredible milestone with the GoFundMe community and our team. We look forward to millions more campaigns, billions of dollars raised, and most importantly, making a huge positive impact on so many lives. We plan to change the world through giving, one campaign at a time.

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GoFundMe Donates $250,000 to Nepal Earthquake Relief

In response to the two terrible earthquakes that hit Nepal earlier this year, thousands of generous people quickly came together on GoFundMe to make a difference. In less than two months, over $6.3M have been raised across 1,487 campaigns, from over 77,000 donors. It has been an incredible experience to watch people from around the world rally together to help Nepal in its time of need.

In April, GoFundMe pledged to donate its 5% fee from Nepal earthquake campaigns back to relief efforts, for the first $5M raised. We have been making these donations incrementally to ensure that help is delivered as quickly as possible. This week, GoFundMe successfully made its final donation of $50,000 to AmeriCares, for a total amount donated of $250,000. AmeriCares has been providing on-the-ground relief efforts since the first days following the devastating earthquake.

Our thoughts are with the people of Nepal during this incredibly difficult time. To view all GoFundMe campaigns for Nepal earthquake relief, please visit this link:

http://www.gofundme.com/Nepal-Earthquake-Relief/

 

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GoFundMe Tops Kickstarter as World’s #1 Crowdfunding Platform

GoFundMe 2014 Year in Review

GoFundMe has announced that in the fourth quarter of 2014, over $156M was raised on their trusted, easy-to-use fundraising platform. This record-breaking quarter brings the total funds raised by GoFundMe in 2014 to $470M, making the company the world’s largest crowdfunding platform. Kickstarter, who formerly held the #1 spot, had a pledge volume of $136M in the fourth quarter, and finished 2014 with $444M in successful pledges.

While Kickstarter helped popularize crowdfunding in the areas of creative projects, music and film, GoFundMe’s personal fundraising platform is focused on enabling people to raise money for personal causes and life events. “It’s incredible to see all the amazing ways people are using GoFundMe to make a difference in the lives of others,” says co-founder Brad Damphousse. “We feel very fortunate to have a front row seat to an ever-increasing number of uplifting, inspiring, and successful fundraising campaigns.”

The site’s most popular categories are Medical, Education, Emergencies, Volunteerism, Memorials, and Sports. Due to the personal nature of these types of campaigns, the majority of giving on GoFundMe occurs between family and friends. GoFundMe is rapidly replacing traditional fundraising methods while making it easy for people to support those they love during life’s most important moments.

Launched in 2010, GoFundMe has remained an extremely lean organization, having raised no outside capital and employing a dedicated team of less than 40 people. However, having a small roster has not prevented GoFundMe from running a very large business. The company boasts over $650M raised on the platform since its inception, along with an unprecedented customer support email reply time of 5-minutes-or-less.

“GoFundMe’s intense focus on exceptional customer experiences is what sets us apart,” Damphousse continues. “Our competitors have taken tens of millions of dollars in venture capital and employ hundreds of employees. We have stayed small, focused, and committed to serving our customers better than anyone else.”

GoFundMe’s annual donation volume grew a staggering 268% in 2014 and the company expects volume to continue increasing as market awareness rises, and crowdfunding becomes more widely accepted. “We have seen our business grow approximately 300% per year every year since we started GoFundMe and it is a testament to the power of crowdfunding. What matters are the causes that people are raising money for; these are deeply personal life events that resonate with donors. It revolves around the stories we tell, the lives we share, and the communities we try to build. Given all of this, we believe that the future of GoFundMe is boundless.”

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Ferguson Businesses Near $500K Raised for Repairs

This Week on GoFundMe

Visit GoFundMe.com
December 2, 2014
Bakery Saved Thanks to Donors
Natalie's cake shop was damaged during the protests.
GoFundMe Campaign Photo
$265,098
Details 8,164 donors in 6 days Location Saint Louis, MO
Visit This Campaign
Community Rallies for Small Market
Hundreds helped this local store rebuild.
GoFundMe Campaign Photo
$32,141
Details 913 donors in 5 days Location Saint Louis, MO
Visit This Campaign
Boutique Burned to the Ground
Juanita is picking up the pieces after losing her store.
GoFundMe Campaign Photo
$19,168
Details 593 donors in 6 days Location Florissant, MO
Visit This Campaign
Donations Help Restaurants Clean Up
Support pouring in for Ferguson eateries.
GoFundMe Campaign Photo
$11,624
Details 384 donors in 6 days Location Saint Louis, MO
Visit This Campaign
Beauty Store in Shambles
Owners struggle to overcome the damages.
GoFundMe Campaign Photo
$10,156
Details 310 donors in 5 days Location Saint Louis, MO
Visit This Campaign
Ferguson Church Burned Down
Community church starting over after arson attack.
GoFundMe Campaign Photo
$60,306
Details 904 donors in 5 days Location Saint Louis, MO
Visit This Campaign
Users In The News
BROWSE ALL 'FERGUSON REBUILDING CAMPAIGNS'
$440,925 raised by 12,275 donors for 12 campaigns>>
THE WASHINGTON POST
Community rallies to help Ferguson cake shop
USA TODAY (VIDEO)
In Ferguson, businesses look to rebuild
FOX NEWS (VIDEO)
Money pours in for single mom's Ferguson bakery
NBC NEWS – ST. LOUIS, MO (VIDEO)
Donors reach out to Ferguson through GoFundMe
FOX NEWS – ST. LOUIS, MO (VIDEO)
Vandalized bakery receives $230,000 in donations
ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH
Fundraising sites emerge for Ferguson businesses
PORTLAND PRESS HERALD
In Ferguson, signs of rebuilding emerge
All Recent News Stories

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