Invisible by Default: What You Won’t See on GoFundMe

Amy Costello and Frederica Boswell, Nonprofit Quarterly
Description / Summary

When a crisis hits, and a social safety net is nowhere to be found, many turn to the crowdfunding platform, GoFundMe. The site says it has raised over $9 billion since it launched eleven years ago, and that it has received 120 million donations from across the world.

As a result, the for-profit company has benefitted from a celebratory narrative that it’s a great equalizer. Experiencing a health crisis? Mounting medical bills? Unable to pay rent? Just launch a campaign and a crowd of friends—and even strangers—will help you out. So, when COVID-19 hit, a ton of people hopped on the platform with these same hopes in mind. At the time, people were dying. Many were struggling financially.