CFB Exclusive Interview with GoFundMe

Picture Courtesy of GoFundMe

Picture Courtesy of GoFundMe

 By: Devin Thorpe contributing editor.

 Over the years GoFundMe has been used to help people in myriad ways, can you share one or two particularly powerful stories?

Brad: Hi Devin – sure thing. Our “Success Stories” page includes quotes from a number of memorable campaigns. As you can imagine, the campaigns for the Boston bombing victims were very powerful – a true testament individual strength and courage supported by the generosity of thousands. And, in just the last 48 hours an incredible campaign has surfaced for the homeless man in Boston who discovered $40k in a backpack and did the right thing by turning it over to authorities. This campaign has now raised about $86k – probably much more by the time you read this! (http://www.gofundme.com/4by2as) Every day we witness family & friends coming together to support one another when they need it most. However, more and more often these campaigns are going viral on a national level. Here’s a just a few more that made national headlines in the past 3 weeks:

$171k raised by friend of Australian baseball player slain in Oklahoma:

$103k raised by hero who stopped school shooter, Antoinette Tuff:

$6.8k to grant 87yr old’s wish to see Red Sox one last time:

Devin: Last spring, I wrote a Forbes piece about two of the Boston Marathon bombing victims, Celeste and Sydney Corcoran, who used your site to raise money. At the time of my article, they had raised $206,005. Can you update me on their campaign?

Brad: Celeste & Sydney’s campaign has raised $781,806.00

Devin: As the number of crowdfunding platforms seems to multiply daily, how are you innovating at GoFundMe to remain competitive?

Brad: Innovation will only get you so far. A genuine interest in our users’ success is what sets us apart from the copycats. Not only is GoFundMe designed to ensure success for just about anyone, but we respond to every support email within 5 minutes. In short, caring about your users goes a very long way. Case-inpoint, we’re a 100% bootstrapped company that will soon be the #2 crowdfunding site in the US behind Kickstarter. While other sites have peaked and plateaued, GoFundMe continues to soar.

Devin: What personal and professional experiences brought you to GoFundMe?

Brad: My background is in user-experience design and product management. In 2008, I had the idea that it should be easy for family & friends to come together and raise money online for life’s important moments (full history). I was very fortunate to team-up with my co-founder and friend Andrew Ballester who is one of the most talented developers on planet earth. We built GoFundMe ourselves without the help of outside development or capital. This decision allowed us to stay close to our product and communicate directly with our customers. We have 5+ years of improvements and optimizations underthe-hood at GoFundMe that contributes to our success every day!

Devin: What else would you like to tell us about GoFundMe?

Brad: GoFundMe is the crowdfunding site for the rest of us. Over $111M has been raised by regular people for the things that matter to them most. We grew 500% in 2012 and continue to surge in 2013 (See: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/gofundme.com). Our users keep each donation they receive without worrying about deadlines or limits. We don’t compete with Kickstarter as we serve two very different markets. Entrepreneur Magazine thought I might make a good Entrepreneur of the Year so they made me a finalist in their 2013 competition.

DevinThorpeDevin Thorpe thinks he is the luckiest person alive. After being “let go” from the best job he’d ever had—as the Chief Financial Officer of the multinational food and beverage company MonaVie—he and his wife ended up living in China for a year where he wrote Your Mark On The World and embarked on the career he’d always wanted yet hadn’t dared dream.

Now, as an author, a popular guest speaker and Forbes contributor, Devin is devoted full time to championing social good. His current life isn’t much like his past.
As an entrepreneur, Devin ran—at separate times—a boutique investment banking firm and a small mortgage company. He served as the Treasurer for the multinational vitamin manufacturer USANA Health Sciences years before becoming CFO for MonaVie. Over his career he led or advised on the successful completion of $500 million in transactions.

Devin squeezed in two brief stints in government, including two years working for Jake Garn on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee Staff and another year working for an independent state agency called USTAR, where he helped foster technology entrepreneurship during Governor Jon Huntsman’s administration. Devin is proud to have graduated from the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business, which recognized him as a Distinguished Alum in 2006. He also earned an MBA at Cornell University where he ran the student newspaper, Cornell Business.

Today, Devin channels the idealism of his youth with the loving support of his wife, Gail. Their son Dayton is a PhD candidate in Physics at UC Berkeley (and Devin rarely misses an opportunity to mention that).

HEADLINE NEWS

Baltimore SunHarford still opposes crowdfunding sites for school donationsBaltimore SunRaising money through online crowdfunding sites is an ideal way for teachers to find the funds to purchase classroom materials and should be restored, the head of the Harford County teachers' u [...]

U.S. News & World ReportNo Cash for Hate, Say Mainstream Crowdfunding FirmsU.S. News & World ReportThe block on mainstream crowdfunding is just the latest blow to far-right activists operating online. In the last 24 hours, neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer had its domain regi [...]

LITTLE GUIDANCE FROM IRS ON TAXING CROWDFUNDING CONTRIBUTIONSBloomberg BNAWhether it's a musician raising money to produce an album, an inventor with a great idea, or a family in distress that needs help, crowdfunding through platforms such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter has become [...]

Crowdfunding: Funding ideas the right wayReuters (press release) (registration)The term “crowdfunding”, or “crowdsourcing”, refers to an open call made to the world via the Internet to solicit funds from interested parties to finance a business or social project. The funds received ma [...]

Crain's Cleveland Business'Smaller' gifts can go long way for Clinic's crowdfunding platformCrain's Cleveland BusinessFor an institution accustomed to securing multimillion-dollar donations, Cleveland Clinic's latest fundraising effort has some relatively [...]

What do you think of crowdfunding campaigns?Japan TodayI think that if there is a responsibility and guarantee of sorts that the crowdfunding site will actually act with the users to go after companies which waste money or run off with it, then it would be a great thing for the future [...]

ForbesWhat Works In Equity Crowdfunding -- Insights From ResearchForbesAs we have recently celebrated the fourth anniversary of the signing of the JOBS Act into law, it is a good time to take stock of the effect that the legislature had on equity crowdfunding in the United States. It [...]

VentureBeatAmid Silicon Valley crackdown on alt-right, Gab social network ...VentureBeatAs high-tech firms have begun taking steps to weed out some of the most offensive right-wing hate groups, alternative social network Gab has seen a surge in ...Gab is becoming a haven for hate spee [...]

FortuneIndiegogo's Difficult Path to Offering Equity CrowdfundingFortuneIndiegogo founder Slava Rubin discusses how Indiegogo's equity crowdfunding service has been performing since its launch in 2016. Photograph by Indiegogo. E-mail; Tweet; Facebook; Linkedin. Share icons. [...]

The HinduKoodiyattam centre goes for crowdfundingThe HinduThe goal is to raise the sum through the crowdfunding platform BitGiving (https://www.bitgiving.com /nepathya) to train a new generation of artistes in what constitutes the only surviving form of ancient Sanskrit theatre in the [...]

CFB Finance

Marketwired

  • Crowdfunding
  • Crowdfund
  • Peer to Peer Lending
  • FinTech
  • Reg A+
  • Reg CF
  • Crowdfunding USA

Press Release

Live Crowdfunding .tv

What's Next Step in Regulation A+ JOBS ACTS Title IIII :L Interview : Steve Cinelli with Brian Korn Securities and Crowdfunding/Peer-to-Peer Lending Lawyer, Watch more video library | Conference | Interview | Campaign Showcase | Research | Education |