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!

gofundme home pagegofundme home page2gofundme how it works

The Good

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

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.

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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24 GoFundMe Reviews

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  1. User Score

    9

    December 3rd, 2016

    Very informative and answered all my questions.

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  2. User Score

    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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  3. User Score

    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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  4. User Score

    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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    4

  5. User Score

    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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    2

  6. User Score

    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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    3

  7. User Score

    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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    3

  8. User Score

    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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    3

  9. User Score

    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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    6

  10. User Score

    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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    4 3

  11. User Score

    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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    7 1

  12. User Score

    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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    26 1

  13. User Score

    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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    24 1

  14. User Score

    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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    27

  15. User Score

    0

    June 4th, 2016 La Mesa, CA

    wierd and unprofessional. I wouldnt use this site. We setup a page and after sending out invitations to a lot this site for now reason closed down our page and said the payments were suspicious and they were from my family.

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    19

  16. User Score

    2

    May 4th, 2016 Pasadena, CA

    WOW! Set up an account because my wife passed away and needed relief with funeral costs. We had a total amount raised of $4,435.00. GoFundMe took 5% ($221.75) and WePay took two fees (2.9% + 0.30) per transaction for a total of $141.50. So between them both they got total fees of $363.25 from our funeral fund. I hope life is as sympathetic when someone who works there loses a loved one.

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    38 2

  17. User Score

    0

    April 9th, 2016 CA

    Gofundme is a scam!!! They make it super easy to sign up and donate but then to withdraw the money is a nightmare. They ask all kinds of repetitive questions regarding the fund. I knew the campaign organizer for a funeral fund and they would ask her such questions as: what is the money being used for? Can you verify the expenses of the funeral? Can you verify that you are you?
    My poor sister in law couldn’t even grieve her own mother because she had to deal with gofundme on top of planning a funeral she didn’t have money for.
    Their customer service department is non existent. You can only contact by email and they respond with automated BS messages. You reply to that and then they don’t reply. Eventually the cycle starts over because you have to reach out again. Gofundme..
    Nah GOFRAUDME!!!!!!!

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    45

  18. User Score

    0

    April 8th, 2016 Trabuco Canyon, CA

    This company took money for a funeral and now is not release. DONT PUT MONEY WITH GOFUNDME!

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    28

  19. User Score

    0

    March 22nd, 2016 Hollywood, FL

    The process for withdrawing funds is misleading and deceptive and we were raising money to save abandoned/sick dogs. Don’t use it. They took almost 8% in fees, shameful. They don’t disclose it until after they take their fees.

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    29 1

  20. User Score

    0

    March 11th, 2016

    Terrible terrible my friend and her fiancé past away last December leaving two boys orphaned so we started a gofundme me page as a trust account and we still haven’t received funds we raised. 18 months later!! Fighting back and forth only by email for them to do a complete circle of request we complete then the sign a new person to email us to start again. Terrible no contact number or physical adress. Garbage site!!!!

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    43