The GoFundMe Campaigns We Gave The Most Money To In 2019
The world's largest social fundraising platform today released its Year In Giving report.
From helping koalas devastated by the bushfires to supporting the family of Luke Toki, who placed runner up in 'Australian Survivor', it has shown the causes that Australians cared about the most over the past year.
As part of the report, GoFundMe further released the list of the most generous towns based on the number of donations made per capita.
The Australian towns leading the philanthropic scoreboard on GoFundMe in 2019 are:
1. Wagga Wagga, New South Wales
2. Mackay, Queensland
3. Launceston, Tasmania
4. Mandurah, Western Australia
5. Bundaberg, Queensland
6. Ballarat, Victoria
7. Cairns, Queensland
8. Townsville, Queensland
9. Hobart, Tasmania
10. Bendigo, Victoria
The GoFundMe pages that received the most donations in Australia this year are:
Over 44.3k donations raising $1.9M
The most successful fundraiser for the year was the one set up for the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital in NSW, which raised more than any human-focused GoFundMe in response to the fire crisis.
Despite having an initial goal of $25,000, due to the overwhelming success of the campaign, a new wild koala breeding program will be established in NSW.
The funds were to be put towards being able to buy and distribute automatic drinking stations for the wildlife, including koalas, in areas that had been destroyed by the bushfires.
Over 16.1k donations raising $550k
After Luke Toki's devastating exit from 'Australian Survivor', ' fan David Skow set up a GoFundMe to help support the Toki family.
Luke was vocal about wanting to win the $500,000 prize money to help support his family and provide assistance to his children with his twin sons being diagnosed with autism and his baby daughter having cystic fibrosis.
After being voted from the show, the GoFundMe set up for the Toki family made $550,000, $50,000 over the prize money that was given to winner, Pia Miranda.
But after the number pushed past the million-dollar mark, Skow announced the donations had been stopped at the request of Luke and his wife May because it was "the right thing" to do.
Over 9.1k donations raising $457k
The GoFundMe was set up in response to Western Australia's refusal to change the laws that see people who have no criminal convictions being imprisoned if they do not have the capacity to pay a fine.
"People are languishing in prison for not being able to pay their fines. Single Aboriginal mothers make up the majority of those in prison who do not have the capacity to pay fines," the campaign read.
"They are living in absolute poverty and cannot afford food and shelter for their children let alone pay a fine."
The campaign further pointed out these individuals will never have the capacity to pay these fines, with the goal being to raise enough funds to free women from prison and have warrants vacated.
Over 5.8k donations raising $275k
ForLove was set up in response to Israel Folau, who set up a GoFundMe to help pay for his legal fees after he was dismissed by Rugby Australia for his attacks on homosexuals and other minority groups.
"Fundraising efforts which seek to divide us divert time and energy from those in real, immediate need. There are too many in Australia in the 'fight of their lives' - doing their best to survive, and not seeking the chance to put others down," the campaign reads.
Founded by Magda Szubanski, the funds raised would see 90 per cent go to the Children's Cancer Foundation, which distributes grants for research, patient care, and family support and 10 per cent go to Twenty10, which provides health, legal, and housing services (among others) to people of diverse sexualities and gender identities.
Over 5k donations raising $275k
After the Singleton family home was destroyed by fire, a GoFundMe was set up for the Hunter Valley locals by their family friend, Caitlyn Stemmer.
While rescue teams were able to save the children's mother Kara Atkins and eight-year-old daughter Bayley, the body of their 11-year-old brother was later found inside the house.
Five-year-old twin girls, Matilda and Scarlett Rinkin, were taken to hospital but could tragically not be saved.
Over 4.1k donations raising $152k
The Blueboys 2019 Christmas appeal was set up by, Jenny Hall, owner of staffies Darren and Phillip who she calls her 'fur babies'.
The Melbourne local is raising funds to help educate the community and destigmatise the negative perception of staffies as a dog breed and stop them from being put down in animal shelters.
"Our goal is to donate as much money as we can to ten different rescues to give them some funds to save as many dogs as they can right before Christmas. These rescues are full to the brim with dogs and many more pouring through the doors. Dogs that will be left for dead or euthanised if they don’t take them in," Jenny wrote.
"To be able to take more dogs in, they need to know they can pay for the vet bills that come along with them. To get these dogs in a healthy state and ready for adoption costs thousands of dollars and we want to make sure that these babies are given every chance they deserve by providing as much funding as we can."
All money raised will be shared between Players for Pits Chicago, Stafford Rescue Victoria, Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rescue UK, Senior Staffy Club London, Bullies in Need Ontario, Philly Bully Team, Philadelphia Project, Underdog Rescue Melbourne, QLD Staffy and Amstaff Rescue, I Pitty the Bull California and Christchurch Bull Breed Rescue.
Over 3.5k donations raising $328k
After being diagnosed with Stage Four High Risk Neuroblastoma in January 2018 after a large tumour was discovered on her right adrenal gland, Eleanor has received extensive treatments in an attempt to save her life.
In order to care for their daughter, parents Jacqui and Rob Oakley had to uproot their lives in Tasmania and move to Melbourne immediately to receive treatment at The Royal Children’s Hospital.
"Eleanor’s frontline treatment included chemotherapy, surgery to remove tumours and her right kidney, a stem cell transplant with high dose chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy," wrote Stuart Gillies who set up the campaign on behalf of Robert and Jacqui.
"Eleanor had an incredibly tough treatment journey. Her main complication came after her stem cell transplant which affected her lungs so badly she had to be placed on breathing life support for nearly a week and her life was very much in the balance."
Over 3.3k donations raising $80k
The GoFundMe was set up in response to Senator Fraser Anning's outrageous comments relating to the Christchurch massacre, which saw a terrorist kill 49 people at two mosques.
"The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place," he said at the time.
Following his statement he was criticised widely and a 17-year-old named Will Connelly took it as far as smashing an egg on the senator's head at a One Nation press conference.
All funds were distributed to the Christchurch shooting victims upon Will Connolly’s request.
Over 3.2k donations raising $250k
The GoFundMe was set up for two-year-old Marko by his parents Jelena and Andrija after their son was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2018.
His parents have been fighting for Marko to be enrolled in a trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in New York, with clinical trials for childhood cancers being difficult to access in Australia.
"As you know, we have already been communicating with the Health Minister in regard to Marko’s case and the issues of neuroblastoma trials, and with this petition we are hoping to put the spotlight on the paediatric cancers in general and ensure there is systemic improvement in the way access to clinical trials and novel therapies is being managed in Australia," Jelena wrote.
"Our kids deserve every opportunity to grow up and live a long, happy and healthy life, and the only way forward is by greater investment into better and kinder therapeutic options and promising clinical trials."
Over 3.2k donations raising $117k
The GoFundMe was set up by Maria Falwasser to raise funds to fly her husband's body home to New Zealand when he died the day after their wedding. Navar Herbert had been battling brain cancer for nine months and died at just 22.
"Today my heart is heavy and sad, I lost my best friend, Husband and the Father to our Son. I feel absolutely showered in LOVE by friends and family, this is a hard time, however, I do find my strength and refuge in everybody's support," Maria wrote.
Featured image: Getty