About GoFundMe

By HighYa Research Team
Updated on: Apr 17, 2020

GoFundMe is a social fundraising platform that provides tools to raise money for people, causes and organizations including medical expenses, charities, education, and even for animals and pets. Since the company’s founding, over $9 billion has been raised for people and causes from over 120 million donations.

Founded in 2010 in 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 253 closed complaints and a 4-star rating with 115 customer reviews (as of April 2020)

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

GoFundMe is an online social fundraising destination that helps you raise money for something in which you strongly believe in

In fact, when compared to their competition, GoFundMe allows you to raise money for almost anything you want—including school tuition, medical expenses, charities, community projects even for animals and pets—as long as it’s not illegal and is within the company’s terms of service.

The company states that getting your personal fundraisers underway takes less than a minute, and there are no required deadlines or time limits. Depending on the type of fundraiser 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:

  1. Create your GoFundMe Account
  2. Share your fundraiser with friends, family, and other networks to get the word out about your cause
  3. Collect online donations
  4. Update and thank donors

GoFundMe Pricing and Support

GoFundMe has a 0% platform fee. The company relies on the generosity of its community through voluntary tips to cover the costs of its services and technology, including around the clock customer service, trust & safety protections and social fundraising technology. There is an industry-standard credit card processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per donation.

As perhaps an overly simplistic example, if your campaign raised $1,000 among 20 contributions, you’d pay $35 in processing 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.

GoFundMe has the industry’s first and only refund policy, GoFundMe Guarantee which ensures the funds raised go to the intended recipient. If misuse is detected, the company will refund donors.

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.

If necessary, you can reach the GoFundMe Happiness team (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:

  • GoFundMe community has raised more than $9 billion for people, causes and organizations
  • Completely free to start and run a fundraiser
  • Fundraiser topics are completely open, as long as they’re within the company’s terms of service (i.e. not promoting anything illegal, or containing 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:

  • The industry-standard payment processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per donation applies for all fundraisers

Customer Reviews

Start your review of GoFundMe:
  • 896 Customer Reviews
  • 84% Recommend This Company
4.3 out of 5
5 star: 76% 4 star: 8% 3 star: 0% 2 star: 1% 1 star: 12%

 Our Promise to You

To safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

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  • Funds Raised For My Son

    • By Deborah Frey,
    • Shermans Dale, PA,
    • Jan 17, 2016
    Overall Experience:

    Money was being raised or my son to have a second lung transplant and medical. We never saw a penny. It was almost impossible to get any withdrawal of the funds. My son has since died and we could have used to funds for the funeral. This has shown me that GoFundMe is a scam and that they are scamming people in need.

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


  • Dissapointed Father

    • By Anonymous,
    • Feb 9, 2016
    Overall Experience:

    Our Daughter was diagnosed with kidney cancer, and required her kidney and the tumor to be removed. Our friend set the account up, and it didn't take long for the money to start flowing in. It was a huge help as the bills didn't take long to start flowing in. Not to mention the hidden costs you don't think of, as we were traveling to and from the hospital often. Having to eat out regularly, gas, etc. We set the account up to auto deposit, which was a huge stress eliminator.

    And that's where the benefit ends. Auto deposit was a mistake. We are nearing the end of her treatment, and I finally had the brain power and time to do the math. 17% -- that is what this web site has charged in fees. That is straight up highway robbery. In our case, that was around $2000 of donations taken from a little girl in 5 months.

    I am absolutely disgusted with GoFundMe's fees. I will never donate to a GoFundMe site. I'd rather spend the time and gas money to hand deliver a check than fund these thieves.

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


  • Rip Off

    • By Katie,
    • Nova Scotia, Canada,
    • Feb 21, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Let me start by saying that I really wish I had done better research before I used the GoFundMe site. After claiming they do not have any fees, they take nearly 8% of donations people give in good faith. They won't deal with PayPal, but rather use WePay, which charges 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction. To add insult to injury, they claim that they have five minutes of online support, when in fact, they don't even answer your questions at all. People, do NOT use this site! I am totally disappointed in this experience and feel ripped off and let down. I highly suggest you reject this site. FAIL.

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


  • Donations Were Not Given to the Intended Recipients

    • By Anonymous,
    • Kansas,
    • Apr 11, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Two of my grandchildren were killed in a horrific car crash two days before Christmas. A friend of my granddaughter's set up a Fofundme account to help our family. Many of our friends and co-workers donated to the account. My daughter (the mother of the children who were killed) has attempted to withdraw the funds about twenty times, and every attempt has failed. The support from Gofundme has been useless. My daughter is in too much grief to deal with the frustration of the Gofundme account. I have tried to help her without success. I am about ready to tell the donors that their donations (nearly $6,000) were made in vain because the funds are unavailable to the people they wanted to help and the only beneficiary of their loving concern and generosity is Gofundme.

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


  • Awful business

    Overall Experience:

    This site is a fraud. My family created a account on December 22, 2015 for my sons burial expenses. My son was buried January 4, 2016 and the account was closed down January 21, 2016. Well why is it that we still have not received our check, and after numerous attempts via email. They claim you receive funds in so many days via bank or check. Well, as of today March 2, 2016 we still waiting for something that doesn't belong to them and what's even worst you can't talk to anyone. This site is a fraud and needs to be investigated. Wish my daughter would have done better research before establishing a account. Thumbs down.

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


  • Fees were outrageous

    Overall Experience:

    From my campaign, that was setup to raise funds to help with medical expenses for my children and I when my husband died suddenly, half of what was raised was stolen. The goal was 10.000 dollars. I received 4566.00 and GoFundMe kept the rest out of 9100.00 that was raised. Fees were outrageous and unacceptable.

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


  • I'm very disappointed.

    • By Melody,
    • Mar 23, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    I can say I have been extremely disappointed. I was raising funds to help a family member with the cost of a funeral. We still have not received the money and keep getting excuse after excuse as to why it hasn't deposited into our account. Also, now the money raised is showing 20 less than what was raised initially and that particular 20 was my donation and it shows as if it's coming out of my bank account so that is very odd. I am having a hard time getting in contact with anyone over the phone. They just respond in live chat and so far given me false information about the deposits.

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


  • GoFundMe & WePay are an absolute SCAM!

    Overall Experience:

    I set up a GoFundMe account for a friend who's husband and son were killed in an airplane crash as a way to help them with their expenses.

    After all was said and done and funds were transferred to the widow and her 3 remaining children, GoFundMe & WePay began randomly taking money out of my bank account and was not helpful in resolving issue and continued taking money out of account.

    After repeatedly asking and then demanding for them to delete our account and all information contained therein, I had to dispute the charges with my bank and put a stop payment on any future payments that they may attempt to do.

    I finally had to have our attorney write them a letter and contact the authorities for their illegal activities before they ended up sending an email apologizing and saying that they would willing refund all of the money that they had "taken by accident".

    What a bunch of B.S. They are nothing but a scam company, so beware!

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


  • An absolute joke

    Overall Experience:

    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

    • Mar 26, 2018

      Company Response from GoFundMe, Inc.

      Hi Lorraine,

      We're so sorry to hear about the loss of Lucy and the added stress of the difficulty in withdrawing the funds. When preparing for a funeral, that should be the last thing you have to worry about.

      In reviewing your conversation with us, it looks like it took longer than it should have to verify your information. While these measures are in place to keep everyone safe on GoFundMe, it's clear that undue stress was caused here. As a result, our team waived all fees for your campaign.

      Our team is wishing you peace during a difficult time.


  • Better Business Bureau

    • By Irvin C,
    • Mar 2, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    The BBB has no review of this business. I wonder why it has not been reported.

    I'm already running into problems and want out. Should I contact those who made a donation to contact their credit card companies?

    I noticed on the BBB site there is actually a phone number for Go Fund Me. I'm trying it on Monday

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


  • Cannot get in touch with anyone and cannot get a refund

    Overall Experience:

    Way too hard to get a person on the line. Never intended to do monthly donations to one project. Now cannot get it stopped nor refunded. Help!

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


Showing 1-11 of 896

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