The GoFundMe C.E.O. Wants You to Ask: ‘How Can I Help?’

Is there an inherent contradiction in your mind about GoFundMe being a for-profit corporation?

In fact, I think being profitable is what enables us to do what we do and build such a great platform, because we have to run a global, world-class platform service. We have to keep evolving. We have to keep giving new features. We really need to think about the confidence and safety side of our business. We have to manage all payments. So being for profit gives us the ability to hire great people and compete with other tech companies for those people and give them compensation, but that also means, I work in a company that is doing really important work. . In the world.

What are you doing to reduce the incidence of fraud and abuse on the platform?

We live in a society of human beings, and most people are good and have no bad intentions. There are some people whose motives are not good, but it applies to anyone who runs a large consumer business or even a small business. You may have someone who can take something from your store. So he just tells me that we look at human nature, nothing more.

In terms of how we deal with it, it’s a combination of technology, looking for specific signs and flags. And we’ve been doing this for 11 years, so we haven’t seen everything under the sun. And then there’s a trust and safety team that is very well trained and has a really good playbook for what to look for.

How do you make sure your money is used effectively? And how will you judge it?

Our job is to make sure the money goes to the right beneficiary. We put a lot of work into verifying that this is the person who was purposeful at the end of the day. Once they have that money, it’s their money, and they can make a choice. So we have no way to get into the debit card or credit card they are using to spend money. It is very rare that we hear of someone doing something out of a reservation. But at the end of the day, it’s their money.

Would the world be a better place if GoFundMe didn’t have to exist in the first place?

No. Life happens and there are good and bad parts to it. A basic part of being human wants to go through that together. It never goes away. And we are a place where people get together and help each other. None of us can go through our own lives.

How has the way people use the site changed during the epidemic?

The first phase was such that PPE people did not have face masks. Medical personnel did not have gloves etc. All that stuff was gone. Then you started watching lockdown and so for small businesses, numerous campaigns for their employees. It wasn’t new to GoFundMe, but its scale was completely different. And then people being out of work for longer, they demanded more rent relief and that kind of thing. With the assassination of George Floyd, we saw a lot of activity related to the social justice movement.

But since the middle of last year, it’s all coming down and more normal life is coming. We’ve seen weddings, we’ve seen animals, we’ve seen honeymoons. We just saw a kind of campaign to raise $ 100,000 to help the US men’s bobsled team, you know, get ready and go to the Winter Olympics. All the things you can imagine as humans move on with their lives.

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