When you look at all the acts of help on GoFundMe—one a second, millions a year—you start to see the bigger picture.
To demonstrate the impact and power of community for its Year In Help campaign, GoFundMe was seeking an idea that would not only thank its donors and stir emotion, but also stand out through the noise of typical year-in-review creative. Inspired by Google's "Year in Search" and with AI generative art going mainstream, GoFundMe saw an opportunity to use this powerful technology to tell the story of real fundraisers on the platform that represented people in neighborhoods across the country and around the world.
The goal: use a strategic mix of original AI-generated video, branded storytelling, social media amplification, and digital media, to create a memorable end-of-year campaign that not only showed the collective power of help on GoFundMe’s platform, but also offered additional ways for consumers to donate to 2022’s biggest moments. Beyond that, we hoped to illustrate that every act of help—no matter how small—changes everything.
To bring this idea to life, GoFundMe did a few things:
First, our internal teams combed through a year of donation data to build the story behind our Year in Help campaign. Using a combination of animated media and interactive content, our Brand & Creative team designed a beautiful story-centric landing page where consumers could:
- Explore the biggest moments of help on GoFundMe in 2022 (Stand for Ukraine, helping the Uvalde community heal, etc.)
- Find key stats about how often the world gives on GoFundMe (once every second)
- Read powerful stories that drove real-time impact (one fundraiser sent 142 boxes of baby formula to moms in need during the formula shortage)
- Support additional fundraisers before the end of the year
The page was built to be a celebration of our community and their kindness. Each section highlighted moments that made a difference, but also allowed for people to continue giving to causes that were meaningful to them. Through dozens of these stories, we showed that if it’s happening in the world, it’s happening on GoFundMe—and it’s all thanks to the amazing donors who power our platform.
Next, to drive more awareness and traffic to the Year In Help page, we teamed up with agency AKQA and artist Paul Trillo to tell our end-of-year story through the world’s first AI-powered motion picture commercial.
The film begins in a real-life neighborhood mural, but travels through a universal community showing the ripple effect that every act of help has on the world. Each frame of the film was created using a unique combination of AI technologies which allowed the scenes to be seamlessly woven together. Paired with a flurry of UI tiles (representing actual donations made on GoFundMe’s platform), the AI technology allowed us to demonstrate how donations made through the internet have a lasting, tangible impact on people and communities across the world.
You can learn more about the actual making of the film here.
The story then extended through digital and social channels, where the audience could discover the real-life fundraisers that inspired each scene—and even contribute their own donations directly. Viewers could engage with the stories through two methods: by visiting a landing page built specifically to host the featured fundraisers. Or, by going to GoFundMe’s Instagram page and seeing a digitized version of the mural that spanned nine tiles of our Instagram grid (image below). Each of these discovery methods would then take the viewer to our Year In Help landing page where they could explore even more moments of help.
GoFundMe made a significant impact on its own community of donors, by thanking and inspiring them like never before. Immediately at launch, there was a universally positive response to the story’s message, and a gratitude for GoFundMe bringing some magic and hope into a world that needs it more than ever.
Collectively, through a holistic digital amplification strategy on social and connected TV, our Year In Help campaign received:
55+ million impressions
30+ million video views
1+ million website visitors
The film itself reached the majority of GoFundMe donors from the past two years—resulting in strong view-through rates and positive brand lift across all age groups and genders. There was also a lift in action intent, proving that by showing how generosity makes a difference, we can inspire donors to help again.
As one person commented: “Feeling overwhelmed by the sadness of the world, this gives me hope—reminding me that kindness exists and good is being done and we can all be a part of that— ‘inch by inch.’”
Additionally, a uniquely unexpected KPI was also achieved on YouTube: at the request of dozens of viewers, the background music featured in the film was also turned into a full-length version and uploaded to Spotify. You can listen here.