Taylor Swift’s Massive GoFundMe Donation Changed The Way The Crowdfunding Site Does Business

Taylor Swift is no stranger to GoFundMe. The “Blank Space” singer has made numerous donations through the site and recently contributed to one supporter’s funeral expenses. According to International Business Times, Swift’s massive GoFundMe donations have changed the way GoFundMe does business. In July, 2015, Swift single-handedly changed the platform by giving $50,000 to an 11-year-old fan who was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. The maximum limit allowed for the website’s donations was $5,000. Donations exceeding more than $1,000 or $2,000 were considered rare.

Grammy award-winning artist, Taylor Swift. [Image by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]

Swift has always been big on giving her fans the surprise of their lives. Taylor is also fond of being a source support and encouragement to others in the entertainment industry. The country pop princess recently handed over $250,000 to singer Kesha as she battled Sony music producer, Dr. Luke, in court. According to CNN, Swift also donated $1 million dollars toward Louisiana flood relief efforts after torrential rains displaced 20,000 residents and left at least 11 people dead.

GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon, discussed in an interview with International Business Times the impact that celebrities and social media influencers had on its website.

“[Taylor Swift] came in and wanted to donate $50,000, and our system at the time wasn’t built for that, so she actually made multiple donations that totaled $50,000 and once she did that, we fixed the system and didn’t limit the amount of money that a donor could leave on the platform. She actually changed the way that we do business.”

In 2015, celebrities like Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Kristen Bell, and Jon Bon Jovi began using the crowdfunding website to donate thousands of dollars towards different causes. The trend became prominent in 2016 as Hollywood celebs discovered a new and immediate way to give back to the charities and causes of their choice. GoFundMe is now the highly chosen platform for celebs to donate.

“We’ve definitely seen a big increase in celebrities and influencers… just like everyday people… They are inspired by campaigns that touch them. Taylor Swift is a great example of that.”

“It’s become the platform that defines social fundraising and celebrities are following the same trends… They’re donating, they’re creating and sharing campaigns that really matter to them personally.”

In 2014 the “Blank Spaces” singer donated $50,000 to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and back in 2008 she gave $100,000 to the Red Cross in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to help the victims of that flood as well, according to Us Weekly.

For many A-listers, GoFoundMe campaigns created by some have hit close to home. In June, country superstar Brad Paisley’s home state of West Virginia was affected by floods. Paisley started his own GoFundMe campaign and kicked it off by donating $100,000.

Most celebs make their donations public, but many wish to keep their charitable donations under wraps. Solomon said most celebrities “will, in fact, make the donation in their name” but others prefer to remain anonymous, so they don’t take attention away from the campaign.

“We’ll see some very big donations in the $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 range and often times they’re anonymous… I think it’s a personal choice that people make. They want to help the cause and feel really good about donating money, and they don’t necessarily want to bring attention or attention to themselves for donating.”

In addition to donating, celebrities are helping to raise money. This year, rapper The Game teamed up with his son to raise finances for Officer Tommy Norman of Arkansas. The Game and his son wanted to help the officer with his mission in strengthening the community. The Game praised the way Norman patrols the community and builds relationships with the community residents, according to BET.

The Game originally set a goal of $50,000. In just four months the rapper raised $73,000. The artist could have donated his money, but he was able to bring his followers together to give to a good cause.

Solomon believes the fact that fans are willing to donate to celebs goes back to the days of Jerry Lewis’ Labor Day telethons.

“I think the average fan looks up to the celebrities they care about. They care about what they’re interested in. The Brad Paisley, West Virginia flooding campaign is a great example of that. He’s a local son. He grew up there. He’s a very authentic country star… He tapped into his community and he knew his community would rally and support the cause. These influential people have followings… They want to leverage their influence in positive ways. They know their followers care what they’re into.”

The website recently announced its “#GoBeyondGiving Challenge.” The challenge will enter campaign organizers for a chance to win a $10,000 donation to the cause of their choosing.

The company is also planning to partner with other celebrities, but Solomon couldn’t reveal the big names just yet.

“We’re trying to motivate people to start campaigns in their communities.”

GoFundMe also plans to expand into other markets in the upcoming year. The site also adopted a new mission, this is one of many changes to come to the popular crowdfunding platform.

“… Many more countries in the coming years and as soon as early next year… We now want to empower people to help people. We want to give everyone the power to change their world.”

Solomon offered a few helpful tips for people starting their own campaigns.

“The main thing that helps is being very descriptive about why you’re raising money, why it’s going to be important. The more time you spend on providing information about the cause, the more you share in terms of video — the more the story comes to life.”

What do you think about celebs like Taylor Swift making major donations to GoFundMe? Will celebrity collaborations be helpful to GoFundMe causes? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

[Featured Image by Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images]

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