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Web address www.gofundme.com
Slogan get money get going
Type of site
Crowdfunding for Donations
Available in English
Launched May 10, 2010
Revenue unknown
Alexa rank
1,125 (December 2015)[1]
Current status active

GoFundMe is a 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.[2][3] The company is based in San Diego, California.[4][5]


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.[6] 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.[7][8] In June 2015, it was announced that Damphousse and Ballester had agreed to sell a majority stake in GoFundMe to Accel Partners and to step down from the day-to-day oversight of the company. The deal valued GoFundMe at around $600 million.[9]

Business model

GoFundMe allows users to create their own website to describe what they are raising money for.[2] During this process, members can describe their fundraising cause, the amount they hope to raise, and upload photos or video.[10] 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 only a debit card or credit card (no PayPal)[11] and track the progress of their funding. Those who donate can also leave comments on the website in support of the project. GoFundMe generates revenue by automatically deducting a 5% fee from each donation users receive. If the user receives no donations, then no charge is made.[12]

GoFundMe is unique to crowdfunding in that they are not an incentive-based crowdfunding website. Although they do 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.[13][14][15] GoFundMe also has a special section dedicated solely to users who are trying to raise money to cover their tuition costs.[2] One of the most notable tuition projects involved helping a user raise $25,000 to pay out of state tuition to a PhD program after that user was selected among 125 applicants into that program.[16]

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.[17] NARAL, a pro choice group, has criticized GoFundMe for banning the funding of abortions on their website.[18][19]

Notable projects

Project Amount raised Notes Date
Save The North Bend Theatre $107,325 This independently owned movie theater in North Bend, Washington turned to its community to help fund the transition from film to digital projection.[20] 03/14/2013
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 US on the women's speed skating team.[21][22] 04/12/2013
Plea to Save Grandpa's Home $137,008 When her grandfather was faced with eviction, Jaclyn Fraley decided to raise money to help him keep his house. Thanks to her efforts, Mr. John J. Potter was able to save his home of over 56 years.[23] 04/15/2013
Bucks for Bauman $809,310 This project was created for Jeff Bauman after he lost both legs during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.[24][25] 04/16/2013
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.[26][27] 04/16/2013
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.[28][29] 05/21/2013
Friends of Mark Patterson $117,417 Georgia native, Mark Patterson, sustained serious injuries while trying to save another woman's child during a fishing trip with his son. His injuries left him paralyzed from the neck down and eventually cost him his life. This page was created to fund a trust in his son's name.[30] 06/12/2013
Hope for Alexis $78,835 Jennifer Shapiro created this page for her daughter, Alexis. After being diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2011, Alexis developed hypothalmic obesity. This project is funding bariatric surgery to treat this rare eating disorder.[31] 07/22/2013
Khalil Shreateh - Facebook Bounty $13,125 Khalil Shreateh found a vulnerability in Facebook's website and, due to miscommunication, was not awarded a bounty for his work. This page was created to raise a bounty and increase awareness for the importance of independent research.[32] 08/19/2013
Christopher Lane Fund $171,705 After Australian athlete, Christopher Lane, was shot and killed in Oklahoma, Marshall Veal created a fund so Christopher's family could return his body to Melbourne.[33] 08/19/2013
Antoinette Tuff $111,911 In August 2013, Antoinette Tuff successfully talked down a shooter at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia. Soon after, she set up a donation page for underprivileged children in inner city areas.[34] 08/22/2013
Boston Homeless Man Reward $160,182 In 2013, a homeless man by the name of Glen James found a backpack containing $40,000 and promptly turned the backpack in with all of its contents. When the owner of the backpack was reunited with his belongings, the story quickly made national news. This project was created to raise reward money for Glen James to start a new life.[35][36] 09/16/2013
McCroskey Family Fund $101,350 This fundraiser was created to help the McCroskey family of Boulder, Colorado, after they lost their home in the 2013 Colorado floods.[37] 9/16/2013
Hope for a Home $410,011 After beating cancer twice, 22-year-old Melissa Smith was diagnosed with transverse myelitis leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. Melissa's sister created this page to make Melissa's home handicap accessible. Melissa's story was featured on The Chive, and the majority of the money raised for this project was donated in the first 24 hours from other Chive users.[38][39] 10/08/2013
Cecil Williams and Orlando $44,185 This page was created for Cecil Williams of New York City and his seeing eye dog, Orlando. When Cecil fell onto a train track, Orlando fought to pull his master to safety. When it was reported that Orlando became too old for insurance to continue covering his costs, this page was created to help Cecil keep his companion.[40] 12/17/2013
Save the Home of the King's Jubilee! $44,585 After 25 years serving food to Philadelphia's homeless population, Cranford Coulter found himself faced with his own eviction. As soon as word spread, the public quickly rallied to help him keep his home.[41] 12/26/2013
Save Fisher More $298,333 Faced with the closure of their school, the students of Fisher More College in Fort Worth, Texas created this page to keep their doors open.[42] 01/08/2014
Support Officer Wilson $183,259 of 250k (as of 08/27/2014) 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.[43] 08/27/2014
Bailey's Abortion Fund $1,800 of $2,500 (as of 09/05/2014) A 23-year-old woman from Chicago asked for donations for her abortion as she was unemployed and claims she was having pregnancy complications.[44] 09/05/2014
mmsdefensefund $131,796 of $200,000 (as of 05/27/2015) Nominally a legal defense fund for a Mr Louis Daniel Smith who faced criminal charges in relation to him selling "MMS" (Miracle Mineral Supplement). On 05/27/2015 Louis Daniel Smith was found guilty of fraud and other charges.[45] On 05/31/2015 the mmsdefensefund was removed from GoFundMe, (an archived copy is available).[46] 12/17/2014
Saving Eliza $2,025,540 (as of 01/05/2016) Saving Eliza is a campaign about Eliza O'Neill, a 5-year-old girl diagnosed with Sanfilippo Syndrome. The campaign is funding urgent research to stop the terminal and rapidly degenerative disease in children. Saving Eliza today stands as the most ever raised on GoFundMe for a single campaign.[47] 04/18/2015

See also


  1. "Gofundme.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2015-12-28. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Bloomberg Businessweek. "Moneymaking Ideas". Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  3. "How to fundraise". Gofundme.com. Retrieved 2012-04-30. 
  4. "Financia tus proyectos con donaciones". cnnexpansion.com (in Spanish). 20 May 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  5. Killer Start Ups. "GoFundMe.com – Raising Money Online". Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  6. Tech Crunch. "Paygr Looks To Combine Facebook And PayPal In A Marketplace For Local Buying And Selling". Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  7. Create A Fund. "Big News – CreateAFund Has Joined Forces With GoFundMe". Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  8. Crowdfunding Web Watch 2012. "Soliciting Donations From Individuals". Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  9. "GoFundMe Founders to Reap a Fortune in Buyout". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  10. Thrillist. "Go Fund Me". Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  11. Can I donate using PayPal? - GoFundMe Help Center webpage. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  12. "Does it cost anything?". GoFundMe. 5 Feb 2015. 
  13. Daily Crowdsource. "Raising Money For Medical Expenses". Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  14. Daily Crowdsource. "Kickstart Yourself? Not So Fast!". Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  15. New York Times (2 June 2012). "It’s Not Billions, Bit It Can Help Rescue An Artist". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  16. USA Today (13 September 2011). "Web Pleas Help Immigrants Pay For College". Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  17. Hatchet, Ketih. "No, Kim Davis, You Can't Beg for Money on GoFundMe". Yahoo News. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  18. "GoFundMe Terms & Conditions". www.gofundme.com. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  19. America, NARAL Pro-Choice. "Sign the petition to GoFundMe". actnow.prochoiceamerica.org. Retrieved 2016-04-06. 
  20. Aznoff, Dan (May 15, 2013). "Community works to save theater". SnoValley Star. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  21. Posnanski, Joe (January 27, 2013). "Emily Scott's Olympic dream embodied in father's love, strangers' kindness". NBC. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  22. Whiteside, Kelly (February 4, 2014). "U.S. speedskater's dream supported by crowdfunding fans". USA Today. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  23. Kim, Susanna. "92-Year-Old World War II Vet Faces Eviction After Offer to Buy Back His Home Rejected". ABC News. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  24. Bradford, Harry (20 April 2013). "Jeff Bauman, Boston Marathon Bombing Hero, Receives Over $360,000 In Online Donations". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  25. Kuruvilla, Carol. "Friends use crowdfunding to collect more than $1 million for Boston Marathon victims' medical expenses". New York Daily News. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  26. Thorpe, Devon. "Crowdfunding for Boston Marathon Victims Shows Support from Around the World". Forbes. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  27. Moskowitz, Eric. "Marines bring hope to Marathon attack victims". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  28. Fox, Zoe (May 30, 2013). "Internet Raises Money for Tornado Victim Reunited With Dog on TV". Mashable. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  29. Grenoble, Ryan (June 26, 2013). "Barbara Garcia, Who Found Dog In Oklahoma Tornado Rubble, Receives Outpouring Of Donations". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  30. Dolak, Kevin (June 14, 2013). "Dad Paralyzed Rescuing Girl Receives Thousands of Dollars in Support". ABC News. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  31. Miller, Tracy. "Crowdfunded surgery offers new hope for morbidly obese girl". New York: NY Daily News. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  32. Brustein, Joshua. "Hackers Pay Bounty to Man Who Broke Into Zuckerberg's Facebook Page". Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  33. Donaghue, Erin. "Christopher Lane Update: Online Donation Drive Raises more than $130,000 for Aussie "Thrill Kill" Victim's Family". CBS News. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  34. Simpson, David (29 August 2013). "Donors smash goal for school hero Antoinette Tuff's fund for inner-city kids". CNN. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  35. MacQuarrie, Brian. "Online fund for Glen James, homeless man, nears $100,000". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  36. Chuck, Elizabeth. "Donations pour in for homeless man who returned backpack with $42K". NBC News. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  37. Kuta, Jeremy Papasso and Sarah. "Salina residents made narrow escapes as homes were flattened". DailyCamera. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  38. The Chive. "We surprised the next Chive Charities recipient". RESIGNATION MEDIA, LLC. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  39. Plater, Roz. "Stephanie Smith raises money on crowdfunding site for paralyzed sister". Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  40. Kim, Eun Kyung. "'A time to rejoice': Blind man can keep hero dog, thanks to donations". TODAY. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  41. Weaver, Erin. "From helping the homeless to nearly being homeless". Montgomery News. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  42. "Student effort saves small Catholic school". Star-Telegram. 2014-01-17. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  43. "Understanding GoFundMe’s Policies: Misinformation and the ‘Support Officer Darren Wilson’ Fundraising Campaign". GoFundMe. GoFundMe. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  44. "Meet the Girl Who's Crowdfunding Her Abortion". VICE. 
  45. "Seller of “Miracle Mineral Solution” Convicted for Marketing Toxic Chemical as a Miracle Cure". 
  46. "Help Daniel Defend His Freedom by MMS Defense Fund - GoFundMe". GoFundMe.com. Archived from the original on 28 May 2015. 
  47. "All-Time Most Successful GoFundMe Campagins". 

External links