After Yelp announced a $25 million relief package for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus last week, Yelp is announcing a fundraising partnership with GoFundMe with the objective to enable Yelp users to donate to businesses directly through Yelp.

Many GoFundMe pages have already been created by a number of local businesses. This program will automatically place a “donate” button and associated fundraising solicitation on the Yelp profile pages in these categories:

  1. Restaurants
  2. Nightlife
  3. Beauty and fitness
  4. “Active life businesses”

Donate buttons appear on the relevant Yelp profiles by default, although businesses will be able to opt-out if they want. Here is what businesses need in order to participate in program, as there are several criteria:

  • U.S. businesses only
  • Five or fewer locations and be “independently owned and operated and not nationally dominant in their field”
  • Business profiles claimed (as of 3/22/20)
  • Operate in one of the following categories: Restaurants, Food, Nightlife, Beauty/Spas/Salons, or Active (some exceptions)
  • Be “negatively impacted by a government mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic”
  • Intend to use funds to either to help care for their employees / workers or pay ongoing business expenses.

Below, there is an image that shows what the checkout flow looks like. A donate screen leads to a GoFundMe landing page where the contribution happens.

The Yelp Foundation and GoFundMe will be matching $1 million in donations, “with a $500 match for the first 2,000 eligible businesses that claim their fundraising page on GoFundMe and raise $500.”

Not only does a business need to claim their Yelp profile for this, they must claim their fundraising page on GoFundMe. It seems that these have been pre-populated and simply need to be claimed by the business.

You can find an FAQs page for business owners that answers a range of questions about the program and how to participate.

SourceGreg Sterling