GoFundMe, the world’s largest social fundraising platform, today revealed NEW statistics which show that people in the UK are increasingly turning to crowdfunding on the site to raise money for personal medical costs and health expenses.
Since 2010, over £15.5 million has been raised in GoFundMe’s ‘Medical, Illness & Healing’ category in the UK, across nearly 5,000 individual campaigns, from more than 480,000 donors making it the largest category on the platform in the past year. (*See infographic for full breakdown)
GoFundMe campaigns such as Donate4Mike, Leah’s Cancer Fund, Help Zahra Walk, Emma’s Last Chance to Beat Cancer, and Kevin’s Fight Against Brain Tumour have all been hitting the headlines recently as people decide to take control of their own destiny and fundraise for life-saving treatment themselves.
Since the site launched in May 2010, the medical category in the UK has seen a 47% increase between 2015 and 2016 (YTD). The average donation to a campaign is now £41.00
GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon said. “The support of family and friends during times of need has always been there, but GoFundMe allows that support to expand beyond physical communities, and spread quickly across the world via social networks. This is an especially powerful tool in times of medical emergency.
“It is our mission at GoFundMe to provide a platform that allows everyday people to take extraordinary action when it is needed, and to change their lives, or the lives of those around them. The GoFundMe giving community is now over 25 million strong, and we see incredible acts of help and empathy happening every single day.”
There are endless examples of people coming together to help out in times of need but perhaps one of the most high profile and completely inspiring UK health appeals of recent times has been the GoFundMe ‘Donate4Mike’ campaign.
All couples vow on their wedding day to love and cherish their partner in sickness and in health. But for Kate and Mike Brandon, these words were particularly poignant.
After Mike Brandon was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given days to live, his wife Kate, 33, from Bristol had just two weeks to raise £400K so Mike could fly to the US and participate in a clinical trial using his own T cells at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Centre.
Launching the GoFundMe campaign to raise funds, Kate released a heartfelt video asking people to share his story and donate to the cause. See here. The GoFundMe appeal touched the heart of the nation, became an instant online sensation and the life-saving, six-figure, sum was raised in a matter of days.
In fact, the campaign was such a success that it became the largest GoFundMe campaign ever in the United Kingdom at the time. Exceeding the £330,125 that was previously raised for pensioner Alan Barnes to help him move after an attack, and has only recently been overtaken by Jo Cox’s Fund which has so far raised more than £1.5 million.
Professor David Marks, from University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Most lifesaving treatments are available on the NHS but sometimes they are not. In the case of CAR T-cells the only option was to go to the United States but that was very expensive. The experience of Mike and Kate show that it is possible to raise a lot of money by crowd funding. Their story should offer some encouragement to people in similar situations”
GoFundMe also made headlines in recent months after former soap star and Emmerdale actress, Leah Bracknell, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. A campaign set up by her husband surpassed its target as members of the public donated more than £61,000 in a matter of weeks, and Leah now hopes to travel to Germany for treatment.
The second biggest health campaign since the site began was for Stephanie Inglis, (Scotland’s Commonwealth silver medallist in Judo) who was involved in a motorcycle accident whilst teaching abroad in Vietnam. Her family and friends raised over £327,000 for her medical bills and Stephanie is now recovering back in Scotland.
In the last few days, a GoFundMe campaign launched to help the star of Matilda the Musical – Lucy-Mae Beacock have corrective spine surgery in the States (after she was diagnosed with curvature of the spine and stopped growing) has raised over 40,000 in just one week.
Not all campaigns involve celebrities or incredibly high goal amounts, however. The vast majority of appeals are set up by normal families going through extraordinarily difficult times in their lives. The average total amount raised by a typical medical campaign in the UK at this time (Nov 2016) is £3,100.
Top 20 UK GoFundMe Health Campaigns of all time…
- Donate4Mike (Raised £454,019) *Bristol
- Help Save Stephanie Inglis (Raised £327,892) *Falkirk, Scotland
- Freddy Tylicki (Raised £276,105) *Newmarket, Suffolk
- Kevin’s Fight Against Brain Tumour (Raised £237,486) *Portglenone, N Ireland
- Seb back to the UK for treatment (Raised £198,573) *Camden, London
- Lifesaving surgery for Frankie Rose (Raised £196,824) *Erith, Kent
- Hayleys Cancer Treatment Fund (Raised £180,105) *Derby
- Charlies Chance (Raised £158,573) *Liverpool
- Poppy-Mai #strongertogether (Raised £109,198) *East Lancashire
- Creating Happiness for Jessica (Raised £97,317) *Lancashire
- Liz’s Future Medical Fund (Raised £89,900) *Oxford
- Heidi’s Cancer Journey (Raised £88,720) *Merseyside
- Michelle’s treatment (Raised £83,235) *Gipsy Hill, Crystal Palace
- Michael Morones Recovery Fund (Raised £75,491) *Fleetwood, Lancashire
- Little Evie’s Medical Costs (Raised £75,181) *Ipswich
- Hope’s Fight Against Neuroblastoma (Raised £68,495) *North Shields, North Tyneside
- Help Save Deepak and his Family (Raised £63,542) *Hounslow
- Robin’s Road to Recovery (Raised £62,440) *Aberdeenshire
- Leah’s Cancer Fund (Raised £61,890) *West Sussex
- Hayeled Sholom Shachne (Raised £75,786) *Gateshead
For further press information or more campaign examples, please contact:
Jane Eggleton or Natalie Garland
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8925 / 8924
GoFundMe was launched on 10 May 2010 and has quickly become the world’s most popular fundraising website for personal causes and life events, raising £2.5 billion since launch!
GoFundMe provides an ideal platform for people to organise their own campaign to raise money and invite those in their community to support their fundraising. People can use GoFundMe to raise money for themselves, a friend or loved one during life’s important moments. They can also share their campaign with my built-in connections via Facebook, Twitter or email.
People can use GoFundMe for things like medical expenses, education costs, volunteer programmes, youth sports, funerals & memorials – even animals and pets.