WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — GoFundMe announced the creation of a new category. One specifically for rent, food, or bills. You can now put your fundraiser in this category, and when donors click on the COVID category page, they'll be able to browse the GoFundMe's that ask for assistance with everyday expenses.
While some celebrate the company, many people are reacting negatively to the announcement as the richest country in the world continually fails to provide for its citizens during the pandemic.
The announcement also comes as Democrats and Republicans refuse to advance stimulus talks and a wave of evictions are hitting the US.
Even those who historically support one side or the other seem fed up with the inaction and political squabbling.
In October of 2020, GoFundMe made the announcement on Twitter.
As a result, a new category has been created on GoFundMe specifically for everyday expenses that many Americans are struggling to pay.
It's no surprise that so many Americans are attempting to survive through crowdfunding or any other means due to a massive failure in governance.
A quick scroll of the new category shows hundreds of people asking for help with basic necessities.
While the single $1,200 direct stimulus payment most Americans received was welcome aid, any additional help seems locked up for the sake of political leverage.
GoFundMe allows people to withdraw money from their fundraiser at any time and some of the biggest campaigns on the platform have been extremely successful. The George Floyd Fund received over $14.7 million in donations.
GoFundMe is not a real social safety net; it's not a system of catching people when they fall through the cracks. It's a business.
According to their public reports, In 2016, it made around $100 million.
From 2018 onward the company stopped taking an automatic fee for personal campaigns. According to CNBC, GoFundMe is now funded largely by donations. Users are presented with a voluntary option at the end of a transaction to send a few extra dollars to the site.
However, the site’s fee structure still indicates a fee on “certified charity campaigns and all campaigns created outside the United States and Canada.”
CEO Solomon said the “effective rate” of user donations is enough to keep the business profitable.
“A lot of feedback over the years has been, we love GoFundMe, we love what you do, the 5 percent is fair, but we want all of the money to go to the cause,” he said.
In 2015, the company was reportedly valued at $600 million.
By relying on donations instead of a real safety net provided by most developed countries across the globe, Americans are forced to play a social media popularity game to buy their own survival.
A successful campaign requires some way to stand out from the others. It's not enough to say you need help, you need to prove you deserve it. Fundraisers need a way to write their stories to be as heart-wrenching as possible.