GoFundMe

7.9

Overall Score

50 User Reviews

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In 2008 Brad Damphousse had a unique idea to create a web-based, social savings account. His best friend Andy Ballester, who happened to be a talented programmer, understood Brad’s vision; Andy quit his job to help his best friend develop this new idea. In the beginning, their company was a subscription fundraising service for small charities. After reading through many inspiring, uplifting stories shared by users, Brad and Andy were truly touched—they felt a profound determination to improve and expand their services. After some important breakthroughs in the world of online payments, the team was finally able to relaunch the product of their dreams: GoFundMe. The best friend duo devoted much time and energy responding to user feedback in an effort to make improvements on the site. Their hard work is paying off—today GoFundMe is one of the world’s most popular crowdfunding site with over $1.3 billion raised!

The Good

  • Fund type
  • Fees
  • Maximum allowed raise
  • Deadlines
  • Administrative work options

Fund Type

GoFundMe uses a 'Keep What You Raised' funding type. With GoFundMe, reaching your goal is not required. This works well because you keep each and every donation you receive; however, if you're interested in an 'All-or-Nothing' campaign, you may choose this option during Sign-Up.

Fees

While GoFundMe doesn't charge anything to create and share your online fundraising campaign, nor do they charge for using the platform, they automatically deduct a 5% fee from each donation that you receive. A processing fee of about 3% will also be deducted from each donation. There is no partial or non-completion fee in the case you do not complete your campaign. There are crowdfunding companies that do charge you a fee if you fail to meet your campaign goal. This is not the worst out there, but it isn't the best pricing, either.

Maximum Allowed Raise

Many crowdfunding platforms using Donation models for individuals have a maximum amount or limit to what funding amount you can raise. GoFundMe has no funding limit. This lets you raise as much as you want or need in one campaign.

Deadlines

With GoFundMe there are no deadlines or time-limits. Your campaign will remain live until you choose to stop donations or remove the campaign altogether. In some cases, users have left their campaigns up indefinitely as a lasting memory of all the wonderful comments and support they received. This is a great policy for personal fundraisers. Sometimes people can't donate within 30 or 40 days (a typical deadline for many crowdfunding platforms) so having an indefinite deadline works very well. For those who select the 'All or Nothing' fund preference, deadline options are 7, 14, 21, 30 or 60 days.

Administrative Work Options

GoFundMe offers users several automated features for administrative tasks, which are extremely helpful for individuals trying to run an effective campaign without past experience. Even if they have experience, admin tasks take a lot of time and can get confusing the larger the donator pool gets.

GoFundMe's automotive administrative task features include:

Thank You Messages: You can thank donators individually by selecting a recent donation and clicking the 'Say Thanks' button. GoFundMe will let you personalize the message and send it directly to the donor's email address.

Update Feature: In doing so, you can choose to share the post with your current supporters and donors - you can even share the Update on Facebook to attract more support. Update messages can also include up to 3 photos or videos. GoFundMe's 'Update' feature is a great way to keep your campaign fresh and your donators up to date without having to do it manually, which would take a lot of time away from campaigning.

Quick Assistance: GoFundMe will respond to your emails within 5 minutes during the day with any questions you have about your campaign.

The Bad

  • Model type
  • Receiving funds
  • No PayPal

Model Type

GoFundMe operates as a Donation Model. Equity model campaigns are not offered. through GoFundMe. A donation model is a good thing for personal fundraising, but GoFundMe recommends signing up with your Facebook account if you want to appear in GoFundMe's Public Search Directory. Although this is optional, it actually isn't if you want your campaign to be featured publicly on their website. Not everyone has a Facebook account or wants to open one. Being "forced" to do so is not a good thing.

Receiving Funds

Typically on crowdfunding platforms you have to wait until the end of your campaign to begin collecting funds. With GoFundMe, you can request your money right away as the donations come in. You can choose to withdraw your balance directly to your bank account. (Campaigns in the US may also request a check). Withdrawals may be made daily, weekly or monthly and will always process for the full available balance in the user's WePay account. Funds may be received via electronic bank transfer within 2-5 business days, or paper check within 7-10 business days. (Daily checks are not available, weekly or monthly only.) Although you can request a withdrawal at any time, the time it takes to receive funds is a bit long when compared to other crowdfunding sites that can do it in at as soon as 24 hours.

No PayPal

It's important to note that GoFundMe no longer accepts PayPal.

The Bottom Line

It's no surprise that GoFundMe is one of the world's most popular crowdfunding sites. The company is highly successful. Customer Happiness representatives deliver answers to questions in a timely manner, (often within five minutes of submission), there's plenty of flexibility with funding options, no limits on how much you can raise and no time restraints. The fees associated are reasonable (though not the cheapest). One thing is that it takes longer to receive funds than other donation model sites, but all in all, users can expect a convenient, simple experience when funding.

User Reviews

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  • 2

    November 3rd, 2017 DETAILS

    Value for your money
    Quality of product or service
    Customer Service
    Company trustworthiness

    I used GoFundMe collect donations for the Dominica hurricane. In response to the scenes of devastation and knowing my relatives were enduring this, I looked for a funding site to start collecting donations straight away. GoFundMe was one of the first sites to pop up from my internet search. I hadn't used a funding site before but should have taken the time to read the small print, (my fault) as it was a surprise to see the size of the cut the company took from the donation. I felt bad about this, as that money could have made a difference to some very desperate people and I realised there were other organisations who wouldn't have charged so much, and also, individuals who I could have made arrangements with. For me, the site has some positives, but I wouldn't use it again or recommend it, as there seems a bit too much focus on the money making side of things (e.g. a bit overly enthusiastic in promoting ideas for generating more funds, which course result in an even bigger percentage raised for the site). I don't have an issue with companies needing to make a living, but the way this company (and others like it) goes about it doesn't resonate with me.

    Helpful?
  • 0

    October 22nd, 2017

    Held large funding contribution for 15 days. Put my campaign behind by two weeks also no contact number to resolve issues

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  • 0

    October 11th, 2017 NJ

    Customer service is reprehensible. We collected over $130,000 to help our employees in Houston - many of whom have lost EVERYTHING. Yet it has been impossible to withdraw the funds. We are a global company. Our CFO has on numerous occasions entered the information they requested. They email us asking for additional information and say they will remove the hold after receiving the information. We provide the additional the information. Then we receive another email from another representative with the exact same message asking for the same additional information, etc. etc. etc. WTF??? We have been trying to withdraw funds for the last 2 weeks. So while our employees are living in shelters in Houston, the GoFundMe clerks are sitting anonymously behind their computers in their air-conditioned cubicles or homes or on the beach or WHEREVER...doing nothing for anyone. I believe this company has lost sight of their original goal to help not just themselves, but others as well. They do not provide a phone number with good reason - because they would be inundated with angry phone calls.

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  • 0

    September 17th, 2017

    I haven't battling with them trying to get my money. They've promised to three times and still as of now I have not received it. Emailing them is worthless .if you're thinking about using them don't

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  • 1

    September 15th, 2017 Brentwood, TN

    Klunky user experience, must use exact case for email address (its 2017?), closed our campaign and requested money 6 days ago and still have not received. We had a team within our organization raise money for others on our team impacted by Hurricane Harvey. We setup the campaign to appear as if it were from the team and not one individual person. Go Fund Me has all of my personal contact info, bank account info, SSN, and heck I even think they have my kids SSNs yet they refuse to send a payment because I will not post "I, <name>, am deducting these funds" publically on the campaign site. We intentionally created this site as a group so it would show our unity as a team. If I post "I <name>, am withdrawing these funds" everyone on my team will receive an email showing that. How embarrassing! Customer Support - just pick up the phone and call me back instead of trying to find ways to continue to earn interest on our money!

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  • 0

    September 13th, 2017

    Made a donation using my credit card to help Irma victims. Very next morning I was informed of the fraudulent use of my credit card that I had given to GoFundMe, to buy $243 of food from Panda express located only 4.1 miles from the GoFundMe offices. Coincidence possibly but I think they have a dishonest employee and I will not be taken in again.

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  • 0

    September 7th, 2017

    My son Michael "Mike" Busbee passed away July 23, 2017. Insurance would not cover his death, because it was a suicide. Michael suffered from depression. Christopher "Topher" Nichols started a GoFund Me campaign to help with funeral arrangements. The campaign raised $8550.00. The campaign stated that all funds were to go directly to Michael's mom, however, Topher decided to keep the funds, and they were transferred directly into his personal account. My son's ashes remain in the cardboard box that was given to me from the funeral home. I made a claim to GoFundMe, returned all proof of identity for Michael's Mother, along with all other documents they requested. Go FundMe is dragging it out with no remedy for the situation. Their customer service sucks, with no contact to an actual person. Their Guarantee. Is a line of bs that they do not stand behind. I am a grieving mother that should not be having to deal with all this, I have lost my only child, and shpuld not be fighting this fight.

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  • 0

    August 6th, 2017

    Only really useful if one is a social media butterfly, otherwise those who are not are SOL. Kind of sad that people can raise money to pay for their unicorn's pet bill but those who are taking care of two dying parents, trying to pay over 200k in student loans, all while on disability and raising a young child cannot get any assistance from gofundme type of companies. Don't bother responding.

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  • 0

    August 5th, 2017

    I have never seen a business or organization with no phone number to call. The email response is so generic and I can't reach anyone to help. I'm raising a charity for an orphanage and we did so well in one day, they ended up closing my account, refunding all the donations we raised with no valid reason, investigation or even responding to my emails Worst company ever!!!!!

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  • 0

    August 3rd, 2017

    Changed their operations to a stripe account we are a small society who don't have the money to get a company number so this has prevented me from money for my choicen charity and left me uncertain of what will happen to the little donations we do have

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  • 3

    June 27th, 2017 Estacada, OR

    They take WAY too long to transfer funds...im in a huge bind because of it!!! And no PayPal really complicates things a lot...if PayPal started their own crowdfunding site they would probably squash GoFundMe.

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  • 10

    June 13th, 2017

    I think this site does so much good. I have NO problem with them taking 7% of all funds. Charities usually take anywhere from 50 - 75% for "operation expenses" I love how generous people are.

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  • 2

    June 7th, 2017 Orem, UT

    This is not very effective unless you are proficient at social media.

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  • 7

    June 7th, 2017 Herriman, UT

    A good way to donate money to someone or a cause. Wish I didn't have to pay a fee to do so. I have seen a lot of people benefit from donations raised.

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  • 0

    April 20th, 2017 Foster City, CA

    GoFundMe is a scam. We're a PTA, I'm the treasurer, and we have a simple campaign. They're happy to take people's money but it's nearly impossible to get the funds out, and there is no help if you're stuck. A teacher opened the account to help out, then PTA took it over. Both he and I are locked out getting any funds, we keep getting the same email over and over - add more info. We've added info everywhere - still nothing and no help from GoFundMe. This company is a scam. Use anyone else.

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  • 9

    April 3rd, 2017 Milwaukee, WI

    Gofundme was a great way to raise money desperately needed. At one point during the campaign I was notified that a gofundme employee nominated my campaign for the gofundme gives back. They gave my campaign an extra $1000. I was so surprised. I didn't have a large campaign. But that extra put my total over the top. It helped several men receive education badly needed. I recommend gofundme.

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  • 1

    April 2nd, 2017 Las Vegas, NV

    Gofundme sucks 1. Their system is moronic. There is a "start a new campaign" link but it just takes me to my already started and over campaigns. There's no other option to make a new one. 2. In both dolphin and chrome browser (android lolipop) the gofundme menu malfunctions, it either won't open or flickers open and closes up again. 3. There's no way to change your wepay email. And it's been YEARS stuck at this level of stupidity.

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  • 1

    March 11th, 2017

    Such a shame that an amazing concept to aid those in need feels that a 7.9% fee is fair to take from donations. It's an utter insult to the donor and receipient. Beware!!! Choose another method!!!

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  • 0

    February 2nd, 2017 Liverpool, NY

    I put five bucks into my campaign and it just disappeared. I emailed them three times and got no response. GoFundMe sucks.

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  • 0

    January 24th, 2017 Fair Lawn, NJ

    Dear Gofundme, this is a very shocked user. My husband and I thought to use the site to help paying our beloved cat's expensive bill. I didn't think your rate to help us out were so outrageous. We remained appalled about your policy. Nothing is for free that's a given unless you agree on a fair trade. I would have appreciate a fair flat fee of for instance $25 or even $30 for you and whatever we make it was going towards the veterinarian's bill. Perhaps you should embrace the same plan as more fair companies like Airb&B or other ones. When people use your site is to get an extra help. Also, you didn't even circulate the page around. We had to take care of letting people know about the site. So the $67 you made through us are based of doing nothing. Congratulations you are definitely e legal unfair site! I We reached only $770 of this money gofundme kept about $67. I should be ashemed on a human and value creation society level. Some of our family and friends decided to donate separately. I am glad this happened. I am officially protesting against this abuse of power. You are taking advantage of people feelings and emotions. I read online some of the reviews and if I were you I would start expanding life through the process of introspection. Whatever we think say or do will have an equal effect. When we don't create value a lesson is about to occur. We only lost $67 you lost compassion, kindness, empathy and so forth. Meditate on that and work hard on how you behave in the future. I will send my daimoku for you to open the eyes and realize we are ONE and if dont' take responsibility on helping one another we totally miss the concept on being a human. Thank you for listening Francesca Romana Nastasi

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  • 0

    January 12th, 2017 Williamstown, NY

    Gofundme along with Wepay has ripped us off of $1,000, and that's not counting all the time I have had to spend trying to get the to understand their mistakes. They made them from the very beginning and their employees can't seem to comprehend simple things. I should be dedicating this time to the care of my husband who's in stage 3 of 4 of heart failure. Nope these yahoos can't tie their shoes. This originated from them illegally charging my friend's credit card twice. They cannot even admit their mistake, and they can't even understand their mistake, despite the fact it has been pointed out to them, practically with charts and such. They do not respond in a timely manner and there is no phone number to call and actually speak with a person. They are hiding behind a scam "security" screen about having a phone number!! I am filing formal complaints with the CA and NY attorney generals office and many more. I am taking to social media to call them out and warm others. I will be contacting people who have gofund me pages up b/c they are ripping people off at their greatest time of need.

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  • 1

    December 22nd, 2016 Montebello, CA

    Beyond terrible customer service. NO phone support. REFUSED to give my kid the money she earned. How is that not theft?

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  • 0

    December 21st, 2016 Ithaca, NY

    Go Fund Me Double billed my credit card for my donation. My attempt to get this corrected involved contacting the credit card processor, We Pay, as it was there error. They redirected me to Go Fund Me, who promised to resolve the issue with We Pay. Two days later, I get a frantic Email from the person whose campaign I supported informing me that they are refunding my donation to her when it was supposed to be that they would refund the extra charge to me. They are charging her service fees to boot and this transaction. Customer service is friendly but entirely ineffective. I suspect fraud.

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  • 8

    December 17th, 2016 Cottage Grove, MN

    I used and am currently using gofundme.com and have not had any problems. There have been a few donations and I received the money from gofundme directly into my checking account in a very timely manner to help pay rent for my friend in the hospital.

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  • 0

    December 12th, 2016

    I tried to help my brother who has been wrongly convicted, and there was a lot of crookedness with his case. Our family was ripped off from a couple attorneys, and my brother was not represented correctly. He has just paid another attorney to appeal his case, and I was trying to help him raise money for his attorney fees through go fund me, they allowed me to start the campaign, but then canceled it on me. I am very dissatisfied with go fund me service, and will look to other crowdfunding sites, before I ever decide to use go fund me in the future again.

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  • 9

    December 3rd, 2016

    Very informative and answered all my questions.

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  • 0

    November 25th, 2016

    Really terrible support, with very little information on how the funds are released. Very little or ambiguous information on how tax is reported. These are gifts to a family that needs help immediately. Why make the process so unduly complicated, and charge 5% for this terrible service.

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  • 1

    November 22nd, 2016

    I created a account to help a sick cat i rescued. Go fund me is a terrible site and ill never use it again. They held my funds trying to accuse me of fraud even after i sent the receipts and bill. Dont use go fund me. They will use every excuse to take your funds from you.

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  • 2

    November 21st, 2016 Trenton, MI

    You can't save up the several checks they send you because they expire and "bounce", they don't pay the debts they create by bouncing the checks.

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  • 0

    November 7th, 2016 Southampton, PA

    Raised money to help pay for my father's funeral services...GoFundMe's website doesn't even work properly. We cannot withdraw our money and was never made aware that we would also be subject to WePays percentages to be removed from the donations as well as GoFundMe's percentage. 5% plus an additional 2.9% and 30 cents for every donation. But that doesn't even matter because we cannot get a dime withdrawn from the site. DO NOT USE GOFUNDME

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  • 2

    November 2nd, 2016 Oroville, CA

    I raised money for my campaign for the nov. 8 election but could not use the money because they linked my facebook name to my account which is my middle name and different than my first name on my back ccount. They have not helped me. It has been 7 days.

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  • 0

    October 17th, 2016

    The campaign went great my goal was almost hit. My son has a brain tumor and the community rallied to raise several thousand dollars. I have yet to receive funds. Drawing funds is a nightmare. Customer service is awful. They shut my campaign down while I was still raising money. Do not use go fund me

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  • 2

    October 10th, 2016 New York, NY

    I tried to change my password because I am grief stricken after my brother's death. They were supposed to send me a confirmation password to reset my password. I couldn't!! Another email says password successfully set. They never sent a confirmation password. I can't even register for a new account because it says email taken. There is no money to give my only sibling a decent sendoff!! He died suddenly!! Please help me. I am beside myself with grief and worry because this is affecting my mother worse!! She is elderly with major heart problems. Please help!! Thank you kindly.

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  • 7

    October 8th, 2016 Virginia Beach, VA

    I have been using GoFundMe to raise money for my medical fund and have had no problems... they do take about 10% of everything you collect but I knew that up front. It does take a few days to get the money transferred from GoFundMe to your actual bank account but I knew that up front, too. I find it pretty easy to use and share and I have no real complaints.

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  • 1

    September 11th, 2016 Costa Mesa, CA

    Holding funds raised. Made me create an affidavit swearing I was not committing fraud. Funeral is upon us and still no reply from them. I would recommend another source for fund raising.

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  • 0

    August 18th, 2016 Fairmont, WV

    Terrible sight. Unless you are tied in with every single media Network on the planet, it will not help you. I needed help with medical and legal expenses I was explicit about it had photographs and still to no avail. I would never recommend this to anybody I know unless I wanted someone to waste their time or I knew that they had created every media Network.

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  • 0

    July 19th, 2016

    Cancels campaigns without even knowing what exactly is being campaigned. They clam it's against their terms of service, but the terms of service are very vague and poorly written. So if you make a campaign, expect it to be deleted because it'll violate one of their poorly written terms.

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  • 0

    July 14th, 2016

    I made a go fund me thinking I might be able to get some help buying a new computer. As an artist they can be pretty expensive. And even harder when you have a bad anxiety disorder and can't work. Magically I woke up to see someone gave me $3000 with the message to make it count. I was so happy and tried to withdraw the money. I got an email saying I wasn't clear about who I was (not possible, I used my Facebook, real name and stuff) I was too vague on what I'd spend the money on (a new computer, duh) and how I was related to the person the funds were being raised for. (Me) so I messaged them back saying it was all true and sitting on the edge of my seat. I get another message then next day asking how I was related to the Donor? I'm not, they were someone I didn't know. They could have been a fan of my work or just someone who felt really generous. So far no email back and my funds are on hold. I really got my hopes up here. This is Turing into a really terrible expirience.

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  • 0

    June 25th, 2016

    I will NEVER campaign through GoFundMe because they work alongside WePay, a joke of a company. They are the absolute worst. They take money straight out of your account for chargebacks (when the donations are supposed to be NON-REFUNDABLE, but don't let them fool you, they aren't), unauthorized! They refuse to return it to you, or be understanding in any way. They'll send you an email telling you that they had already done so, not even giving you a chance to contest or ask why. $45.46 stolen by WePay from my personal bank account, and I'll never see it again. I guess I do have one thing to thank WePay for... Thank you for showing me that I should have never done business with you or ever again, and now I can warn others against doing the same. I have nothing good to say about this company. Unfair and money-hungry... The absolute worst experience. The much worse part? GoFundMe would not help me in any way. My first, and certainly last experience, with GoFundMe or moronic WePay. It's a shame that GoFundMe works with them.

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  • 7

    June 23rd, 2016

    Fees are really higher than advertised. When you get your money about 10% is actually taken out. It would be nice if they meant what they said.

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