UNITED STATES NEWS

GoFundMe says $30 billion has been raised on its crowdfunding and nonprofit giving platforms

Feb 6, 2024, 7:01 AM

FILE - Fans stand in support for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin before an NFL football game agai...

FILE - Fans stand in support for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin before an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Jan. 8, 2023, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Damar Hamlin plans to support young people through education and sports with the $8.6 million in GoFundMe donations that unexpectedly poured into his toy drive fundraiser after he suffered a cardiac arrest in the middle of a game. GoFundMe crowdfunding campaigns have generated $30 billion since 2010, the fundraising platform announced Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — GoFundMe crowdfunding campaigns have generated $30 billion since 2010, the fundraising platform announced Tuesday, as younger generations look beyond institutions to make their donations.

Tim Cadogan, GoFundMe’s CEO, said 150 million people have either sent or received money through the platform to date. Gen Z and millennial donors, as well as those who are not married and those who are less religious, are more likely to give through crowdfunding than to traditional nonprofits, according to a 2021 report by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

“That’s what we’re so thrilled about is that we’ve helped people come together to help each other at that level of scale,” Cadogan told The Associated Press.

GoFundMe, a privately held, for-profit company, has annually released the total amount raised on its crowdfunding platform since its founding, but hasn’t published a breakdown of funds raised in an individual year. Nevertheless, it is possible to see significant growth from 2019, when it reported a total of $9 billion in cumulative gifts.

Part of that growth includes GoFundMe’s acquisition of Classy in 2022, which is an online platform that facilitates giving to nonprofit organizations. Donations given through Classy are included in the reported $30 billion raised.

For comparison, charitable giving in the U.S. to nonprofit organizations reached $499.3 billion in 2022.

The most common donation on GoFundMe is $50, Cadogan said, and, for the most part, fundraising campaigns reach the personal networks of the people who started them.

“Sometimes people think you put up a GoFundMe and a bunch of strangers just jump in and give you money,” Cadogan said. “That’s not how it really works. You put up a GoFundMe and you ask the people that you know to help you.”

But sometimes campaigns capture a much broader audience, with requests around high-profile events, like disasters, garnering significant support from strangers. In 2023, GoFundMe said Jan. 2 was the “ fundraiser for toys after he collapsed on live television. GoFundMe said 210,000 people donated from around the world on their platform that day.

“I think that was a very monumental collective show of appreciation for him and for the desire for people to say, ‘We’re with you,’” said Margaret Richardson, GoFundMe’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, of the outpouring of support for Hamlin.

Hamlin announced in May that he would transfer the more than $9 million given to the fundraiser to his nonprofit, the Chasing M’s Foundation.

The day with the single largest number of donations in 2022 was May 26, two days after the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

In response to high-profile events, GoFundMe monitors campaigns connected to the event, takes steps to verify them and collects authenticated fundraisers in a hub on their website. The platform also uses its extensive database of gifts to identify what it calls anomalous campaigns and Cadogan said that the payment processors and banks who actually handle the funds sent over GoFundMe also have processes to detect fraud.

“If you’re moving money in any of the countries we operate in, we and our banking partners have to know who you are,” Cadogan said.

In its most basic form, crowdfunding — gathering small gifts for a cause or to help someone — isn’t new. But the rise of online giving through platforms like GoFundMe coincides with the adoption of social media and the increase in ecommerce and the use of online financial services in general, said Benjamin Soskis, a senior research associate at the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute.

It’s not yet clear how much giving through a crowdfunding campaign has supplanted giving to nonprofit organizations, Soskis said, in part because data about crowdfunding is less public. Nonprofit organizations have to share information about the grants they give and receive as well as donations they receive with the IRS and the public.

“If it’s true that crowdfunding is becoming a larger part of total giving, I think that their data transparency needs to reflect that, so that we can start to integrate crowdfunding into the larger analysis of charitable giving trends,” Soskis said, speaking of GoFundMe.

The company does share anonymized data with the organization GivingTuesday as part of their efforts to track giving on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the U.S. In 2023, initial estimates showed a 10% drop in the number of donors, which is a worrying trend for nonprofits. That’s in addition to a decrease in the overall amount given to nonprofits in 2022, according to Giving USA.

Other platforms also facilitate online crowdfunding, besides GoFundMe. DonorsChoose, which allows public school teachers to fundraise for classroom supplies, says it’s raised $1.6 billion for students and teachers since 2000. And Meta said in 2022, that donors had raised more than $7 billion through fundraisers on Facebook and Instagram.

Cadogan anticipates room for further growth in online donations in general as well as further potential for asking for help publicly to become more and more acceptable. He sees that ask as the first step to unlocking other people’s generosity.

“A big part of what I hope that we can do over the next few years is normalize asking for help,” he said.

___

Associated Press coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits receives support through the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/philanthropy.

United States News

FILE - A map of a new proposed community in Solano County, Calif., is displayed during a news confe...

Associated Press

A billionaire-backed campaign for a new California city is off to a bumpy start

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After two false starts, the billionaires behind a plan to build an eco-friendly city from scratch are behind schedule and off to a bumpy start to put their proposal before California voters this November. Former Goldman Sachs trader Jan Sramek unveiled his closely guarded ballot initiative for the proposed community between […]

1 hour ago

FILE - Nevada Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar speaks before Gov. Joe Lombardo signs an election wo...

Associated Press

Nevada and other swing states need more poll workers. Can lawyers help fill the gap?

RENO, Nev. (AP) — With Nevada counties struggling to find poll workers in a pivotal election year, the top election official in the Western swing state is taking a page from his counterparts elsewhere and is asking the legal community to help fill the gap. Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar wants lawyers who volunteer at […]

1 hour ago

FILE - This combo image shows President Joe Biden, left, Jan. 5, 2024, and Republican presidential ...

Associated Press

What is Super Tuesday? Why it matters and what to watch

The biggest day of this year’s primary campaign is approaching as 15 states — plus American Samoa — vote in contests known as Super Tuesday. The elections are a crucial moment for President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, who are the overwhelming front-runners for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations. As the day […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Firefighters seek to corral massive Texas wildfires before weekend of higher temperatures and winds

CANADIAN, Texas (AP) — The explosive growth of the second-largest wildfire in Texas history slowed as winds and temperatures dipped but the massive blaze was still untamed and threatening more death and destruction. The Smokehouse Fire is the largest of several major fires burning in the rural Panhandle section of the state. It has charred […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during a Pentagon press briefing at the Pentagon on Fe...

Associated Press

Defense chief on the defensive: Lawmakers to confront Austin on secret hospital stay

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will face Congress publicly for the first time Thursday to explain his failure to quickly notify the president and other senior leaders about his hospitalization last month for complications from prostate cancer surgery. He is expected to hear some sharp questions and criticism from members of the House […]

2 hours ago

Traffic enter and leave mid-town Manhattan via the Queensboro Bridge, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Ne...

Associated Press

NYC’s plan to ease gridlock and pump billions into mass transit? A $15 toll for Manhattan drivers

NEW YORK (AP) — Between bridge and tunnel tolls, parking fees and the ever-present risk of getting a traffic ticket, it can already cost a mint to drive into Manhattan. Is forking over another $15 for the privilege of driving into the most traffic-choked parts of the island enough to finally get more people out […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

GoFundMe says $30 billion has been raised on its crowdfunding and nonprofit giving platforms