MurphsLife Foundation is the non-profit organization founded and led by social media travel influencer Aaron Murphy. MurpshLife harnesses the power of social media for good by using popular social media platforms – primarily TikTok and Instagram – to share the stories of disadvantaged families in South and Latin America, showcase their humanity, and enable strangers all over the world to offer direct help in the form of donations. By documenting and sharing the journeys and perspectives of those benefiting from the Foundation’s support, MurphsLife videos help build empathy between the advantaged audiences viewing the organization’s content and those being profiled. In this way, Murphslife helps reverse damaging narratives about South and Latin America, their residents, and, more generally, all those experiencing poverty. Each social media video highlighting an individual, family, or community is accompanied with a unique GoFundMe link, where viewers of the video can make a donation to the Foundation that will directly support the individual(s) or cause profiled in the video. In this way, MurphsLife provides a unique level of transparency about where donated funds are going. In addition to GoFundMe, donors can support the fundraisers and the Foundation’s operations using PayPal, Venmo, Cash App, Zelle, Patreon, and Crypto. Most donors to MurphsLife make small contributions of less than $100. In addition to donations, MurphsLife also generates revenues from sales of branded merchandise and accepts support from volunteers.
Theory of Change
Using social media virality as a vehicle to share the stories of those living in poverty helps build cross-border solidarity, reverse damading narratives, and facilitate direct support of individuals and communities in need.
MurphsLife fundraises for individual members of South and Latin American communities whose stories are showcased in the organization’s social media content. Some of the individuals supported by Murpshlife include a family in Paraguay who lived in a garbage dump after their stepfather burned down their office, a boy in El Salvador who helped his mom build a home out of scrap metal, woof, and plastic, and a family in Honduras who lost their home and belongings in a flood. In addition to providing immediate aid and sources to impoverished individuals, MurpshLife also invests in local entrepreneurs and business owners who stand to benefit from the long-lasting financial stability and community development businesses can foster. MurphsLife has provided support to families with farms, food and recycling carts, and bike and scooter rental businesses, among many others. MurphsLife videos are filmed, edited, and shared by Murphy and a small team. To execute some projects, like home and business-building projects, MurphsLife employs members of the local community and uses donations to pay them 2-5 times the average wage. MurphsLife provides training and tools to those supporting project execution, in-turn helping these individuals become more employable after the project is completed.
MurphsLife has 6.3M+ followers on TikTok, 1M+ followers on Instagram, and 400K+ subscribers on YouTube. In total, MurphsLife content reaches 30M+ people all over the world. Many MurphsLife fundraisers raise over $50,000 from small individual donors. Some fundraisers, like one focused on providing care to Amazonian women with cancer, have raised upwards of $200,000 from over 7,000 individual donations. In August 2023, MurphsLife had over 25 active fundraisers on GoFundMe.