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