“Raise money for yourself or a loved one.”
The organisation GiveForward in an online donation-based crowdfunding website specialised in medical fundraising based in the USA. It is the only site that offers fundraising coaches who provide fundraising ideas and guidance.
Who is behind the platforms?
GiveForward is a for-profit social enterprise with headquarters in Chicago Illinois founded in 2008.  Desiree Vargas Wrigley and Ethan Austin wanted to create a company that allows small-scale donors to say where their money should go. A medical crowdfunding can be started with the help of fundraising coaches for providing fundraising ideas and guidance on how to raise money online. Because of the problem that the only way to raise money online was if you were a non-profit there was now a platform that allows anyone raise money for anything. The company has 24 employees and collected until today 139,990,795 Dollar for both medical and other causes. 
Apperance of the platforms
On the start site the raised money in total, an quick entry for starting a project or a donation and eight selected, featured campaigns with progress bars of the donations so far, references of media companies and different categories for picking a topic to donate are placed. The site is written in English, the currency for contribution is Dollar and the connection with social media like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ is possible.
Who is addressed?
It is often a problem to ask for money, so it is the platform where friends and family can be helped without big efforts.The site addresses to individuals that want to share money especially for medical problems with the main topics cancer and paying bills for medical, vet and funeral expenses also connected with medical bankruptcy. It directs to individuals that need help with medical problems and bills that have to be paid. According to information of GiveForward more than 6,726 donations are made on an average day and for example more than 400.000 Dollar were raised after the bombings at the Boston Marathon in 2013 on one single day. The network of the family and the friends make the majority of donations and the most common medical causes are for treating cancer, a required surgery or awaiting a transplant.
To start a campaign you have to sign up for an account by filing out a registration process with information about yourself and the project. The user has to be 18 years old or have the permission of the parents. Then you are the fund manager and team members should be invited to help with updates and to increase the people that can be reached. Each fundraiser gets a personal coach to get the optimal result; they can be contacted via email or phone. The fee to start a campaign on GiveForward is 7,9% + 0,50 Dollar per transaction. This is splitted in 2.9% + 0,50 Dollar to the online payment service provider and the remaining 5% is used to maintain the staff of fundraising coaches and developers. Usual 95% of the donors cover the fees, so an average fundraiser keeps 99,5% of the raised money. The Terms and Conditions of the partners like WePay Inc., PayPal Australia Pty Limited and FirstGiving, Inc. are to agree and are incorporated to the GiveForward terms and conditions. The funds will be available for distribution 10 business days after the close of fundraising, unless earlier payment is approved in a sole discretion.
GiveForward reserves the right to refuse ore to terminate an existing user account for any reason at any time and is not liable for any losses or damages. You have to donate funds solely for the purpose you have stated on the Site. GiveForward does not verify or control any of the information on the Site. Donations made on GiveForward are non-refundable. GiveForward serves as an intermediary between donors and beneficiaries. After a project has been completed by reaching a predetermined funding goal or deadline all donated funds are given to the project’s beneficiary in form of a check, PayPal transfer.
Donors can leave donations and also “hugs” (supporting words for the patient) on the site. Any individual, entity or organization that registers for a donor account agrees to the Terms and warrants that he is 18 years old or has the permission of the parents. GiveForward will not be held liable for any loss or damages due to non-compliance. The Site links to third-party websites or services and may link you to sponsor’s websites or services.
Risks and criticism
GiveForward gives a chance to collect money for very personal medical use of normal people from all over the world. Mostly there are projects from US citizens that need help with medical bills because until today it is unusual to have health insurance. In Europe health insurance is obligatory and assisted by government and the financial problems for treatment are mostly not a case for individual medical money collection, collecting money by crowdfunding would be possible to allow a big wish of a patient to come through or to make life easier for the patient. It is a very good point to give normal people a chance to collect money for their relatives and friends, without having big bureaucracy. The Fees are quite high but the fundraiser also gets the help of coaches to collect successful.
- http://www.giveforward.com, downloaded 2014/12/11
- http://causecapitalism.com/giveforward/, downloaded 2014/12/11
- http://www.copatient.com/interview-giveforward-copatients-parnership/, downloaded 2014/12/11
- http://trendreport.betterplace-lab.org/case/giveforward, downloaded 2014/12/11
- http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/25/giveforward-raises-2-million-for-crowd-sourced-donation-service/, downloaded 2014/12/11
- http://www.crowdsourcing.org/document/giveforward-surpasses-100-million-raised-in-medical-fundraisers-across-the-country/31875, downloaded 2014/12/11