Hi! If you’ve landed here, you’re either just snooping around or a reporter just now discovering GoFraudMe. This page is intended for the latter so if you’re the former, just distract yourself with this thing.
Alright, so let’s get a little background out of the way. Hey, I’m Adrienne. I’m a media professional from the fringes of the accounting and finance industries. I first got interested in GoFundMe fraud in early 2015 after I and dozens of fellow animal welfare folks were unsuccessful in getting an obvious fraud shut down, you can read some more about that here. That fundraiser was finally removed after a long court case awarded custody of the cat to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. The cat involved in it was actually an international story; I’ll tell you all about it if you interview me. When I’m not writing about GoFundMe fraud, I’m probably hitting the trail in the forest, enjoying a nice IPA, or posting cat pics to Instagram.
GoFraudMe.com was founded in April 2016. The project was originally just a Facebook page, which was founded in early 2015 or something, don’t quote us on that.
Short GoFundMe facts:
As of October 2016, $3 billion has been donated to GoFundMe campaigns
Of that $2 billion, $340 million was raised for ‘funeral’ fundraisers, making up approximately 17% of all fundraising activity on the site [update June 2017: that number is now $4 billion]
The top 5 fundraising categories on GoFundMe are 1) Medical 2) Educational 3) Volunteerism 4) Personal Emergencies and 5) Sports & Teams
As of May 2016, the site hit 25 million donors total
GoFundMe says $4 million is raised on its platform per day
A new GoFundMe campaign is started every 18 seconds
More than 99% of all GoFundMe donations are less than $1,000
GoFundMe was launched on May 10, 2010.
In November 2017, GoFundMe announced it would no longer charge an automatic 5% fee for each donation and rather would switch to a “voluntary” tip model.
The GoFraudMe mission statement
Although it may not seem obvious at first glance, we are not anti-GoFundMe, nor do we have any particular vendetta against GoFundMe itself. We do feel as though GoFundMe specifically allows for a significant amount of fraud to occur on its platform, and that it minimizes this fact in its statements to the media. This is simply our opinion based on information we’ve gathered from our work.
We track and report on GoFundMe fraud in particular because it is the most prevalent and news-worthy type of crowdfunding fraud — likely due to the sheer size of GoFundMe as a platform.
We believe that crowdfunding — especially for personal causes — has the potential to do quite a bit of good. As such, we feel that platforms such as GoFundMe should be subject to scrutiny until such time as they provide better reassurance to donors that their money is going to the causes they hope to support.
Above all else, we believe that donors should be empowered to make smart decisions about their money. In absence of stronger fraud prevention efforts on the part of crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe, we aim to educate, inform, and protect donors and potential donors.
Only donate to people you personally know & trust
GoFundMe’s advice for preventing fraud on its platform is the following advice to donors: “Only donate to people you personally know & trust.” We here at GoFraudMe think that defeats the entire purpose of crowdfunding.
Additionally, GoFundMe advises campaign owners to reach out to local media in order to promote their pages: “The best way to get into the spotlight is to pursue your own local media first. The good news is that your local newspaper and TV news stations are starving for interesting stories like yours.” But wait, why would you need to be on the news if only people who know you personally are giving you money?
Contradictions such as that are at the heart of what we do here at GoFraudMe.
Interviews and what not
Yes, we are available for interviews. GoFraudMe is based in Richmond/Washington DC. Please use the form below to set up an interview or just to shoot the virtual spit.