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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883 Consumer Reviews for GoFundMe

Average Consumer Rating: 4.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 684 4 star: 70 3 star: 7 2 star: 18 1 star:  104
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
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Wonderful customer service at GoFundMe

    • Georgia,
    • Sep 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I wrote and asked about an old account of mine. It turns out that I was confused about some things and needed help. I got one of the kindest, clearest emails that I think I've ever received, and I'm sixty-six. It was perfect in every way. I was so grateful. I think we all wish that our exchanges could be that helpful and pleasant.

    Thank you GoFundMe!

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

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  • My daughter has been trying to get access to her funds for more than 10 days.

    • Cleveland, OH,
    • Sep 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Setting up the campaign was easy. Access to funds keeps getting "reviewed." I have reached out to go fund me several times, but keep getting responses to review "setting up beneficiary." We feel we have received NO help. I keep asking to talk to a real person, but I read that we are not allowed to do that. They take out large fees, but no one from GoFundMe has been even willing to step in to help. Their home and all belongings were lost in the Carr Fire in Redding. They need the funds to stay in a hotel. PLEASE HELP!

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

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    • Sep 12, 2018

      GoFundMe T., Customer Happiness Lead

      We apologize for the inconvenience caused here, but we're happy to say we were able to get in touch with your daughter, and she confirmed she was able to receive the funds. If you ever do need any more help, we're always available via email here: https://www.gofundme.com/contact

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  • GoFundMe support team

    • New Zealand,
    • Sep 1, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The GoFundMe help and support team are an amazing group of people, who help extremely fast, despite what they are doing. They find just the right help that you need. I assure you that you won't be disappointed with the team at GoFundMe.

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

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  • Very fast and helpful...

    • British Columbia, Canada,
    • Sep 1, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had a technical problem with my password a few days ago and needed a password reset but became frustrated as the automated process wasn't working. Despite several attempts, I never received the promised re-set password email with the reset link, so I finally contacted customer support directly.

    I received an email response very quickly and was given a link that allowed me to re-set in the same email.

    Very polite, efficient and friendly.

    So, while not impressed with their automated system, I was very impressed by their people.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    High fees

    • Indiana,
    • Aug 31, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    We recently donated $100 to a GoFundMe page and were charged 15% on top of our donation. The GoFundMe page says they charge $.30 per donation and possibly up to 7.9% on other donations. So where did my $15 fee come from and can I claim this on my taxes? It appears that the GoFundMe people are funding themselves very well off of innocent people attempting to help others.

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

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    • Sep 12, 2018

      GoFundMe T., Customer Happiness Lead

      Appreciate you writing in, Jon, and our apologies for any confusion. Rather than a $15 fee, it sounds like you may have left a voluntary tip to GoFundMe. However, since this was unintentional, we can absolutely refund that for you immediately. We’ll just need to track down your donation. Would you be able to share the name and/or link to the campaign you had donated to, so we can issue your refund?

      We also wanted to clarify the fee structure. There is a standard payment processing fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 per donation that allows for credit card processing and safe transfer of funds. Additionally, only donations made to a legally-registered non-profit or charity may be considered eligible for donors to claim as a tax deduction.

      Lastly, we wanted to let you know that leaving a tip is certainly not mandatory. When donating, the tip amount can be changed to $0. Just select 'Other' as your tip amount, then enter $0.00 to avoid leaving any optional tip, as seen here: https://i.imgur.com/P8JVYyP.png

      We hope to hear back from you!

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    A note of appreciation

    • Arnhem, The Netherlands,
    • Aug 31, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    We do find GoFundMe truly wonderful and there is no way we can imagine for someone to be unsatisfied. The girls who have been helping us, Christina S., Lindsay, Kas, and Ruki made us believe that there are at least four reasons why your team has the right to be called the customer happiness team. The girls have helped us so much. They replied to all our inquiries in detail, supported us (the people they did not know) as much as they could, encouraged us, had our backs, kept the correspondence very professional, always worked as a team and Lindsay even uploaded our problematic images to the campaign page.

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

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