Q&A: Why we built the new CrowdRise by GoFundMe

on June 01, 2018

As you might have heard, we’ve been making some pretty big changes around here. Rethought and rebuilt for nonprofits, the CrowdRise by GoFundMe platform is now more self-service and brings together the world class features of both CrowdRise and GoFundMe to make it easier, faster, and more efficient for nonprofits to fundraise.

All that sounds great. But, the real reason behind all these changes? You. The nonprofits we strive to help everyday. We listened to your challenges and heard about the functionality that would make your jobs easier. And so the new CrowdRise by GoFundMe was built.

Needless to say, we’re pretty excited about all of this. Probably most excited is our Head of Product, Justin McAuley. So we sat down with him to get the scoop on why we did the things we did and what it means to you, the nonprofit.blg_SmallWins_2018_JustinSo there are a lot of new changes. What are you most excited about?

What we’ve built is, by far, the best fundraising experience on a mobile device out there. Clearly the world is moving to doing everything on mobile, and our nonprofit customers are no different. The entire CrowdRise experience, whether you're launching, customizing, managing, or donating to a campaign, works perfectly and beautifully on a mobile device. It’s organized around an ‘anytime, anywhere’ approach — something we see as being essential to working faster and getting more done. You really have to experience it to understand the power of making campaign edits on-the-fly or posting a campaign update to your supporters from wherever you’re standing.

The CrowdRise by GoFundMe mobile experience

Tell us a little bit about One Campaign™ and the idea behind it

So One Campaign™ is what we’re calling the functionality that allows nonprofits to configure any type of campaign they want (donate-only campaign, fundraising campaign, multiple team fundraising campaign, etc.). You start out with a simple donate-only campaign and then, with a couple clicks, you can modify that campaign to the exact specifics that you need. Add peer-to-peer, event fundraising, multi-team functionality, and more.

This new functionality was really important for us to include because, often when you create a new campaign on a fundraising platform, you have to choose the specifics up front. If you choose a donate-only campaign and then later decide to add fundraisers, you’d have to start a whole new campaign. But clearly our customers don’t always know the path that their campaign is going to take at the beginning, and we knew we needed some flexibility. So with One Campaign™, you can modify your campaign along the way — adding functionality and features as your campaign grows.

I know being able to edit in draft mode is something new. Tell us a little bit about what that means and why this feature was added

So in the past when you created a new campaign, it just went live. You could tweak as you went, but if you weren’t fully finished creating your campaign, that version would be live until you finished it. That means that if you had to stop working on your campaign halfway through, your unfinished page would be live to the world until you could go back and fill in the blanks, and that wasn’t a great experience for nonprofits or their supporters.

Now, with our publish feature, you’re able to work on creating and customizing your CrowdRise by GoFundMe campaign behind-the-scenes until it’s perfect, and then you can hit ‘publish’ and it’ll go live to everyone. Everything you do before you press ‘publish’ is privately-facing just to you, the campaign organizer, and you’re able to preview and see how your campaign will look as you go along.Publish (1)

This is such a great feature because now you can work on your campaign over time and make it exactly how you want it to be before it’s out in the wild, as well as see live previews as you go. Kind of like proofing an email before you press send.

A lot of the changes made have been rooted in making more things self-service for nonprofits. Where did that big push stem from?

We have always had an amazing support team behind-the-scenes that help with everything from logo changes to page branding to image resizing super quickly for our customers. But we wanted to make it so that nonprofits could move even faster and do more instantly on their own. So we’ve made all of the campaign branding and editing tools accessible to the organizer. And, as a result we now have our Success teams focusing more on helping with things like strategy and planning.


With our new Campaign Hub, you, the organizer, will have an intuitive snapshot of all of your campaigns, with quick and easy access to edit, manage, customize emails, and pull data and reporting for each.

2.-Live-Preview_v3From the edit tool, you can edit all facets of a campaign (design, content, and settings), set up a team template, add registration to your campaign, and more. You can also see a real-time live preview of everything you’re doing so you’ll save time by not having to make a change, save, and then view it. You can also see exactly what your campaign will look like on desktop, tablet, and mobile via the device preview bar.

What else?

I’m really excited for the multi-team functionality. If you want a campaign with multiple teams, you’re able to do this right from the edit tool in the Campaign Manager.


When you click on the edit button, you can then click ‘Add Multiple Teams’ to organize your fundraisers into groups of teams for a competition or large event. Additionally, when you create a multi-team fundraiser, you’ll have additional editing capabilities.

For instance, you’ll be able to create a team page template that allows for your organization’s goal, story, and image to be controlled by you and carried through to all your team member's fundraising pages.


Another feature I’m really digging is the ability to customize emails. Before, we had a library of templates that nonprofits could choose from, but there weren’t a ton of options for customization or data integration, which our customers really wanted. Now, you’ll have full control over campaign emails. You’ll be able to create the content, choose from “tags” or key data points to plug into your content (donation amount, donor, name, etc.), as well as customize the design of the email.

What’s this I hear about multiple admins? Can you tell how excited I am about that?

Yup. A lot of the nonprofits we work with have employees who play a lot of different roles within the organization (and we know “a lot” is an understatement). So while one day their community manager may be setting up a fundraising campaign, it might be in the hands of a program manager the next day, and an intern the next. And we know that each of these roles have different access requirements and needs.

So we’re excited to now support the ability for CrowdRise by GoFundMe accounts to have multiple admins so you can allow other stakeholders in your organization to have access to your account. For the first phase, the additional admins will have the same full access — to create campaigns, access reports and banking info, etc. But soon there will be multiple roles (campaign manager admin, finance admin, marketing admin, etc.) as well as custom configurations. The multi-admin feature is not yet self-service to charities, so you’ll need to email your senior success specialist directly and they’ll be able to get you set up with additional admin accounts.


So awesome. Thanks so much for the product tour, Justin. We’re super excited to deliver these new features and functionality to our nonprofit partners. Looking forward to seeing what’s next on the list.


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Gary Wohlfeill

Gary Wohlfeill is the Director of Marketing at CrowdRise. He works with partners to develop highly engaging fundraising campaigns, and leads the marketing team in developing the CrowdRise brand. Gary has been named as having the “3rd best haircut of people under 6 feet tall at CrowdRise" and hopes one day to slip to 4th.