GoFundMe. Go. Fund. Me. I don’t quite get it.

I know what it means all right; I just don’t get why the communication works.

Why isn’t it ComeFundMe? I mean, where am I going? Isn’t the invitation to join someone in doing something? To come and be part of something?

Wouldn’t PleaseFundMe be more semantically correct as well as more polite? Heck, why is the first word needed at all? Wouldn’t FundMe communicate the same thing?

Could the punctuation be implied? GO!FUND ME! or even GO:FUNDME!

No, I don’t quite get it. I do get that it works, though, and that makes me wonder why there aren’t spin-off sites. You know the sort of thing:

  • GoHelpMe, where we can sign up to offer practical support for life’s challenges
  • GoTrainMe, where we can upload how-to videos on any subject (with a sister site, Go’SplainMe, where we can demystify arcane as well as everyday phenomena)
  • GoDreamMe, where we can share inspiring visions of regular folks attempting the impossible
  • GoVexMe, where we can store annoying stories about organizations failing miserably at the mundane
  • GoSparkMe, where we can encourage others to get started on long-standing goals
  • GoRevMe, where we can contribute keep-at-‘er exhortations for any objective
  • GoStirMe, where we can document our reflections on everything from small kindnesses to grand purposes
  • GoSmileMe, where we can assemble funny cartoons, stories, and video clips

I don’t quite get it. GoBeatsMe.

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18 Responses to GoFundMe

  1. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – GoFundMe served its purpose. It got your attention.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – πŸ™‚ Yes, that might indeed be all there is to it.

      • John Whitman says:

        Compliments of Wikipedia: GoFundMe is an American for-profit crowdfunding platform that allows people to raise money for events ranging from life events such as celebrations and graduations to challenging circumstances like accidents and illnesses. From 2010 to the beginning of 2020, over $9 billion has been raised on the platform, with contributions from over 120 million donors.
        The company was founded in May 2010 by Brad Damphousse and Andrew Ballester. Both had previously founded Paygr, which is a website dedicated to allowing members to sell their services to the public. Damphousse and Ballester originally created the website under the name “CreateAFund” in 2008 but later changed the name to GoFundMe after making numerous upgrades to the features of the website. The site was built off of PayPal’s API. GoFundMe was founded in San Diego, California.
        In March 2017, GoFundMe became the biggest crowdfunding platform, responsible for raising over $3 billion since its debut in 2010. The company receives over $140 million in donations per month and made 2016 $100 million in revenue.

        I did not know that GoFundMe was a for profit website; but at least you know know you can blame Damphousse and Ballester for the name.

        • Isabel Gibson says:

          John – Yeah, Create-A-Fund explains perfectly well what the site is for, but GoFundMe is clearly better, even to my grammar-prejudiced ears. I do wonder whether we’ll see take-offs, in much the same way that every scandal became a “gate” after Watergate.

  2. Eric J Hrycyk says:

    Traditional Iconoclast is a euphemism

    Go Entertain Me
    Go Amuse Me
    Go Educate Me
    Go Challenge Me

    etc. etc. etc. and is just fine with me

  3. I don’t quite get it, either. It almost sounds like a dare. It definitely is a risk. Some, if not most, of the funded projects fail. I considered using the site at one point in my search for the means of spreading information about my discoveries. Then, I wondered if “risk takers” were the kind of people I wanted supporting my work. I want highly ethical, smart-enough-to-get-it, socially responsible funders. Some of the projects I read about were trivial or ill-considered. It was difficult to know who my target co-marketers might be. Something about that name is not quite on point.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – Ah, yes, I hadn’t thought of the “dare” aspect, but you’re exactly right: It does carry that tone. I’d love to know how “they” settled on it – what other names they considered, as one example.

  4. Judith Umbach says:

    As a long-standing member of the Picky Grammarian Society, I get you. On the other hand, what works to communicate an imperative also works. Your email says it all, in a most intriguing way.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Judith – Yeah, signs are a long-standing bugbear of mine. Your point is spot-on and aligns with John’s comment: In signs as well as in names, attention is the point. If a name works for that, many of the usual considerations don’t even arise.

  5. Tom Watson says:

    It’s an interesting point that you make. Although I have participated in a few GoFundMe fundraising programs it never occurred to me to question the name. It has proven to be an effective way to raise a substantial sum rather quickly for a cause you say support.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – πŸ™‚ And it was a while before the name started to “bother” me. You can see what they’re doing, and you just take it for granted. Until one day, you don’t.

  6. barbara carlson says:

    Say any word a hundred times and it makes no sense. We grammar watchers have a much lower threshold.

    I think the language is devolving to those buttons dogs are taught to use to “speak” to their mom and dads [!]. Go Walk No. Ouch. [Where ouch?] Belly Ouch. Stranger Noise…etc.

    I actually like these vids of inter species communication — often more real than humans hunched over their phones like dogs with bones, sitting in a restaurant “together”, not talking at all.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – I haven’t seen those videos. (So much to watch, so little time.) It reminds me of the efforts to teach sign language to babies – they can actually communicate concepts (yes, no, more, milk…) well before they’ve mastered the intricacies of creating speech. I’ve often thought that dogs are roughly equivalent to a human two-year-old so why shouldn’t buttons work for them?

      • barbara says:

        They work so well one dog questioned his species DOG and his “mom’s” HUMAN. Some dogs have 3 dozen buttons laid out on the floor. The owners have to walk around this big flat thing. Who’s in charge? (The dog would have a ready answer… then add LOVE YOU…)

        • Isabel Gibson says:

          Barbara – Hahaha. Yes, I expect you’re right on both counts about the dog’s reaction/response.

  7. Jim Taylor says:

    I must be an iconoclast too, because my reaction to GoFundMe pitches is usually GoAway.

    Jim T

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