GoFundMe

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.

43 GoFundMe Reviews

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  • User Score

    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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  • User Score

    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 0
  • User Score

    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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    1 0
  • User Score

    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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    3 0
  • User Score

    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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    0 0
  • User Score

    2

    June 7th, 2017 Orem, UT

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

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    2 0
  • User Score

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

    1 0
  • User Score

    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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    3 0
  • User Score

    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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    0 0
  • User Score

    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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  • User Score

    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 0
  • User Score

    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 0
  • User Score

    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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    2 0
  • User Score

    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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    0 0
  • User Score

    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 0
  • User Score

    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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    0 0
  • User Score

    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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  • User Score

    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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    0 0
  • User Score

    9

    December 3rd, 2016

    Very informative and answered all my questions.

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    0 0
  • User Score

    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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