In 2017, charitable crowdfunding giant GoFundMe stopped sharing two key figures about its growth: How much total money it’s raising, and how many donors are involved. (The last available stat was $5 billion since 2010, with over 50 million donors participating.)
By a few other measurements in its year-end report, though, it’s been another big year for the tech company. One of the biggest trends revolves around what GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon terms the “moments to movements” phenomenon: The Parkland shooting happened, for instance, and then survivors spoke out. That resulted in more than 60 campaigns supporting the March For Our Lives in Washington.
Similarly, the growing wave of women in Hollywood and elsewhere speaking out against sexual harassment and assault led to the creation of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, GoFundMe’s highest-grossing campaign ever. “People are giving from everywhere,” Solomon adds. “There are no barriers to race, gender, religion, location.”
At the same time, some of the efforts are decentralized, but can have an enormous collective impact: Fundraisers created a total of 10,000 individual campaigns to help victims of the California wildfires, which together raised $30 million for that effort. Here are five other statistics that highlight how the service is growing:
$22 million: The record-breaking total of the site’s largest campaign.
More than 21,000 people contributed to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund to counter workplace sexual discrimination, harassment, and assault. Since it started 11 months ago, the movement has become the service’s highest-ever grossing campaign, and it’s still ongoing. Time’s Up earned $10 million more than the largest grossing campaign from 2017, which went to support the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.
142,000 people: The largest number of givers to any one campaign.
Their generosity raised nearly $15.2 million Canadian dollars (about $11.3 million U.S.) for “Funds for Humboldt Broncos” honoring members of a Canadian junior hockey league team. A truck hit the team’s bus while they were traveling for a game, leaving 16 dead and 13 injured. In this case, support came from at least 80 countries. GoFundMe considers that level of geographical participation record-breaking too, although it didn’t have an immediate year-over-year comparison.
600 related campaigns: The total fundraisers in a grassroots movement gone viral.
The significance of the #BlackPantherChallenge includes both how it started and why it spread. Community advocate Fredrick Joseph decided to raise money for kids in Harlem who otherwise couldn’t afford to go see Black Panther, Marvel’s first feature film about a black superhero. Joseph’s effort raised five times his $10,000 goal, and donated the money to the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem to start a storytelling program. More importantly, the campaign became successful enough to inspire people in other communities, generating more than $1 million toward their own movie trips.
61% of all givers: The amount of first-time donors this year.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado, turned out to be the most generous city per capita, while Alaska became the most generous state. At least one in four Americans with credit cards has now pledged money through the site, Solomon says. “We see very high repeat rates in terms of people who have given previously,” he adds, in part because in times of bad news doing so may provide a feeling of empowerment.
19 countries: Where citizens now launch homegrown campaigns.
That’s way up from GoFundMe’s total of six including the U.S., and Canada in mid-2017. “We’re seeing a really big explosion in giving in the U.K. and Australia and Canada and France and Germany. That’s a really important change,” Solomon says. “We’re seeing the same phenomenon of people all over the world, in every country that we’re in, adopting the GoFundMe platform and gravitating to giving to causes that they care deeply about.”