GoFundMe.com is a simple, convenient, and efficient way to engage a large number of people and garner financial support to further a particular cause or event. GoFundMe is a web-based fundraising tool that was launched in 2010 which has helped raised over $1 billion in donations for its users. Individuals and nonprofit organizations use GoFundMe to create their own campaigns to raise money. There are four simple steps to launching a campaign: (1) describe the need/basis for the campaign; (2) use the built-in connections to Facebook, Twitter, and email to publicize the campaign; (3) receive donations via check, credit card, or bank transfer; and (4) monitor the campaign or send thank-you notes.
Generally speaking, GoFundMe can be used to raise money for any legally permissible endeavor although the site does not guarantee the authenticity of each campaign that is launched. It is free to create an account and start a campaign. However, GoFundMe deducts a 5% fee in addition to a 3% processing fee from each donation received. GoFundMe maintains a list of 501(c)(3) organizations with their applicable tax ID numbers for organizers to easily raise money for a particular charity.
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is an example of how GoFundMe is able to engage a diverse group of people to rally behind a particular cause. The water crisis has received a lot of attention and triggered many campaigns to raise money for research studies and bottled water for residents. So far, 92 campaigns have been created. Almost 8,000 donors have responded to the campaigns raising $327,246.