Helping Our Community During the Coronavirus Pandemic

by March 20, 2020

A Letter from GoFundMe CEO Tim Cadogan

Across the world we are facing uncertain times together as the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve. Many are facing social and work isolation, financial hardship, or even a loved one hospitalized. And many are coming to help those in need and lending a helping hand. During this challenging time I want to take a brief moment to outline the steps we are taking to help as many people as possible. At no other time in GoFundMe’s ten year history have we seen such an urgent need or such an incredible outpouring of support in such a short time.

The global GoFundMe community is coming together to support each other at an unprecedented rate. More than 22,000 COVID-19 related fundraisers have been created in the past several weeks. Communities have come together in the face of overwhelming uncertainty and in a short time have raised over $40 million for those in need.

Unlike virtually any other crisis in recent history, COVID-19 is affecting everyone, from hospitals to service workers to school children to seniors, regardless of country, industry or age. This global crisis is also bringing out the very best of humanity, with people coming together to support one another in every conceivable way: an entire community in Milan, Italy joined together to provide hospital ICU units with crucial medical supplies; Boston neighbors are rallying to support their favorite bookstore; Hollywood workers are supporting their fellow staff while production halts; Teachers are ensuring their students have lunch even though school is not in session; and restaurant owners are paying their wait staff while doors are closed. We are proud to provide the global community a take action button, making it easy to help people around the world.

We’re here for our community

In addition to sharing how people from across the globe are using GoFundMe, I want to provide an update on the actions we are taking to empower and protect our entire GoFundMe community.

First, we are working around the clock to provide fast, effective service to our community. Having supported relief efforts for dozens of large-scale disasters, we know speed and efficiency are critical to successful fundraising. That’s why we are committed to delivering funds as quickly as possible, especially while other forms of government or private financial relief may be weeks or even months away. Our Charity team is also working nonstop to help our nonprofit community transition to the new normal of virtual events.

Second, for those looking for ways to give, we created a centralized hub of verified fundraisers, so you can donate and be inspired by others who have taken action in their communities. We also launched the COVID-19 General Relief Fund as an easy way to give a tax-deductible donation to support a variety of COVID-19 related needs through a single fund.

Third, inspired by our community’s actions, we are committing $1.5 million to support both communities affected by this pandemic and organizations helping on the front lines. We’re also evaluating how we can do even more to help the small business community in the weeks and months to come.

And fourth, we have created new resources for individuals and organizations looking to give or receive help, including tips to help others and ways for small businesses to obtain financial relief.

We are also doing everything we can to take care of our team and enable us all to provide the best possible service to all our users. Two weeks ago we moved our entire global workforce home. We are well equipped as a distributed office for the term of this crisis and have provided full access to mental and physical health resources for our employees and their families. We are also providing our contractors and dedicated service workers full pay and benefits while we work remotely.

How to help

For those wanting to help, here are 5 ways you can make a difference:

  • Help stop the spread of COVID-19. Follow your government or local authorities’ directives, stay home whenever possible and practice social distancing if you are outside.
  • Offer a helping hand. Consider delivering food or calling a neighbor isolated by COVID-19. Check sites like NextDoor to join a volunteer group in your area.
  • Donate. Find a GoFundMe that moves you, or give to the COVID-19 General Relief Fund.
  • Fundraise. Start a fundraiser to support an individual, small business, or nonprofit affected by this pandemic.
  • Spread the word. Share fundraisers with your network to bring awareness to causes that matter to you. You can see hundreds of COVID-19 related fundraisers on our centralized hub.

We are here to serve our GoFundMe community in these uncharted times. All of us at GoFundMe are deeply committed to working with you to provide a simple, fast and safe way to take immediate action and generate help and support for as many people as humanly possible.