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 millions of people raise more than $5 billion over the past several years.

Founded in 2010 and based out of San Diego, CA, the company has been featured on CNN, Forbes, New York Times, and TIME, and held an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on 115 closed complaints (as of 4/10/18).

Combined with feedback from sites like BestCompany.com, it appears GoFundMe has a relatively positive online reputation, with common compliments citing ease of use, helpful support, and the platform’s ability to help people in need. What relatively few complaints there were referenced high fees and less-than-stellar 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. Depending on the type of campaign you choose, you can even keep all of 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

GoFundMe recently removed their five percent fee for all US, UK, and Canadian personal campaigns, although this fee still exists for certified charity campaigns.

Keep in mind that according to their Pricing and Fees page, though, even free personal campaigns will still be charged a 2.9 percent payment processing fee, along with a $0.30 fee that is assessed per donation.

As perhaps an overly simplistic example, if your campaign raised $1,000 among 20 contributions, you’d pay $29 in processing fees, and another $6 in donation fees, allowing you to keep a total of $965. Remember that this figure will vary depending on the total number of donations and their size.

The GoFundMe Guarantee “ensures that donations are protected if campaign funds are not delivered to the intended beneficiary or donors are misled by a campaign organizer or beneficiary.” If not, they could reimburse donors up to $1,000, each.

In addition, refund requests are honored if the campaign’s funds are available (i.e., the user hasn’t withdrawn them). If they have been withdrawn, a company representative advised they’re still often honored, “but [the] process is longer and requires us working with the user who withdrew” them.

When you’re ready to withdraw your money, simply provide your bank account information, and your money will be deposited within 2-5 business days. Alternately, GoFundMe can send U.S. users a paper check, though this will typically take 7-10 business days.

If necessary, you can reach customer service by filling out a contact form on their website, to which the company promises to deliver "24/7 rapid response" (in most cases, within 15-30 minutes).

Pros:

  • Has helped individuals raise more than $5 billion 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.
  • Mostly positive online customer feedback.

Cons:

  • Technically free for personal campaigns in the US, UK, and Canada, although a payment processing fee applies, along with an additional $0.30 fee for each donation made.

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889 Consumer Reviews for GoFundMe

Average Consumer Rating: 4.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 687 4 star: 70 3 star: 7 2 star: 18 1 star:  107
Bottom Line: 85% would recommend it to a friend
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  • Editor’s Note: It is our understanding that this company has been asking its customers to leave feedback on HighYa. We assure you that each of these reviews has still been subjected to the same verification & vetting process that all submitted reviews go through. Learn More Here
  • Impossible to get money after being promised

    • Arizona,
    • Nov 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It seems that each time you seek to have the money transferred to your account so that you can distribute it to your NEEDY FRIEND, they POSTPONE the date another week! I'm very disappointed that I trusted GoFundMe with my money and that of my friends, hoping that it would be used for good. While they promise to get back to me when I print and send requests, nothing happens. Perhaps they are understaffed, overworked, or just incompetent. But when dealing with severe needs, this is inexcusable.

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

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    I'm just appreciative of a service like this

    • California,
    • Nov 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have donated to a few causes on GoFundMe and all of them are the kinds of things that tug at your heartstrings and make you feel like there is good in the world. I'm thankful that services like GoFundMe exist to enable people to make a small difference in a few clicks.

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

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    • Nov 5, 2018

      GoFundMe T., Customer Happiness Lead

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Nathan! We're so glad to hear that you had such a positive experience.

    • Nov 16, 2018

      Kiya M.

      I have a huge Instagram following and I needed a computer for school and work. I have a huge following because I used to do adult modeling in the past. I was very strict about receiving funds and what they were for. GoFundMe made a couple of mistakes with one of my donors and ended up refunding him the whole amount that was donated. He put the amount in again and this time watched the tipping area because they have that preset. They refunded all of my donors and said that I broke terms and conditions which I did not. I have sent email after email to them explaining my situation. telling them I can provide the application and the approval from FAFSA on my school loans. They will not respond back to me they just completely closed my account where I can’t log in. I think this is some sort of discrimination and I’m trying to go back to school to better myself. Why isn’t this against the law? I know the United States is a country full of over religious zealots. I was sure that they will be fair, seeing that I was completely professional and strict about what I wanted and telling my donors what I wanted donations for.

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful
    Updated review

    Lack of transparency, phone assistance, and endless fake donations.

    • Oct 23, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Campaign: Children School Supplies - Indian

    Amount: $600

    Assuming I did not meet the requirements - From the beginning of my campaign, I encountered account problems which were solved after many many emails. My account was closed and reopened because they "assumed" I did not meet their bank requirement.

    Fake donations - After the initial issues were resolved, I started to receive dozens of fake donations. Every day there would be at least five. I questioned this several times via emails and Customer Service pretty much told me there was nothing they could do. The transactions were reversed, and the balance of my campaign would go back to the total from legitimate donors (from my family and friends).

    Unexplained cancellation - Then, out of the blue, I received an email from GoFundMe saying that my campaign was canceled and would not tell me the reason. I didn’t even have a chance to look at the balance of my campaign.

    I have received two payments, but I don’t know whose donation they reflect.

    No phone assistance - Everything could have been solved quickly if they provided phone assistance. The email service was always courteous but the process is slow, and many emails were needed to solve problems and answer questions that were not addressed on their site (e.g., fake donations).

    Too many fake donations - I strongly feel that GoFundMe should address this aggressively. In the meantime, campaigners should be told of this problem before he/she opens an account.

    I questioned GoFundMe about this and I was told that the best solution would be to make my campaign private (friends and family). Then what’s the purpose of GoFundMe? I could have sent personal emails to the people I know and there would have been no need to use GoFundMe (and pay a fee). The whole point of crowdfunding is to appeal to strangers who believe in one’s cause.

    This was a sad and frustrating experience.

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

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    • Oct 24, 2018

      GoFundMe T., Customer Happiness Lead

      Hi Esther,

      Thank you for offering your honest feedback. We completely understand this hasn’t been an ideal experience, which we never wish for any of our customers.

      We do want to clarify that our team and our payment processor review all accounts and donations to keep GoFundMe the safest place to give, and specific donations and/or campaigns and accounts may be refunded or closed as deemed necessary, as outlined in our Terms and Conditions here: https://www.gofundme.com/terms. The specifics of the review process are proprietary for security reasons, so we appreciate your understanding as we are unable to provide further details regarding the noted cancellations and failed donations.

      Rest assured that your account is currently active, and you can see the donors with successful donations listed on your campaign. Per your request on potentially refunding those donors, we’ve responded to you with the next steps. If you would like to move forward with that, please get back to us at your earliest convenience.

      We appreciate your understanding and look forward to hearing back from you.

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    • Previous review
    • Oct 22, 2018

    Lack of transparency and no phone assistance

    Campaign: Children School Supplies - Indian

    Amount: $600

    From the beginning of my campaign, I encountered account I formation problems which were solved after many many emails and a complaint I posted on the comment section of “Customer service needs serious improvement” on this site.

    GoFundMe responded and took care of the initial problems, and I started to receive dozens of fake donations. Every day there would be more than 5 of these. I questioned this several times via emails and Customer Service pretty much told me there was nothing they could do. The transaction was reversed, and the balance of my campaign would go back to the total from legitimate donors.

    Then, out of the blue, I received an email from GoFundMe saying that my campaign was canceled and would not tell me the reason. I didn’t even have a chance to look at the balance of my campaign.

    GoFundMe sent me a previous email saying that they had withdrawn from the donations and transferred $71.91 to my account on the 15th of October. So far, the amount has not shown up by in my credit card bank account

    So I went to each of the donors (thank god there were only a few) and asked if they received a refund. Two are still pending. One for $10 + tip and the second, well, this is weird because GoFundMe took $27.50 from their checking credit card account without authorization.

    I just want to get this clarified, but no one is answering my emails since my campaign was canceled. I am sure all of this could be resolved via phone, but this is not possible.

    My well-intentioned cause has turned into a very frustrating and embarrassing situation. I hope I will receive answers soon.

    (read moreread less...)

  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    10 percent fee, WATCH OUT!

    • Hollywood, FL,
    • Oct 23, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    So I make a donation to a good cause, which I have done before. GoFundMe decides to tack on a 10 percent fee out of the goodness of their hearts and my wallet! I will never make a donation to GoFundMe again!

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

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    • Oct 23, 2018

      GoFundMe T., Customer Happiness Lead

      Hi Robert,

      Thank you so much for reaching out here, and apologize for the trouble. We'd love to address your concern, but we were unable to find any recent outreaches under your name. Would you be able to contact us directly, so we can continue to help? (https://www.gofundme.com/contact)

      We look forward to hearing back from you so we can get this resolved as soon as possible.

    • Oct 25, 2018

      Robert G.

      I made a donation as anonymous to a Tracy DePasquale for $500 a few weeks ago.

    • Oct 27, 2018

      GoFundMe T., Customer Happiness Lead

      Thanks so much for following up here, Robert!

      We took a closer look at that transaction, and it looks like a voluntary tip of $50 was left along with your donation. We've gone ahead and refunded that for you since it was unintentional. You should also see a couple emails confirming your refund, as well as an email from our team. Lastly, we wanted to clarify that tipping is entirely voluntary, and your tip amount can be changed to $0 if you wish.

      Thanks again for getting back to us so we could resolve this issue for you.

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  • My experience with GoFundMe

    • Florida,
    • Oct 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    We had nothing but a positive experience with this website. Easy to fill out and do updates, see who was donating and reminders to send thank yous. A lot of communication by email to us to give us ideas of different ways to promote our page, which we followed. We met our goal fairly quickly, which would not have been possible without their help. The money collected was deposited in our account within two business days. This was literally a lifesaver as we needed medication for my husband, which we now have on order.

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

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    • Oct 23, 2018

      GoFundMe T., Customer Happiness Lead

      We're so glad to hear about your experience, Susan! If you need any more help, you know how to get in touch!

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Needed help to edit the text

    • Tennessee,
    • Oct 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    When I saw the story that was written, I wanted to make some edits as far as grammar and spelling. I submitted the corrections I thought would enhance the story and customer service was excellent and served as a mediator to the person who had posted the story and helped fix it. A story should look good, especially if you are trying to get support from people who are educated and successful and you are hoping for their donations. Thank you.

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

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    • Oct 16, 2018

      GoFundMe T., Customer Happiness Lead

      We're so happy that our team was able to help out with your story, Gabriele! We're always happy to help if you need us.

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Customer service needs serious improvement

    • Coronado, CA,
    • Sep 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Now that the DA’s office has decided that I am officially not a criminal, I wanted to say a few things about GoFundMe. I wanted to stop the suicides from occurring on a bridge in my city - The San Diego Coronado Bay Bridge. Caltrans wouldn’t pay for it, so, I went to the public for help.

    Having never started a non-profit or raised money for anything except my Brownie troops Girl Scout cookie campaign, I started the process of creating a 501c3 not for profit corp. But the corporate paperwork was not finalized yet at the time I requested disbursement, resulting in having no corporate bank account for the money to go into. So, they sent it to my personal checking account. I explained this in detail to GoFundMe. They could have easily pointed out that its a FELONY to co-mingle public donations with a private income. That if ANY of that money gets used for anything other than its intended purpose it is a crime punishable by prison time and a hefty fine.

    I was arrested on a Tuesday, by surprise, when I agreed to come into the police station to answer yet another round of questions I’d already answered many times before, the previous month. As soon as I walked in, they handcuffed me and put me in a holding cell…I was alone. No one knew I was there. That’s when the tears began…and they didn’t stop for the next 8 hours that day. I was traumatized to put it mildly. Before that memorable Tuesday, I had never even gotten a J walking ticket. Didn’t matter. I was taken to the regional women’s detention center in the back of a cop car, handcuffed, and held for two felonies that I knew I did not intentionally commit. Ironically – the money was there the entire time, just not in the same account.

    As soon as my name went on the front page of the local newspaper, the news media began calling my cell phone for comment. I am really glad to be able to say that the study is currently underway, and has the full support of the California State Senate, no thanks to GoFundMe. Anytime you’d like to help me out with the $10k in legal fees, GoFundMe, just hit me up and I’ll give you my routing number. I really hope my story helps future dogooders avoid the slammer.

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

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    • Oct 1, 2018

      GoFundMe T., Customer Happiness Lead

      We’re truly sorry for the way things transpired for you, Rhonda. We work hard to keep GoFundMe the safest place to give, and always seek to best guide our customers, so we’d like to clear up what happened here.

      As noted on our site here, we can help campaign organizers safely run campaigns on behalf of legitimate non-profits, and set up withdrawals directly in the organization’s information: https://support.gofundme.com/hc/articles/204532398-Raising-Funds-for-an-Organization. Since your organization’s non-profit status was not yet finalized at the time, this method would not have applied to you.

      In the event that you personally withdraw funds, it is your responsibility to ensure that funds are appropriately routed to the ultimate recipient, and used for the purpose stated on the campaign. Failure to do so is considered fraud, as noted on our site here: https://support.gofundme.com/hc/en-us/articles/203604694-Reporting-a-GoFundMe. By signing up for GoFundMe, you agree to our terms, outlining these details for managing your campaign.

      We apologize if those details were not fully reviewed, and appreciate your understanding as GoFundMe will cooperate with law enforcement and provide them with any information needed, should a resulting investigation occur.

    • Oct 4, 2018

      esther p.

      A few days ago I started a GoFundMe for school supplies for underprivileged children in rural India. My goal is $1500, I was up to $150 in donations and then suddenly without an explanation, the site refunded the money to the donors. I am super frustrated because there is no person I can talk to find out what happened? I've sent several messages and I am waiting for a response.

    • Oct 7, 2018

      GoFundMe T., Customer Happiness Lead

      We truly apologize for the trouble here, Esther. After reviewing your messages with our team, it looks like our payment processor refunded your donations in error because it was believed you were in an unsupported country. This is something we take very seriously, and we’re working with our payment processor to make things right. We’re currently waiting on the response from them, and we will make sure to follow up with you as soon as we gather more information, so we can get your campaign up and running once more. Please don't hesitate to follow up with us in the email conversation we already have if you have more questions.

    • Oct 8, 2018

      Esther P.

      Thank you for finally being able to address the problem. All of your customer service representatives were very kind and patient. I now hope all will be ok. In my emails, I addressed simple solutions to prevent something like this happening to other campaigners, including why not simply ask first, before assuming the campaigner’s withdrawal information was from an unsupported country? Anyway, I hope they will be considered. Regards.

    • Oct 20, 2018

      Esther P.

      I am sorry to report that after the above messages, things got worse. Suffice to say that GoFundMe closed my campaign giving me no reason and froze me out. As upset as I was, I would have left it at that, but I soon found out that one donor to my campaign has not been reimbursed and $27.50 was taken from the credit card of another donor without his authorization. In addition, GoFundMe told me that they had transferred to my bank credit card from part of the donations. Not so.

      It is a nightmare and so frustrating not to be able to speak to someone on the phone and find out what is going on and why. I have emailed many times but since they closed my campaign, I have not received a single response via email. I just want to put all of this behind me but I can’t because I feel responsible for the people who donated to my campaign, and whose money has not been reimbursing or was withdrawn from their credit card without permission. Does anyone know how I can get this resolved?

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  • Impressive

    • Ohio,
    • Sep 6, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    First time user, a young friend passed away. A fund was set up for her young daughter and husband. It was quick and easy to use, for which I was grateful.

    Subsequent issues:

    1) I didn't get a receipt. I learned from live chat person that I had transposed my email address. He immediately sent me a receipt, resolving the issue.

    2) My bank statement showed a dollar amount from GoFundMe that was not part of my donated amount. I was appalled that there was a fee that was not mentioned in the donation page!

    Live chat guy discovered I had checked a box indicating I'd leave a tip. He said if I had changed my mind he would be happy to resolve, and he did. My bank account was credited within 24 hours.

    So, live chat guy never made me feel foolish, which I strongly appreciated since I felt pretty silly. Next time I WILL leave the tip!. Thank you for the gentle handling of my issues.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Immediate help on campaigns offers quicker relief

    • Centereach, NY,
    • Sep 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am desperately trying to raise enough money to simply register the van I live in to avoid homelessness. I'm fighting the clock so when my campaign was not quite right, I needed technical support quickly. Help was minutes away as if the person's nickname is "The Flash." The assistance provided corrected the situation and my campaign is up and running. Now I can only hope strangers are as kind, friendly, and caring as the GoFundMe staff is because then the fund income-generating website may fund my project, and help me in my dream of maintaining van housing until I finish the screenplay I'm writing.

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

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  • Great organization and best customer service

    • Austin, TX,
    • Sep 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    My family used GoFundMe to raise fund for my aunt who was murdered and did not have benefits at work. It was a great way to reach out to hundreds of people quickly and easily to get the support that was needed. There was a mix up with the account information for the deposit, and the account had be deactivated. I sent an email to the customer service or their "customer happiness" at 7:16 pm. At 7:24 pm I got a response with all of the information needed to resolve the problem. I also received a follow-up email 30 minutes later thanking my family for using GoFundMe and making sure we didn't need any additional assistance. I would definitely recommend GoFundMe for the ease of use and great service.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Great service

    • Nairnshire, Scotland,
    • Sep 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I would thoroughly recommend this service for your fundraising event. The customer service is second to none, and any issues you might have are dealt with swiftly and very professionally. Nothing is to much trouble if any problems do arise. Thank you for helping me with my fundraising event.

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

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