GoFundMe made its name as a way to alleviate the burden of unforeseen expenses, like funeral costs or veterinary bills. Now the company is expanding beyond emergency needs and starting to highlight causes like education, today releasing a guidebook for college students looking for help with tuition costs and more.
“I don’t see this as a replacement for government-supported infrastructure,” GoFundMe chairman and CEO Rob Solomon says, in reference to existing financial aid programs. “I think it’s a complement.”
Over the last three years, Solomon says, there have been 130,000 GoFundMe campaigns for college-related expenses. But with just $60 million in donations, the category remains tiny compared to the $3 billion in total donations that GoFundMe has generated since its launch.
Rising college costs became a lightning rod during last year’s election, with some candidates calling for free tuition at state universities. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of students are defaulting on their loans.
For more on GoFundMe, named one of Fast Company’s most innovative companies of 2017, read our feature.