Calgary

'Absolutely unprecedented': GoFundMe CEO blown away by Humboldt Broncos campaign

The chief executive officer of the crowdfunding site, GoFundMe, says the campaign to raise funds for the victims of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash has been ‘absolutely unprecedented.’

Campaign to raise funds for the victims had surged past $7M by Tuesday afternoon

Rob Solomon says there will likely be more campaigns in days ahead, in an interview with CBC Calgary News at Six on Monday. (The Canadian Press/GoFundMe)

The chief executive officer of the crowdfunding site, GoFundMe, says the campaign to raise funds for the victims of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash has been "absolutely unprecedented."

Fifteen people were killed and 14 injured when the team's bus and a transport truck collided Friday at a Saskatchewan highway intersection.

Rob Solomon said there will likely be more campaigns in the days ahead, in an interview with CBC Calgary News at Six on Monday.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. Watch the full interview here.

Fifteen people were killed and 14 others injured when the team’s bus and a transport truck collided Friday at a Saskatchewan highway intersection. (Humboldt Broncos/Twitter)

Q: How would you describe the main GoFundMe campaign that has so far raised more than $7 million from more than 92,000 donations?

A: This is absolutely unprecedented. We have raised more money in this campaign than we've seen in many other campaigns in Canada.

Q: How many campaigns are there currently related to the tragedy?

A: There should ultimately be probably somewhere between 10 and 20 campaigns. There is the large campaign and then we've seen numerous campaigns get started, and over the next few days we expect quite a few more will get started.

Q: How do you ensure the funds will be used for their stated purpose?

A: In the case of the big campaign, we are in touch with the president of the Humboldt Broncos club and we are working with them to figure out the best way to have them disperse the funds in a fair manner. That will take a few days to figure out the best practices. We are working closely with them. We also have a lot of expertise based on other tragedies that have occurred and we have worked with many different organizations to make sure funds are dispersed properly.

Q: Who is responsible for ensuring the funds get to where they are needed?

A: We work upfront with the campaign organizer, we then try before any funds are released [to] get a plan from the organizer as to how the funds are going to be dispersed. According to that plan, the onus is upon the campaign organizer and the Broncos organization and others involved to make sure it happens in a fair way, and we work very closely to make sure that happens.

Q: Does GoFundMe charge a fee for the campaign service?

A: We just changed our business model, November 30 of last year, we moved to a free platform model. In the old days, there would be a five per cent fee that would be charged to the campaign organizers. We moved to a voluntary tipping model so now the campaign organizer can access our platform for free and all of the funds raised go to the campaign organizer.

GoFundMe CEO on Humboldt Broncos campaign 2:31

With files from CBC Calgary News at Six

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