Modest-Income Donors Gravitate To GoFundMe

In the time that it takes you to read this sentence, more than 100 potential donors will have visited a GoFundMe page. The crowdfunding platform received one billion visits from 491 million users during 2017, an average of 31 visits per second. More than 30 donations were processed each minute.

Donors on the platform, unlike those in other areas of philanthropy, skew younger, more mobile-conscious, and of modest economic means, according to the Social Fundraising Data Report from CrowdRise by GoFundMe.

Greater than four out of five (84 percent) of donor households earned incomes described by CrowdRise as “middle class,” between $40,000 and $120,000 per year. The majority of all 2017 donations (51 percent) were from donors on the lower end of that spectrum, between $40,000 and $70,000. The median income of a GoFundMe donor household was just slightly above that of the national household median, $61,000 to $59,000.

The report shows that, broken down by category, donors of relatively greater means are still the ones that gravitate toward traditional charitable causes, while less wealthy donors give to more personal causes. The types of causes that attracted households with highest median incomes in 2017 were certified charities ($68,000), charitable causes ($65,000), and emergencies ($63,000). Memorials ($59,000), creative campaigns ($60,000), and fulfilling wishes ($60,000), appealed to households with lower incomes.

GoFundMe supporters have the added value of their social-media behavior. The study pegged the value of a donor who shares a GoFundMe page on social media at an additional $15. At the same time, the mobile traffic on the platform continues to grow. Nearly four out of five (79 percent) of the billion visits GoFundMe pages garnered in 2017 were from mobile devices, up from 76 percent in 2016 and 71 percent in 2015. Greater than three out of five (62 percent) of actual donations were made using a mobile device.

“When you layer asking for help with social media, it turns one donor into hundreds, even thousands of donors sometimes,” said Rob Solomon, CEO of GoFundMe. “It turns one advocate for your cause into an evangelist; where they can talk about a cause and share it broadly.”

Other findings from the report included:

* The majority (58 percent) of 2017 GoFundMe donors were under the age of 45. Members of Generation Z, defined as those between the ages of 18 and 25, made up 10.6 percent of the overall total;

* GoFundMe donations tend to be small, with donations of $50 or less making up 68 percent of contributions; and,

* Nearly two thirds (64 percent) of donations were made by women. Donations made by men were approximately 50 percent larger on average, meaning that actual donation amount favored women by a more modest 55 percent to 45 percent..