More Data, More Donations: How GoFundMe Turns Insights into Action

Tracy Ogishi

Product Manager at GoFundMe*

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3 -minute Read,

Posted on July 2, 2021

Immediate questions need immediate answers. Learn how the GoFundMe team uses Amplitude to build the best digital donation experience.

GoFundMe and Amplitude

A student received a free desk after her teacher realized she was studying at home on the floor. A kookaburra whose habitat was destroyed in the Australian bushfires received a new shelter. An internationally renowned bookstore received emergency funding to stay afloat during the pandemic. These donations didn’t happen because of elaborate events or mass mail campaigns. They happened thanks to the generosity of everyday people using GoFundMe.

GoFundMe is the largest and most trusted leader in online fundraising. GoFundMe provides one of the easiest, fastest, and safest ways to raise money for individuals, teams, or organizations. Since its launch in 2010, it has raised more than $10 billion for people, causes and organizations from more than 150 million donations.

I’m a principal product manager at GoFundMe, and my group focuses on the donation experience. It’s a big departure from e-commerce, where I was before I joined the team. The biggest difference is that people don’t come to GoFundMe to buy a shirt—they come here to change the world. My job is to make that easier for them.

Immediate Questions Need Immediate Answers

When I first joined GoFundMe as a Project Manager, one of GoFundMe’s goals was to make sense of our data so we could better understand our customers and product. Our small but mighty analytics team is amazing, but the system wasn’t built to answer queries on the fly.

We also wanted to be able to act on time-sensitive information. GoFundMe operates in a mutable space. Users often arrive at our platform in times of great emotion. Fundraisers have a need and donors empathize with the needs of others and want to contribute. In these heightened moments, a lot can happen in a week  so we needed real-time analytics that would help us isolate behavioral changes due to our product modifications versus external factors.

Data Insights and Monitoring to Optimize Our Product

Near the end of 2019, we adopted digital optimization platform Amplitude to get better insights into how our customers use the platform. We began by asking basic questions about our main fundraising page, such as the number of visitors we had on a given day. With audience segmentation, we could then start to dig deeper, for example, to identify the number of visitors using a desktop versus a mobile device. Before, we could see overall trends, but Amplitude provided specific data and information within minutes.

My team uses Amplitude in three ways. The first is for data insights. Instead of taking a few weeks to understand differences between cohorts or customer actions, or to confirm or disprove a hypothesis, now we can use insights to quickly drive innovation. The self-serve nature of Amplitude means we always have those analytics at our fingertips, so we have a more thorough understanding of the pulse of our business. The second way we use Amplitude is for monitoring. We have a lot of different dashboards to keep eyes on the ecosystem, and Amplitude sends alerts when there are anomalies in key metrics. I don’t worry as much that we might have overlooked a bug. We can iterate quickly because we know the platform will catch something that goes wrong.  Our third use case for Amplitude is A/B testing on messaging, features and interaction, or layout and design.

Connecting with Others In an Ever-Changing World

GoFundMe has always been tied to life-changing events on an individual, community, and global level. Amplitude helps me both feel more connected with the events that motivate our customers and identify how I can change the product to better suit their needs.  Whatever 2021 throws our way, we know we’re ready to continue assisting our customers on their quest to change the world.


Learn more about real-time analytics with the Product Analytics for Dummies book.

Tracy Ogishi

*Note: Tracy is no longer at GoFundMe at time of publication. At GoFundMe, Tracy Ogishi led a team of designers, engineers, and QA, where she owned the product development roadmap for the Supporter/Donor experience. She was previously VP of Product at Caliva and Narvar, and Head of Product in Retail Innovation at eBay.

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