Everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed with cancer and a good portion of those people has probably donated money to help that individual or their family cope with the bills. Many people have gone online and started GoFundMe campaigns to raise funds for their medical expenses. There are so many of these accounts that GoFundMe has become one of the most common places for friends, families, and even strangers to ask for donations. GoFundMe is not just an online platform where you can create a profile, link your bank account, and start a fund-raising campaign. It’s also an entire ecosystem in which nearly every stakeholder directly benefits from its existence. This article takes a closer look at GoFundMe: its history, its pros, its cons, and how it all fits into the bigger picture of social giving.
What is GoFundMe?
GoFundMe is a website where people can create a profile, link their bank account, and ask friends, family, and even strangers for money to help pay for their medical bills or other expenses. The site was founded in 2010 by Brad Damphousse and Andy Ballester and is now the world’s largest social fundraising platform, with over $6 billion raised so far. It’s available in English and 21 other languages and is used by people in more than 190 countries. There are two types of campaigns you can create on GoFundMe: Donation Campaigns and Personal Campaigns. Donation Campaigns are typically set up by nonprofits or charitable organizations and are used to raise money for causes like disaster relief, poverty or education. Personal Campaigns are set up by individuals who need help with medical bills or other expenses that aren’t covered by their health insurance.
Why Is It So Popular?
As mentioned earlier, GoFundMe has become one of the most common places for friends, families, and even strangers to ask for donations. It’s such a common occurrence that many people don’t even think to look for treatment or cure options. Instead, they immediately think, “I want to start a GoFundMe campaign”. The platform’s popularity can be attributed to a few different factors. First, it’s free to set up an account and start a campaign. Second, the website boasts a high success rate, with approximately 70% of campaigns reaching their goal.
The Dark Side of GoFundMe
With all that being said, it’s important to remember that GoFundMe is not a charity. It’s not even close to being a charity. Unlike charities, there are absolutely no regulatory bodies overseeing the website. There are no audited financial reports, no accountability, nothing. The biggest issue with GoFundMe is that there is no guarantee that you’ll ever see your money, that you’ll ever receive the medical care that you need, or that you’ll ever get better. What’s more, is that you’ll still be expected to pay off your debts even if you don’t recover from your illness. We’ve seen many scams and fraudulent campaigns on GoFundMe, and it’s important to be vigilant about who you give money. Remember to do your research, talk to your doctor and follow your gut instincts.
Overall, GoFundMe is a great resource for when you need money to cover your medical expenses. The website is easy to use, it’s free, and most importantly, it works! If you’re looking for a way to raise money, you can create a campaign in minutes and you can rest easy knowing that your loved ones will be there to support you. However, it’s important to remember that with great power comes great responsibility. You’ll need to be honest with yourself about your situation and you’ll need to be honest with your donors. If you don’t need the money and you simply want to treat yourself, that’s fine. Just don’t be surprised if you receive a lot of backlash from people who see your campaign as a scam.