Our New Fundraising Category — Rent, Food + Monthly Bills — Helps Address the Increase in Urgent Needs

Oct 22, 2020 · 2 min read

Support the new Basic Necessities Cause — where a single donation benefits individuals who need help covering essential living expenses and the charities working to assist them.

Every day at GoFundMe, we see stories of people who are struggling to make ends meet in the wake of losing their job, the death of a loved one, or an unexpected emergency. These heartbreaking stories are significantly more common in the face of uncertainty such as the COVID-19 pandemic, a natural disaster, or a government shutdown. In 2020 alone, the global GoFundMe community has raised over $100 million for tens of thousands of fundraisers focused on basic living expenses. Over $625 million has been raised on GoFundMe for broader needs tied to COVID-19.

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As these figures illustrate, the need is monumental. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 10 percent of American adults reported they sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat within the past week, and 179 million Americans are at risk of losing utilities services such as water, heat, and energy, according to the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association. These staggering numbers continue to increase due to the continued fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Eight million more people have slipped into poverty since May. Millions of families across the country can’t pay rent and many are facing eviction.

To help address the vast increase in immediate needs, we have created a new fundraising category: Food, Rent, and Monthly Bills for individuals to rally their networks and the GoFundMe community for support. In partnership with our charitable arm, GoFundMe.org, we have also started the Basic Necessities Cause. With a single tax-deductible donation to the cause, our community can help people facing urgent needs, as well as the charities driving long-term relief.

We were inspired to create this new category after the work of two changemakers who acted quickly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning in March, the GoFundMe community rallied around Frederick Joseph’s fundraiser and The Conscious Kid’s fundraiser to help families across the US. Each day, for three months, Frederick had over 3,000 people asking for help with basic living expenses — food, rent, medications, and utilities. Together, Frederick and The Conscious Kid helped thousands of families with the support and generosity of nearly 20,000 people.

We believe that people across the country shouldn’t be forced to make the difficult choice between paying rent and having running water, or buying food for the family and keeping the lights on.

All around the world, the GoFundMe community continues to inspire hope and change lives through giving.

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