As we head into 2016, we wanted to share our gratitude with our ever-growing worldwide community of millions, and highlight some of the major milestones of the past 12 months—2015 was an amazing year for YouCaring, our fundraisers and our supporters!
Last year, we assembled a small but highly dedicated team in San Francisco, re-launched YouCaring.com with a more streamlined design and more secure, resilient platform, kicked off several successful campaigns as well as the TeamCaring Ambassador Program, and set new records for fundraising.
As a testament to our founding mission—to unleash compassion on a grassroots, global scale unseen in human history—YouCaring ended 2015 with more than $335 million raised through more than 200,000 fundraisers since the company’s inception in 2011. While YouCaring focuses on several categories of personal and charitable causes, the categories that raised the most in 2015 were medical, with 44 percent of total donations last year; emergencies and disasters, with 13 percent of total donations; and memorials, with .05 percent of total donations.
Meanwhile, following 2015, YouCaring’s community of people supporting humanitarian causes grew to 4.5 million strong, truly exemplifying the power of Compassionate Crowdfunding.
Some of the most successful fundraisers launched on YouCaring last year reflected humanity’s capacity for compassion, as thousands donated in support of others in times of need. Following are just a few examples of countless fundraisers of 2015 that embodied the true essence of YouCaring’s Compassionate Crowdfunding movement.
- Help Save Matthew! surpassed its goal of $800,000 to assist Matthew Schreindorfer, a cancer patient from Montreal, Quebec, Canada in participating in clinical trials and treatments. Matthew is now completely cancer-free.
- Syrian Dental Relief was a campaign started to raise funds for local dentists and faculty of the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry to travel to Turkey in summer 2015 to provide much-needed dental services to Syrian refugee students. The campaign was so successful, raising more than $500,000, that is was broadened to also assist Syrian refugees with education and community service projects.
- The story of Safyre Terry, the courageous young burn victim from Upstate New York who was the only survivor of a house fire that killed the rest of her family, stole the hearts of millions around the world when a Facebook post describing her wish to receive Christmas cards went viral. A YouCaring fundraiser had also been started for Safyre’s aunt and uncle, Mike and Liz Dolder, who are now raising her, to help with the costs of medical treatments and other expenses as a result of the financial burden placed on them. Thousands of people stood up for the cause, raising more than $425,000.
- Tragically in December, the San Bernardino, Calif., shooting resulted in the death of several people, including Michael Wetzel, a loving husband and father of six. The following morning, his wife’s friend, Celia Behar, who runs a Facebook group of more than 1,500 followers called the Lil’ Mamas, launched a YouCaring fundraiser in support of her dear friend and her children. The group rallied for their fellow Lil’ Mama, generating more than 51,000 shares on Facebook that resulted in more than $360,000 in donations.
- In another sad but inspiring story, Police Officer Garrett Swasey of Colorado Springs, Colo., was killed in the line of duty, leaving behind a wife and two young children. Once again, family, friends and others around the world rallied in support of Swasey’s family, raising nearly $250,000 through a YouCaring fundraiser.
- Thousands also rose to the occasion when Ruben Lenten, a famous kite boarder from the Netherlands, was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 while vacationing in California. Lenten opted to receive treatment at Stanford Medical Center, and friends set up a YouCaring campaign that raised more than $240,000 to help with the cost of his treatment and recovery.
Since day 1, YouCaring has believed no one should have to face hardship alone. The records set in 2015 through fundraisers both large and small clearly underscore the impact millions of people can have when they band together and make compassion a priority.
We are so deeply grateful to our organizers, donors and supporters who are helping us realize the full potential of unleashing compassion on a global scale to help people face challenges and overcome hardship.
Let’s keep the momentum going in 2016! Make a New Year’s resolution today to launch a fundraiser for someone in need or a cause close to your heart and realize how powerful kindness can be.