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Changing the World One Donation at a Time: The Impact and Business Model of GoFundMe

GoFundMe: Crowdfunding for Social Causes

Are you in dire need of funding for a noble cause that can potentially make a significant impact on society? Or are you seeking a platform to support a social cause that aligns with your values and beliefs?

Look no further than GoFundMe, one of the most popular crowdfunding platforms that has revolutionized the way people raise funds for social causes. What is GoFundMe?

GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform that enables individuals and organizations to raise funds for a range of causes, including personal, medical, educational, and nonprofit. Founded in 2010 by Brad Damphousse and Andrew Ballester, the platform has become immensely popular due to its ease of use and reaching out to a vast audience.

The platform connects individuals who have specific needs with a supportive community who can lend a helping hand. How does GoFundMe work?

Those seeking funds for personal reasons, social causes, or entrepreneurial purposes can create a campaign on GoFundMe by setting a specific fundraising goal. You can choose from different categories including medical, education, charity, and various social causes.

After setting up a campaign, you can share it on social media, email, or messaging platforms, to reach your target audience. GoFundMe offers secure payment options, and funds raised are directly deposited into your account.

A Short History of GoFundMe

GoFundMe has rapidly grown in popularity since its inception in 2010. In 2015, GoFundMe was the third-largest crowdfunding platform globally, raising more than $280 million.

However, in 2017, GoFundMe underwent leadership changes following allegations of rampant fraud and campaigns that violated their terms and conditions. These issues led to a massive drop in funding for the platform.

However, this incident also led to significant changes that enhanced user safety and fraud prevention measures, making the platform more secure and trustworthy. GoFundMe’s Mission and Virality

In the wake of social media and the viral effect, social causes and noble actions get more attention than ever before.

GoFundMe leverages that fact by introducing a platform that enables people to go viral with their fundraising campaigns. Different campaigns have garnered significant attention from different audiences around the world, thereby raising more than millions of dollars for different causes.

For instance, in 2020, GoFundMe campaigns for supporting frontline healthcare workers, George Floyd, Canadian truckers, Kyle Rittenhouse, and many others raised millions of dollars. GoFundMe’s Issues and Security Measures

Despite its widespread popularity, GoFundMe’ has far from a perfect record.

The platform has encountered several instances of fraudulent campaigns. To address these issues, GoFundMe has implemented stringent verification processes and safety measures.

GoFundMe has a team of experts who work tirelessly to identify fraudsters and fake campaigns. Security measures include fraud checks, email verification, and account verification.

Further, GoFundMe uses a strategic monitoring system that identifies suspicious campaigns and puts them under review. GoFundMe’s Most Successful and Controversial Campaigns

GoFundMe campaigns have notably raised millions of dollars for various causes, including natural disasters, political, social, and funding for various medical treatments.

Moreover, the platform has had its share of controversial campaigns, including the campaign of Joe Exotic, the star of the Tiger King documentary, that resulted in a significant backlash. Similarly, the campaigns of Kyle Rittenhouse, charged with shooting protestors and George Floyd, the African-American man whose killing sparked a worldwide movement against racism and police brutality, continue to compel a closer look at GoFundMe’s policies and influence.


GoFundMe is an effective crowdfunding platform that connects people worldwide to noble causes and social issues that require urgent attention. The platform continues to work towards user safety and fraud prevention measures, making it more secure and safer for people to donate their hard-earned money to various campaigns.

GoFundMe has undoubtedly played a massive role in helping people worldwide, and its impact can only continue to grow with time.

3) Business Model of GoFundMe

In the era of democratization enabled by the internet, platforms like GoFundMe have emerged as beacons of hope for people who are seeking financial support for a range of causes. GoFundMe is powered by a simple business model that involves creating a space where people seeking donations can easily connect with potential donors and receive funds promptly.

The model is centered around accessibility, security measures, and incentives to maximize user growth.

Simplifying the Donation Process

At the core of GoFundMe’s business model is the democratization of funding by simplifying the donation process. Unlike traditional fundraising methods, crowdfunding on GoFundMe eliminates geographical barriers and enables people from all over the world to contribute to a campaign that they support.

GoFundMe has even expanded to provide a space for creators, similar to Patreon. The platform has been able to democratize financing by leveraging the internet and social networking features, which has enabled campaigns to attract widespread attention and go viral.

Giving Donation Seekers Access to Potential Donors

GoFundMe’s business model revolves around providing people seeking donations with access to a targeted audience that is most likely to support their cause. The platform’s homepage comprises of a list of popular campaigns that users can browse through.

Users can also browse through categories like education, faith, disasters, medical, and many others to find campaigns that align with their needs. GoFundMe’s success is due to its targeted reach, with different campaigns using the targeted audience feature to get support faster.

Security Measures

GoFundMe’s business model places a heavy emphasis on ensuring donors’ security and responsible handling of their donations. To this end, the platform employs machine learning algorithms that continuously monitor all campaigns on the platform, identifying signs of fraudulent activities.

In addition to that, GoFundMe launches campaigns quicker, requiring fewer and less-expensive tools to verify a campaign and transfer funds. The security authorization tools required by GoFundMe ensure that every donation reaches the intended campaign and that the recipient receives the funds.

Additionally, GoFundMe provides a money-back guarantee to donors in cases of fraudulent activities on the platform.

Incentivized to Maximize User Growth and Attract More Funding

GoFundMe’s business model is also designed to maximize user growth and attract more donations to campaigns. The more users the platform attracts, the more successful campaigns become due to the virality effect.

As a result, GoFundMe is incentivized to incorporate gamification, referral rewards, and other viral tactics to amplify network effects and attract a larger audience to support campaigns. Further, the platform has expanded its services to launch new charities, which helps in broadening its user base and attracting more donations.

4) Funding and Revenue of GoFundMe

GoFundMe was initially bootstrapped by its founders, but as the platform began to grow, it needed more funds for expansion. In 2015, GoFundMe secured its first and last venture funding round of $52 million led by Accel Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures.

The investment round valued the company at $600 million. However, in 2017, following several high-profile scams and fraud involving campaigns, the company laid off 7% of its workforce.

As a result, the company became more secretive and reluctant to disclose its profit or revenue figures.

Lack of Disclosure about Revenue Figures

Unlike most tech companies, which are transparent about their revenue figures, GoFundMe has been reluctant to release its financial information to the public. The company has stated that its revenue and profitability depend on the number of campaigns launched and donations received.

According to Statista, the estimated net revenue of GoFundMe is around $124.2 million based on data from 2019. However, this figure is still speculative as the company has not disclosed its revenue figures since it raised venture capital in 2015.


GoFundMe’s business model has revolutionized the way people crowdsource funds for noble causes. The platform’s success has come down to its targeted reach, security measures, and ease of use.

GoFundMe’s pivot to include more creators and charities is a testament to the platform’s ability to grow and adapt. While its revenue figures may be murky, the social impact GoFundMe has made speaks for itself.

GoFundMe, a crowdfunding platform founded in 2010, has revolutionized the way people fundraising for social causes. Its business model is designed to democratize the donation process, provide accessibility to targeted donors, ensure responsible handling of donations through security measures, and attract more funding.

GoFundMe’s focus on democratizing financing has enabled campaigns to reach millions of people worldwide, raising considerable amounts of money for various noble causes. The platform’s rapid growth can be attributed to its ability to adapt, emphasize security measures, and provide ease of use for its numerous users.

Its revenue figures remain opaque, and its audience remains massive, continuing to make a significant impact on various social causes worldwide.

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