CrowdRise + GoFundMe

“We only have two rules at CrowdRise. No yawning and no sorries”

That was one of the earliest things the CrowdRise CEO and cofounder Robert Wolfe said to me in response to my question, “sorry, can I ask you a dumb question?”

In many ways that captures the attitude and spirit of the company that Robert and his other cofounders Jeffrey Wolfe, Edward Norton and Shauna Robertson built. And when you combine that spirit with a company on a mission to help people, non profits and charities, well you get something truly inspiring.

Today is a big day for CrowdRise. After a successful seven year run,the company signed a merger agreement with GoFundMe yesterday. The combination is an exciting one — both organizations have a shared mission, values and purpose.

In many ways CrowdRise feels like family. Jeffrey and Robert are brothers. Edward and Shauna are spouses. Many folks on the team came from the Wolfe’s previous company. My fellow board member Fred Wilson is a dear friend for over ten years (and I am especially grateful to him for introducing me to the company). The bond within this company is quite special and I am happy to see such a great outcome.

Thank you to the CrowdRise founders and team. And congratulations, it’s going to be exciting to watch.


Last year at the Jelly office in San Francisco, Biz Stone (Twitter cofounder and now the cofounder and CEO of Jelly*) read aloud a draft version of the blog post that would launch v1 of Jelly.

One line in particular hit me:

“It’s not that hard to imagine that the promise of a connected society is people helping each other”

Those are some powerful words and if you have ever known Biz or heard him speak you know that they come from the heart

The idea of a connected society helping each other is inspiring.  From people helping each other on Jelly or communities organizing via Twitter as well as things like peer produced contributions on Wikipedia. We are better when we work together. 

I’m also moved by crowdfunding platforms where we can help each other. In my opinion Crowdrise has emerged as the best crowdfunding platform for philanthropy. It’s a wonderful product and community where we see people helping each other every single day.

I initially met the Crowdrise team through my friend Fred Wilson. He told me he was putting together a new investment round in the company and asked if I was interested in learning more. My partners and I were blown away with the founders vision for creating a platform that allows each of us to give and help others. And you get a real sense of that mission with every single person on the team. 

Today I’m delighted to announce that our firm, Spark Capital has joined in this new round of financing for Crowdrise. I am proud that we are investors in this special company and look forward to working side by side with the team. 

One more thing :) 

You can find my Crowdrise profile here as I’ve been raising money for Camp Interactive and the Boston marathon which I’m running today. Please consider making a donation! 


Robert Wolfe, Crowdrise co-founder and CEO — Detroit, Michigan.

(*disclosure: my firm is also an investor in Twitter and Jelly)