'You Have the Power to Change Lives': GoFundMe Expands Causes Program in Push for COVID Relief

PEOPLE is partnering with the fundraising platform to raise awareness and provide avenues for our readers to take action

GoFundMe on Thursday announced the expansion of Causes, its program designed to help people drive progress in the following five areas: COVID-19 Relief, Justice & Equality, Basic Necessities, Learning & Education and Animal Rescue.

"In a year shaken by crises, you have the power to change lives," an emotional video touching on the devastating challenges of 2020 says. "With a single donation to GoFundMe Causes, you can help fuel movements that matter and bring lasting relief to those in need."

GoFundMe Causes are hubs that bring charities, individuals, donors and corporate partners together to support topical needs, both urgent and long-term, organizers say — and it's especially crucial as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

"This year, we've seen a shift in giving patterns on GoFundMe — people want to have both a direct impact on urgent needs and help fuel long-lasting change," GoFundMe CEO Tim Cadogan tells PEOPLE, which is partnering with the fundraising platform to spread the message. "At the same time, the desire we all feel for a sense of togetherness is stronger than ever, which is why we're introducing the five new GoFundMe Causes."

"By supporting a GoFundMe Cause, people not only become part of a community that shares a common interest, they do so while inspiring hope through giving," Cadogan adds. "This is a powerful new way to connect individual fundraisers and charities with support from donors and corporate partners to help make a difference this holiday season and beyond."

Covid Gofundme

Here's GoFundMe's breakdown of the five Causes, which were updated to address the evolving needs of communities:

"A donation to a Cause is an easy way to make a big impact by eliminating the paradox of choice — a single donation supports many individual GoFundMe fundraisers with immediate needs as well as charities working to provide long-term relief," organizers say.

Donors will receive updates on how their financial contributions have helped individuals and charities.

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Why PEOPLE Is Partnering with GoFundMe

Every day at PEOPLE, we strive to amplify the stories of those who have been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, from families mourning the loss of a loved one to people stepping up to help their communities.

These stories are often heartbreaking, but by partnering with GoFundMe and including resources in PEOPLE stories, we hope to raise awareness and provide avenues for our readers to take action. Your contributions have helped address the vast and ever-changing needs of frontline responders, struggling families and the organizations trying to meet this moment with solutions.

PEOPLE was founded in 1974 with one central mission: To celebrate ordinary people doing extraordinary things and extraordinary people doing ordinary things. Now, we all find ourselves living through extraordinary circumstances. By committing to the COVID-19 Cause, we are working to help fund those individuals and organizations most in need during these unprecedented times.

For more information about Causes, visit GoFundMe.com.

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