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GoFundMe Causes and the GoFundMe.org Fund

This article covers the following topics:

Overview of GoFundMe Causes

FAQs for Organizers

FAQs for Donors

Overview of GoFundMe Causes

What are GoFundMe Causes?

  • Causes easily connect donors who want confidence in where their money is going to people and nonprofits seeking support. A donation to a Cause is an easy way to make a big impact. With so many options on where to give, Causes create a centralized place to give as donations are dispersed to help many.
  • GoFundMe.org is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit partnered with the GoFundMe platform. GoFundMe.org manages the fundraiser for each Cause by taking tax-deductible donations and leveraging the GoFundMe community by sourcing individual GoFundMe fundraisers by and for people in need and granting funds out to qualifying individuals and other nonprofits whose needs align with the mission of the Cause. 

Is there a difference between the GoFundMe platform and GoFundMe.org?

  • GoFundMe.org is an independently run nonprofit, distinct from GoFundMe, the for-profit company that operates the GoFundMe fundraising platform. GoFundMe supports the operations of GoFundMe.org by sharing resources, funds, tools, and employees to raise and distribute funds in a low-cost and effective manner. GoFundMe.org operates independently and maintains its own board. 
  • GoFundMe partners with GoFundMe.org to raise money for important charitable issues. GoFundMe.org is a 501(c)(3) public nonprofit (EIN: 81-2279757) with a mission to provide fast and effective relief to people, communities, and nonprofits. GoFundMe.org strives to eliminate the paradox of choice for donors by providing a centralized place to give, knowing that those dollars are dispersed to credible organizations and people. 

How are GoFundMe Causes selected?

  • Causes are created to support long-term, evergreen issues. When an ongoing need is clear, and when we’re confident that we can send meaningful grants to those in need and to verified nonprofits serving a needed purpose, a Cause is created. 
  • Current Causes Include

How does GoFundMe determine the fundraisers and nonprofits that receive grants?

  • GoFundMe.org issues grants to verified individual fundraisers where the stated fund use is in alignment with the purpose of the given Cause fund and ensures that the individual falls within the charitable class. The criteria varies depending on the mission of each Cause. 
  • For nonprofit grants, GoFundMe.org identifies various nonprofits that align with the mission of the Cause fund. GoFundMe’s Trust & Safety teams work with GoFundMe.org to ensure that grants only benefit nonprofits in good standing. Checks include but are not limited to being an actively registered nonprofit with IRS, that its leadership has not been flagged for any financial crimes or adverse mentions, and that its mission aligns with the purpose of our fund. We also consider program efficiency.  

FAQs for GoFundMe Organizers

Can I apply for a GoFundMe Cause grant?

  • No application is needed. To be considered for a grant from a cause, your fundraiser must benefit a charitable class and align with the mission of a Cause fund. We regularly source fundraisers that may qualify for a grant but if you know or have a fundraiser that may be eligible, you are welcome to nominate it for review by clicking on the unique submission form linked in the Cause fund description. 

How do you determine the size of the grant that each fundraiser and nonprofit receives?

  • Grants to personal GoFundMe fundraisers are usually under $600. Nonprofit grantees typically receive a larger grant as their projects reach and help many people. The amount varies and is based on the amount the Cause fund has available to grant, the frequency and size of donations received, and the size of the charitable class being helped by the grant. 

How quickly does GoFundMe.org disburse the funds?

  • GoFundMe.org can start making grants to qualifying GoFundMes and/or vetted nonprofits within a matter of days. In general, GoFundMe.org rolls grants out on a consistent basis so long as there are available funds to grant. After a fundraiser receives a grant, withdrawals can take 2-5 business days to arrive in the designated bank accounts
  • GoFundMe.org will continue making grants until the fund attached to a cause is depleted. Grants will resume when more donations are made to the Cause fund. 

FAQs for Donors

What is the benefit of donating to a Cause vs. directly to an individual or charity fundraiser?

  • Donors are often eager to support those in need, but with thousands of nonprofits and GoFundMe fundraisers to choose from, many struggle to decide where to give. GoFundMe Causes eliminates the need to decide on which personal fundraiser or nonprofit to support by enabling you to make a single tax-deductible donation to a Cause fund you care about, and that your donation is then responsibly dispersed to benefit many. 
  • $0.96 of every dollar you donate on to a fund organized by GoFundMe.org goes directly to nonprofits or to individuals who need help, not GoFundMe.org’s own administrative expenses. 

How do I know what fundraisers and nonprofits my donation will benefit? 

  • Updates are posted to all Cause funds when grants are sent, and these are emailed to all donors. The update posts share personal thank-you’s, images, and testimonials from grantees so that you can see the impact your donation has and how you helped to make a difference. 

Are donations to a Cause fund tax deductible?

  • Yes. Since GoFundMe.org, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the organizer of the fund managing donations and sending grants, donations to any fund hosted by GoFundMe.org are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by U.S. law. Once you make a donation to a Cause fund, your tax-deductible receipt is automatically emailed to you.

Can I donate via wire transfer, ACH, stock, cryptocurrency, or DAF?

  • Yes, GoFundMe.org accepts donations through traditional means such as wire, ACH, checks, grants from donor-advised funds (DAFs), and other entities like private foundations, stock, property, and cryptocurrency. Visit GoFundMe.org’s off-platform donation page to donate this way. GoFundMe.org also accepts donations through the GoFundMe platform using credit or debit cards, Apple Pay, or Google Pay.

Does my money only support individuals

  • No. Many GoFundMe.org Cause funds prioritize helping individuals first to directly get money into the hands of those in need. However, using GoFundMe requires internet access and a bank account, and not everyone feels comfortable publicly seeking help. To increase access and impact, Cause funds also make grants to nonprofits supporting the same charitable class. Some cause funds prioritize granting to nonprofits depending on the purpose stated in the Cause fund.
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