Uplifting Small Businesses with the Barstool Fund

When the digital media company Barstool Sports set out to help struggling small businesses affected by the pandemic, they needed a solution capable of handling a huge influx of donations quickly and efficiently. That’s where Donately comes in.

Uplifting Small Businesses with the Barstool Fund
“They were willing to roll up their sleeves and work with us… and that level of human touch was important.”

—Stu Hollenshead, COO Barstool Sports


For small businesses throughout the U.S. the COVID-19 pandemic has been an existential threat. By February 2022, nearly three-quarters of small business owners reported a negative impact on the bottom line.*

In an effort to provide relief, Barstool Sports sought to rally its audience and raise money for beleaguered businesses—and the Barstool Fund was born. But the sheer amount of money they expected to raise presented any number of challenges:

  • What platform can handle potentially hundreds of donations per minute, and hundreds of thousands in total?
  • Would a platform that could support that kind of activity be difficult to set up and use?
  • Would the donation experience be simple and seamless?
  • Would Barstool be able to leverage its existing partnerships for the project?

To further complicate things, the platform would need to be built quickly, as high-profile social media threads had attracted early publicity for the project.

A solution was needed. And fast.


Working closely and collaboratively with Donately team members, the Barstool Fund was able to build a custom donation platform that could be seamlessly embedded within the organization’s website—and maintained with ease.

The platform—and the project—were up and running within hours. And while the sheer scope of the project made bumps in the road inevitable, each was resolved quickly and painlessly.

  • A seamless experience
    Donately enabled Barstool Sports website visitors to make donations directly from the Barstool Fund page, ensuring a quick, intuitive experience with no third-party pages, no thirty-party brands and no fuss.
  • Responsive support
    Throughout the life of the project, which continued for 18 months—Donately provided end-to-end support well beyond business hours. Help was always available and email inquiries were addressed within an hour.
  • Simplicity and ease of use
    Donately’s custom donation platform didn’t require coding to build or technical skill to maintain. An intuitive interface and a responsive support team enabled the Barstool Fund to keep everything up and running with ease.
  • Donor support
    Donately’s support didn’t stop at the Barstool Fund. From providing receipts and forms to correcting data errors, support services were extended to each and every Barstool Fund donor.
  • Third-party flexibility
    Donately made it possible for Barstool to bring its preferred payment processor—Stripe—to the project, simplifying the creation of the new platform and further accelerating the project schedule.


Donately’s intuitive platform enabled the Barstool Fund to rapidly and efficiently run a successful—and sprawling—donation campaign. The numbers speak for themselves:

  • $20MM raised online via Donately-enabled tech
    (plus another $20MM+ via wire transfer and physical checks)
  • 28% conversion rate
  • 1 donation processed every 3 seconds during peak hours
  • $5MM+ raised in first 2 weeks of the campaign
  • 159K donations made
  • 600+ small businesses supported

The campaign remains a testament to the platform’s design—and a high water mark for the power of giving.

What Good Could You Do With Donately? See how Donately’s user-friendly features can help you achieve your own goals.

* https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/01/small-business-owners-optimistic-but-still-face-challenges-amid-covid.html