About GoFundMe

GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform that allows users to raise money for a wide variety of personal causes, including medical bills, special events, and even for animals and pets. According to the company’s website, they’ve helped thousands of people raise over $160 million over the past three years.

Founded in 2010 and based out of San Diego, CA, GoFundMe has been featured on CNN, Forbes, New York Times, and TIME, and has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on just one complaint in three years. Overall, it appears GoFundMe has a relatively positive online reputation, though we read an overwhelming number of complaints that cited high fees and poor customer service.

How GoFundMe Works

Similar to Kickstarter and Indiegogo, GoFundMe is an online crowdfunding destination that helps you raise money for something in which you strongly believe. In fact, when compared to their competition, GoFundMe allows you to raise money for almost anything you want—including school tuition, medical bills, business ideas, travel expenses, even for animals and pets—as long as it’s not illegal and doesn’t contain inappropriate content.

The company states that getting your personal crowdfunding campaign underway takes less than a minute, and there are no required deadlines or time limits. In fact, depending on the type of campaign you choose, you can even keep all your donations, even if you don’t reach your ultimate goal.

From start to finish, the GoFundMe process entails four primary steps:

  • Create your GoFundMe site.
  • Share your site with friends and family, invite contacts, and post to social media sites to garner traffic.
  • Collect online donations.
  • Track results.

GoFundMe Pricing & Support

While it’s completely free to create a fundraising campaign, GoFundMe will deduct a 5% fee from each of your donations, and you’ll also be charged a 2.9% + $0.30 fee from WePay for each payment you request. As an example:

If you raise $10,000 during your GoFundMe campaign, the company will keep $500, and you’ll be charged an additional $300 in processing fees to complete payment (assuming you only request it once). This means that on a $10,000 campaign, you’ll end up receiving $9,200 after everything is said and done. If you’d like to find out more, a full list of pricing and fees can be viewed here.

The good news is that all online donations processed through GoFundMe are completely secure, and you can withdraw your money whenever you like (subject to the 2.9% + $0.30 fee each time, of course). When you’re ready to withdraw your money, simply provide your bank account information, and your money will be deposited within 5-7 business days. Alternately, GoFundMe can send you a paper check, though this will typically take longer.

Based on the company’s business model, there is no refund information on their website. However, GoFundMe claims that their customer support staff is very active, and will even respond to your questions within 5 minutes during business hours.

Pros:

  • Has helped individuals raise more than $160 million in funding.
  • Completely free to start and run a campaign.
  • Campaign topics are completely open, as long as they’re not promoting anything illegal, or contain inappropriate content.
  • You get to keep your donations, even if you don’t reach your monetary goal. Also, withdraw funds from your campaign whenever you wish.
  • Customer support appears to be very active.

Cons:

  • High fees when compared to the competition.
  • Several complaints of poor customer service.

Now read: The Risks of Backing a Crowdfunded Campaign

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117 Consumer Reviews for GoFundMe

Average Consumer Rating: 1.5
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 5 4 star: 6 3 star: 0 2 star: 15 1 star:  91
Bottom Line: 9% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 117
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  • So far all is good.

    I had a good experience so far. My goal originally was $600. I raised $300 and so far they cut my first check of $50 and my second check is scheduled for December 2nd. I am hoping that nothing goes wrong from here on out. Every review that I have read has not been good, but my experience so far as I said has been positive, so I hope it continues to stay that way.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 3 people found this review helpful

    The customer service was amazing!

    • Boonville, MO,
    • Nov 10, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    After my GoFundMe fundraiser was complete, I was ready to withdraw my money. I came across a huge problem. I deleted the email I used for the account!

    I became VERY frustrated with the process and sought help from the customer service page on the GoFundMe website. I got a reply within 5 minutes, and the ladies who helped me were outstanding! I had many different problems that branched from the email issue, and they were able to help me through it all, giving me CLEAR AND PRECISE instructions on how to do it.

    While quite a few of the things they told me to do didn’t work, they stood by me the whole time and didn’t stop until my money was withdrawn. I am very blessed that I came across such a great customer service program with the GoFundMe cooperation! I will definitely use GoFundMe again and encourage my friends and family to use it as well!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Worked perfectly

    I used GoFundMe to raise money for my wife's aunt after she was put out of her home by hurricane Harvey. GoFundMe did put a hold on my fundraiser, but we were able to get it straightened out very quickly, and within 24 hours the fundraiser was live and back up and running. The customer service (in my specific situation) was helpful and fast. However, the fees are a little shocking, and I did not notice that when I did this fundraiser (was my first experience with GoFundMe). I would use this fundraiser site again, but I wouldn't use it for everything.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 23 out 24 people found this review helpful

    Horrible customer service

    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, and 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!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 18 out 19 people found this review helpful

    Customer service isn't!

    One thing GoFundMe can't claim is having customer service! I've tried five different attempts to get in touch with them with no results. I can't log into my account. I just wanted help with that. Not at all!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 38 out 40 people found this review helpful

    Nightmare!

    • New York City, NY,
    • Jun 14, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I work at a non-profit organization, and we raised money for one of our members who was in a coma after a bad accident. We quickly met the goal, and I was asked for my bank account info, which was fine since he was in no condition to be dealing with bank details. My main goal was to get the family the money quickly and easily as they were waiting by his bedside.

    I gave a portion of the money to the family, and then GoFundMe put a block on my account. I don't know why they asked for all of my bank details if they did not trust me to get this man (or his family, as the case may be) the money. In any event, now they are not helping, and the best I get is what seems a computer-generated response.

    Be careful trying to do a good deed through GoFundMe, you may end up on the short end!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 35 out 41 people found this review helpful

    GoFundMe and WePay ruined my life

    I was arrested on 4-25-2017 for felony theft after my birth father and mother, who are addicts, filed false charges against me claiming I stole the money when the whole time I've been requesting a refund to all the donors because it has caused more problems than what it was supposed to solve. I wanted out of it, and I provided all the correct bank information more than five different emails begging them to refund the money, including the bank info every single time, and all I received were automated messages. I told them the police were involved and that my five young kids don't have anyone except my husband and myself. I begged them to call me or call the police in charge so we could all figure this out because I didn't take the money.

    I emailed account statements showing I had the amount in the account and yet I was STILL arrested! My life is ruined! I have legal bills needing to be paid, and we have one income for a seven-person family, and I don't know what we're going to do now. All WePay and GoFundMe had to do was take some money from my account to theirs, and they didn't do it. My life as I know it is over.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 47 out 48 people found this review helpful

    An absolute joke

    My daughter passed away suddenly on April the 3rd so we tried to raise funds for her funeral. After only raising £200 we will eventually receive £181. I say eventually because they are refusing to release the funds after 3 weeks of emails and all our personal details to prove we are real people.

    The evidence is still not enough and we have been left in debt and can't pay anyone for the funeral. All they state in their emails is that this will all be sorted pit in the next 24 hours. I think they mean years. Not only have we had to suffer the loss of Lucy but also now experience financial difficulty.

    Thank you very much GoFundMe. Will I ever use them again? No.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 45 out 52 people found this review helpful

    Fee too high

    I am using this site to raise money for a surgery for my dog. I believe the fee is too high. My goal was $5000 and I actually made my goal and yet I am $500 away from the $5000 because of the fees I had to pay on the donations. I just think the fee is too high when every dollar counts when most people are using the site to raise money for serious things like surgeries or such.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 13 out 20 people found this review helpful

    GoFundMe

    • Victoria, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Apr 1, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    GoFundMe helped get my wife's BiPap machine.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 51 out 53 people found this review helpful

    Run by robots

    • Ocate, New Mexico,
    • Mar 24, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I went to edit my GoFundMe page and a new message pops up accusing me of raising money for Texas wildfires. My GoFundMe page is about my work with terminally ill people and parents who have lost a child. For the past 30 years, I have never raised a dime for a wildfire and never even thought about it

    The GoFundMe robots want me to remove these words 'Texas' from my page and also 'The 8th Fire' (our very timely documentary film on Native American prophecy). And now another problem: they require a code to withdraw money. I've been trying to get my code for three days now but either they don't send the code or finally when they do, it comes up as invalid. A scam it's seeming like to me.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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