Client Story

Supporting Those in Need, Every Day

GoFundMe is the world’s largest social fundraising platform, enabling worldwide action to save lives and make dreams come true. To scale its impact globally, GoFundMe chose Metric Theory to build a strategy that could scale profitable user growth. Their work together led to winning Best Use of Search: Finance at the 2019 US Search Awards.

The Goal: Profitable Global Expansion

Search and social advertising is a vital component of GoFundMe’s brand awareness and new customer acquisition strategies, though the same goes for a number of competing services. As the leading name, GoFundMe faces stiff competition on brand searches, while the cost and competitive environment for paid social ads has also sharply increased over time.

As GoFundMe’s business has matured, they’ve evolved from building market share and users to optimizing toward fundraisers that reach business goals. Metric Theory and GoFundMe worked together on a plan to enter new markets, lower user acquisition costs on social, and find more fundraisers that allowed GoFundMe to propel the brand toward being the world’s default giving platform.

Our Strategy

  • Lead Quality & LTV Optimization
  • Performance Ad Creative
  • Regression Model-Assisted Bidding Strategy
  • International Expansion & Language Localization

Lead Quality & LTV Optimization

Before working with Metric Theory, GoFundMe did not have a clear view into how conversions from paid media converted to revenue. Together, the teams launched CRM tracking and revenue reporting for ads to optimize to final revenue from the users acquired via paid channels.

Contributions from higher-funnel efforts like Facebook and YouTube ads are also evaluated differently due to GoFundMe primarily reporting performance on last-click data. Knowing these channels act as awareness drivers as well as direct response, the teams used combined channel and internal data to develop more channel-specific goals. This changed the conversation around areas where the teams could justify greater investment. As a result, the teams were able to grow monetized fundraisers from branded search by double digit percentages quarter-over-quarter.

Performance Ad Creative

Given the diversity of ad types, channels, and targeting that GoFundMe was growing into, ad creative rotation became incredibly important and a mounting challenge for GoFundMe design production to handle. GoFundMe worked with Metric Theory’s performance creative team to test new ad imagery and videos to personalize based on location, language, audience and more. Additionally, adding performance creative has allowed GoFundMe to remain incredibly dynamic and fast-acting based on what’s driving new fundraisers in the world at any given time.

With Metric Theory continually performing new creative tests, they have informed strategy in newer, growing markets to allow for quicker, more immediately successful launches. The teams have also learned that images are not one-size-fits-all, leading to a continuous testing process to strengthen engagement and brand reach.

"What I’ve noticed since working with Metric Theory is really a level of sophistication that we had never seen before. At the end of the day, I feel very privileged that we were able to find such a great partner. "

Danny Gordon, Chief Business Officer


"I really think of Metric Theory as an extension of my own team rather than as a separate organization."

Brittany Couch, Marketing Director


Regression Model-Assisted Bidding Strategy

With competitors shifting resources perpetually on GoFundMe’s branded searches, keeping up with bidding changes on a reactionary basis was difficult. Maxing out bids to beat competition was leading to increased cost with less return. Using Google’s Auction Insights data and a custom script to track changes, Metric Theory built a regression model from hourly competitor impression share along with GoFundMe’s ads data to understand at what point positive revenue return stopped.

The analysis revealed a floor, at which point GoFundMe was ceding too much ground to competition, and a ceiling, at which point the cost of traffic didn’t justify incremental return. Incorporating this data into management strategy led to a double-digit percent improvement in net revenue from brand search. To then streamline bidding processes, Metric Theory implemented automated bidding strategies across brand campaigns. Target Impression Share, Target CPA, and maximize conversions were alternately employed to adjust branded exposure based on the branding goals of individual geographic markets, making the best use of a limited budget.

International Expansion & Language Localization

As GoFundMe expanded internationally, they wanted to maximize traffic from users searching or researching their brand. Applying techniques of contextual display targeting gleaned from domestic campaigns along with Metric Theory’s language localization services, GoFundMe was able to create awareness in prospects’ native tongues. This language localization drove a 40% increase on average in traffic and conversions by market, helping to profitably grow new markets and build brand awareness. The teams also launched Facebook and Instagram advertising in both emerging and mature markets, expanding across English and native languages given the success for search. Since launch, monthly fundraiser starts have grown over 800% from the social program.

Performance Results

Using these strategies, Metric Theory helped to efficiently scale new market volume by 130%.


increase in branded search revenue


increase in new market fundraisers


increase in social ad-generated fundraisers