The CEO of GoFundMe wants you to ask, "How can I help you?"

Is there an inherent contradiction in your mind that GoFundMe is a for-profit company? In fact, I think profit is what allows us to do w...


Is there an inherent contradiction in your mind that GoFundMe is a for-profit company?

In fact, I think profit is what allows us to do what we do and create such a good platform, because we have to run a world-class global platform service. We must continue to evolve. We must continue to offer new features. We really have to think about the trust and security of our business. We have to handle all payments. So being for-profit gives us the opportunity to hire great people and to compete with other tech companies for those people and to compensate them, but also to have the purpose of being able to say, I work at a company that is doing a really important thing in the world.

What are you doing to minimize instances of fraud and abuse on the platform?

We live in a human society, and the vast majority of people are good and have no bad intentions. Some people don’t have good intentions, but that applies to anyone running a big consumer business or even a small business. You may have someone who can try to take something from your shop. So it just tells me that we see human nature, nothing more than that.

As for how we deal with it, it’s a mix of technology, looking for certain signals and flags. And we’ve been doing this for 11 years now, so we haven’t seen everything under the sun. And then there’s a trust and safety team who are very well trained and have a very good playbook on what to look for.

How do you ensure that the money is actually used efficiently? And how do you judge that?

Our job is to make sure the money gets to the right beneficiary. We put a lot of effort into verifying that this is the person we were ultimately intended for. Once they have that money, it’s their money, and they can make choices. So we have no way to follow through on what they’re using, the debit card or the credit card to spend the money. It’s pretty rare that we hear of someone doing something completely off-reserve. But at the end of the day, it’s their money.

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

No. Life happens and it has good and bad sides. A fundamental part of being human is wanting to go through this together. It never goes away. And we’re a place where people come together and help each other. None of us can go through life alone.

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

The first phase was things like PPE. People didn’t have face masks. The medical workers had no gloves, etc. All that stuff was running out. Then you started to see lockdowns and therefore countless campaigns for small businesses, for their employees. This wasn’t new to GoFundMe, but the scale of it was completely different. And then, as people were out of work longer, they asked for more rent relief and that sort of thing. With the murder of George Floyd, we have seen a lot of activity related to the social justice movement.

But since the middle of last year, everything is falling apart and a more normal life is returning. We’ve seen weddings, we’ve seen animals, we’ve seen honeymoons. We just saw some sort of campaign for the United States men’s bobsled team to raise $100,000 to help them, you know, prepare and go to the Winter Olympics. All the things you could imagine, with humans going on with their lives.

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Newsrust - US Top News: The CEO of GoFundMe wants you to ask, "How can I help you?"
The CEO of GoFundMe wants you to ask, "How can I help you?"
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