Do you know how GoFundMe works?

Just weeks ago 23-year-old Chris Rothnie took his own life.

His family, stricken with grief, received all manner of support from across the country.

Michael Rothnie, one of Chris' brothers, said there were "no words" for the gratitude his family felt. 

The six Rothnie siblings moved from Perth to Orange in the NSW Central West more than a decade ago. He left a trail of family and friends across the nation in mourning. 

Part of the immediate grieving process involved the establishment of a GoFundMe page.

More than $18,000 has been raised and that will go towards bringing Chris's parents, Paul and Lynne, from Western Australia, to his funeral in Orange and a memorial service in WA. Leftover funds will be donated to a charity for suicide prevention.

BROTHERS IN ARMS: Chris (left) and Michael Rothnie after their 2018 premiership win with the Orange Tigers.

BROTHERS IN ARMS: Chris (left) and Michael Rothnie after their 2018 premiership win with the Orange Tigers.

The Rothnie family is just one of the 655 GoFundMe beneficiaries in the NSW Central West. Collectively they have received $1.5 million in donations in the past three years.

Kelly Schofield, who started a GoFundMe appeal to raise $30,000 three weeks ago, is overwhelmed by the support she has been receiving. 

Ms Schofield, also from Orange, wants to buy a wheelchair-enabled vehicle so she can take her 12-year-old daughter Alyssa for medical appointments in Sydney. 

Alyssa is suffering from cerebral palsy and global developmental delay. She can't walk, is non verbal, is incontinent, can not feed herself, has epilepsy and limited communication.

NEED SUPPORT: Orange-resident Kelly Schofield is raising funds to buy a wheelchair enabled vehicle for her 12-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy and global developmental delay. Photo: SUPPLIED.

NEED SUPPORT: Orange-resident Kelly Schofield is raising funds to buy a wheelchair enabled vehicle for her 12-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy and global developmental delay. Photo: SUPPLIED.

Ms Schofield has raised over $5,000 so far and is grateful to all her donors.

So what is GoFundMe?

Brad Damphousse and Andrew Ballester started the social fundraising platform in California, USA in 2010 and in Australia in 2016. 

It is currently present in 18 countries, including Canada, the UK and the EU, and claims it platform has been used to raise $5 billion by more than 50 million donors.

"About two million Australians have donated to campaigns and more than $200 million has been raised for truly inspiring and worthwhile Australian causes," a GoFundMe spokesperson said. 

"In NSW, more than $60 million has been raised from over 20,000 GoFundMe campaigns, including 655 across the Central NSW."

In New South Wales, more than $60 million has been raised from over 20,000 GoFundMe campaigns, including 655 across the Central NSW.

GoFundMe spokesperson

Who funds GoFundMe?

Residents have been using the platform for various purposes including supporting an ill family member, the communities affected by natural disasters and the feel-good children-led initiatives.

Fundraisers, however, are not charged a cent. But it is the donors who are paying for the GoFundMe operations.

"The platform is free for organisers. Transaction fee is 2.9 per cent plus $0.30 per donation," the website read.

The spokesperson said GoFundMe relies on voluntary tips from donors to help with the costs associated with providing its customer service and technology.

"Standard processing fees are charged by payment processors to cover credit card processing and safe transfer of funds," the spokesperson said.

"When someone chooses to give to a GoFundMe, they are given the option to add a voluntary tip.

"This tipping model allows us to offer a free platform to people wanting to start a fundraising initiative and make a difference to either their or someone else’s life.” 

GoFundMe doesn't have any staff in Australia.