GoFundMe CEO says one-third of all fundraisers are now for for medical reasons

Individuals are increasingly turning to crowdfunding campaigns to help with the high cost of medical bills. 

GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon on Monday told CBS News that nearly 250,00 campaigns to deal with health care costs have been set up since the fundraising platform launched in 2010, raising a combined $650 million. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"When we started in 2010, it wasn't purposefully set up and built to be a substitute for medical insurance," Solomon told CBS, noting that health care-related donations account for one-third of all funds donated to the site.

"We weren't ever set up to be a health care company and we still are not. But over time, people have used GoFundMe for the most important issues they are faced with."

The comments from Solomon came as part of an expansive report by CBS about how Americans have used crowdfunding to help confront skyrocketing healthcare costs.

For example, a father of 1-year-old twin girls who were diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease launched a crowdfunding campaign to help deal with $750,000 in treatment expenses. The campaign launched with a goal of raising $250,000 and has accrued more than $103,000 so far. 

Solomon said earlier this month that medical fundraisers bring in more money than any other category on GoFundMe. 

“In the old paradigm you would give $20 to somebody who needed help,” Solomon told KHN.org. “In the new paradigm, you’ll give $20, you’ll share that and that could turn into 10, 20, 50 or 100 people doing that. So, the $20 could turn into hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.” 

Healthcare continues to be a leading issue among American voters.

Democrats focused on the issue in the 2018 midterms and seized control of the House.

Gallup poll reported earlier this month that the percentage of Americans without health insurance has reached its highest point since 2014.