Our Community’s Incredible Response to COVID-19 – A Letter From GoFundMe CEO, Tim Cadogan
The past two months have tested humanity in ways most of us have never known. This pandemic has impacted everyone. This week, I spoke with several GoFundMe organizers whose lives have been affected by COVID-19. Each of them spoke with such compassion, dedication, and a deep desire to help others. These people are great examples of the millions of people who are fundraising and donating on GoFundMe. In March, as the pandemic went global, our community came together to raise over $120 million for people and causes related to COVID-19.
Since my last update, we have launched new initiatives to provide more ways to give, partnered with industry-leading companies to reach those in need, and hired more people across our teams to offer support. We’re also committed to continuing to make fundraising easier and more efficient. We’ve done this by streamlining the withdrawal process, creating new resources on fundraising for COVID-19, and building new features to help our community.
We’re introducing a central place for you to stay updated on the latest product features, partnerships, and news from GoFundMe. We will continue to update this blog as we continue to refine, iterate, and implement new initiatives. You can read the latest below.
The road to recovery is going to be a long one. We are here for you. We will continue to listen, learn, and adapt as fast as we can to provide the best fundraising experience for everyone. Together, we will help as many people as possible.
How we’re responding to the global pandemic
What we are doing for our community
- Paying it forward: We have committed over $1.5 million to support both communities affected by this pandemic and organizations helping on the front lines.
- Partnerships with industry-leading companies: Together, we’re reaching those in need, developing in-product features, and providing a quick and easy way to get funds to as many people as possible. To date, partnerships include Intuit QuickBooks, Yelp, Microsoft, Spotify, Bill.com and GoDaddy.
- Fundraiser withdrawal process: We’re working on streamlining the withdrawal process and adding new product features to keep fundraiser organizers and beneficiaries updated on the status of their funds and if they need to provide additional information to either our payment processor or internal teams.
- Resources and customer support improvements: We are refining our email communications with fundraiser organizers and beneficiaries to ensure we are providing the most clear and concise information regarding their fundraising efforts.
- Small Business Relief Fund: With our nonprofit and charitable arm, GoFundMe.org, we have created the Small Business Relief Fund, a place for donors to support small businesses with tax-deductible donations. Thanks to many of our partners who have generously contributed to the fund and our community, GoFundMe.org has distributed grants to thousands of small businesses across the country.
- Small Business Relief Initiative: Local businesses provide jobs, a place to go, and are often the heart and soul of a community. In an effort to help these independent businesses, we launched the GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative to provide fundraising tools, resources and grants. Find local businesses to support on the centralized small businesses hub.
- General Relief Fund: GoFundMe.org launched a COVID-19 Relief Fund as a central place for donors to support broad needs related to the crisis. GoFundMe.org is issuing micro-grants to individuals, organizations, and communities that have either been impacted themselves or are dedicated to helping those affected by the crisis.
What we are doing for our employees
- On March 9, we closed all GoFundMe offices across the globe and required employees to work from home for the foreseeable future.
- During this time, we are committed to paying our offices’ dedicated service workers as if it was business as usual.
- We have introduced additional mental health and medical leave benefits to our employees so we can ensure their wellbeing during this difficult time.
- To ease the work from home transition, we have equipped our team members with technology and reasonable reimbursement for home office needs. For our working parents, we have offered flexible schedules so they can optimize their work and home life.
- Gollum actor Andy Serkis launches a Hobbitathon COVID-19 Appeal to raise money for Britain’s National Health Service by giving a 12-hour non-stop reading of The Hobbit.
- Irish donors give hundreds of thousands to a Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund.The contributions are inspired by donations sent to Irish people during the 1847 famine by the Native American community.
- GoFundMe Charity announces its #GivingTuesdayNow Match Program and giving $400,000 to nonprofits. #GivingTuesdayNow takes place on May 5, 2020 and allows people around the world to stand together in unity and use their individual power of generosity to help nonprofits in need.
- GoFundMe partners with Spotify to launch the Artist Fundraising Pick to provide artists a way to fundraise for themselves, their crew, or a favorite charity.
- Demi Lovato, Royal Bank of Canada, and Virgin Unite launch the The Mental Health Fund to help individuals in pain from the mental health and behavioral impacts of the coronavirus.
- GoDaddy partners with the GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative to provide financial assistance and resources with its websites and marketing products.
- Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurene Powell Jobs launch America’s Food Fund to help organizations including World Central Kitchen and Feeding America bring food to the most vulnerable.
- Bill.com joins the Small Business Relief Initiative and donates $100,000 to the Small Business Relief Fund.
- New York City resident Frederick Joseph starts the viral #RentRelief movement to help Americans pay their rent and bills, and to show support for one another during this tough time.
- German football team Borussia Dortmund kick starts a small business fundraiser, asking fans to donate to help the bars, pubs, and kiosks that are on their usual route to the stadium on matchday get through COVID-19 closures.
- GoFundMe announces the Small Business Relief Initiative and the Small Business Relief Fund to supply financial assistance and support to businesses across the country by providing fundraising tools and grants to help during the crisis.
- GoFundMe partners with Yelp to make it easy for people to donate to businesses directly from their Yelp pages.
- GoFundMe partners with Intuit QuickBooks to help small businesses raise money to overcome the challenges caused by COVID-19.
- GoFundMe, Yelp and Intuit QuickBooks commit a total of $1.5M for the Small Business Relief Fund.
- Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with tech and business leaders, artists, and philanthropists, launch the Frontline Responders Fund to deliver personal protective equipment to hospitals across the country.
- Tim Cadogan, GoFundMe CEO, writes a letter to the GoFundMe community on the COVID-19 pandemic.
- American journalist and activist Yashar Ali launches Help Hourly Workers During the Coronavirus Crisis, a fund that provides relief to restaurant and industry workers in the hardest hitting states.
- Irish entrepreneur Cian O’Flaherty launches Feed the Heroes, a fundraiser to help fuel key workers on the COVID-19 front lines.
- GoFundMe launches a centralized COVID-19 hub identifying verified fundraisers for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
- GoFundMe.org, the company’s charitable and advocacy arm, launches the COVID-19 Relief Fund to distribute micro-grants to individuals, organizations, and communities that have either been impacted themselves or are dedicated to helping those affected by the crisis.
- Jeff Lew, co-founder of lunchdebt.org, launches the Seattle COVID-19 Direct Relief Fund on GoFundMe to help the most vulnerable people in Washington impacted by the coronavirus.
- Italian entrepreneur Chiara Ferragni and her husband, the rapper Fedez, launch a fundraiser called Coronavirus, rafforziamo la terapia intensiva to raise money to help her local hospital treat more COVID-19 patients.