GoFundMe – Bootstrapped And Set To Raise $37 Million In 2012
Resources available for crowdfunding are plentiful to the degree that today specific sites that cater to creative, tech, business, app development, and non-profit crowdfunding are available options. GoFundMe , based in San Diego, launched its crowdfunding site back in 2008 and unlike the well-known Kickstarter, GoFundMe allows anyone to raise money for personal causes such as medical bills, volunteering abroad, tuition fees or other major life events.
The Traffic Sources
Medical fundraising, at 17%, is the most popular category, while tuition and volunteer trips are said to follow. According to the GoFundMe info-graphic, 46% of users also connect to Facebook in order to spread the word about their campaign.
While GoFundMe doesn’t attract as much traffic as a site like Kickstarter, it’s more interested in attracting a different kind of user. Families and small communities are able to connect their GoFundMe campaign easily with Facebook and Twitter. In addition, two major differences between Kickstarter and GoFundMe are that when using GoFundMe, users can keep all the money donated to them even if they don’t reach their stated goal and there’s no set time limit necessary for a particular project.
$100,000 Per Month
This successful alternative to the crowdfunding scene has, to date, helped individuals raise millions of dollars (it doesn’t share these exact figures). In terms of gross payment volume, that comes out to $2 million per month. The 5% percent transaction fee charged by GoFundMe results in about $100,000 per month.
That’s 20% growth each month since last October and by the end of 2012 it expects to raise $37 million.
GoFundMe points out that this money doesn’t come from The U.S. alone. In fact, this total includes money from the U.K., Australia, Canada, and European Union members who use the Euro as its currency.
This is impressive considering GoFundMe is comprised of only four people and also considering it’s a self-funded startup. This completely bootstrapped startup hasn’t received any outside funding or investment in its history.
Today, it’s helping cancer patients get treatment as well as helping people like Robert Wilson Pinksten, 16, become the youngest helicopter pilot in The U.S.
Pinksten Of Nashua, NH
At $275 dollars an hour with an instructor, Pinksten wanted to learn how to fly a helicopter but didn’t have the money for classes. The money his grandmother lent him towards the cause was a start but it wasn’t enough. Pinksten’s next step was to start a donation page on GoFundMe.
$3,500 later, Pinksten had more than enough for the 10 hours of private instruction.
“It’s surprising! I didn’t think people cared. I certainly want to thank them,” said Pinksten.
When asked what his role in GoFundMe’s success was, cofounder Brad Damphousse said, “GoFundMe’s success is contingent upon our users’ success. Since the idea of collecting payments online is new territory for a lot of people, our goal is to make the entire process as simple as possible –eliminating any confusion or uncertainty along the way.”
He adds, “Our team is constantly listening to and acting upon our users feedback to improve the user experience –helping us deliver the best possible interaction for users and donors alike.”