Entrepreneurship

Is GoFundMe legit?

Fundraising

GoFundMe is a for-profit platform based in the United States. This social fundraising platform allows individuals and organizations to showcase projects they want to fundraise for.

The company claims to have raised over $9 billion so far. But have you wondered if the money actually gets to the people they are donating to? What is GoFundMe’s commitment to its users? It is scamming you, or is it legit?

This article discusses whether GoFundMe is a legitimate donation platform, how it is used, and how to stay safe from scams.

Is GoFundMe a scam?

Short Answer:

GoFundMe is a legitimate crowdfunding platform. However, scammers can use it to conduct fake campaigns. They can scam you through this platform and you can lose your money if you don’t choose the right campaign to support.

GoFundMe is an American-based for-profit platform, where individuals and new organizations can present their projects or causes they want to collect donations for. It has become the world’s biggest platform for crowdfunding for social purposes. It is mostly used by individuals in times of crisis to raise money for personal causes. 

is gofundme legit or a scam

GoFundMe’s purpose is to ensure that the money raised through donations is only used for the stated purposes. But what does that really mean, and can you trust them with your money?

In our view, GoFundMe is a legitimate platform for crowdfunding. The company verifies that you’re associated with the cause or organization you’re fundraising for, so scammers can’t use the site to steal money. Verifying your status as a legal non-profit organization is relatively easy. 

When you raise funds for an organization or cause you are not directly associated with, the process becomes more complicated. When GoFundMe cannot fund a campaign due to verification issues, the funds are returned to the donors, so there’s no way the company can benefit by not supporting a campaign.

If you still have concerns about GoFundMe, you may find the following questions helpful in understanding if it is worth it as a fundraising platform.

1. Is GoFundMe trustworthy?

GoFundMe takes fraud campaigns seriously. They have a team dedicated to keeping track of any fraud happening in the system.

Check out this video on how GoFundMe deals with fraud in their system:

 

A per their official website,

GoFundMe is dedicated to empowering people to help people, and we do this by carefully reviewing each campaign on our platform. An overwhelming majority of campaigns on the site are safe and legitimate, as fraudulent campaigns make up less than one-tenth of 1% of all campaigns on GoFundMe.

2. Can you get scammed on GoFundMe?

Misleading campaigns are often launched on GoFundMe with the intention of taking advantage of the generosity of others.

GoFraudMe.com” is a site that helps users spot fraudulent GoFundMe accounts, and also explains how to unravel them.

Here are some red flags that you should consider when trying to spot these fraudsters:

  • Find out specific details regarding the recipient’s ties to the victim/family.
  • Find multiple images of the organizer.
  • Check if there is a video from the organizer.
  • Check if images were taken from the internet.
  • Check their social media presence.

3. Does GoFundMe guarantee refunds?

Yes, GoFundMe provides refunds. 

The ideal way to request a refund on GoFundMe is to reach out to the charity or campaign organizer first before contacting GoFundMe. Refunds can be processed much more quickly when they come from the charity or organizer. 

If you cannot reach the charities or organizers directly, you can contact GoFundMe directly. They will need some basic details from you such as your email address, the amount of your donation, and which campaign or charity you donated to. Once everything gets verified, they will process the refund.

4. How to report a scam?

Simply go to the campaign’s page, scroll down to the bottom, and click the report button:

gofundme report

Here, you’ll see several options. Even though it’s obvious which one you should choose, we’re going to tell you anyway:

report-gofundme

5. Are there any GoFundMe policies that make the platform secure?

Yes, GoFundMe has policies that allow guarded use of the collections.

  1. One of the main policies is that the amount collected will directly go to the cause or the person for which the fund was raised in the first place. This prevents the misuse of funds for any personal cause.
  2. For the payment procedure, the donations are paid through the use of secure payment encryption technology.
  3. GoFundMe also refunds the money back in case of its use for fraudulent purposes.

6. What amount does GoFundMe take?

GoFundMe offers the choice between two different pricing structures- Free, and Flex.

  1. Using the free option, you do not have to pay any platform fee. An industry-standard processing fee is charged with 1.9% + $0.30 per donation. They have the option to tip to GoFundMe charity from their crowdfunding amount.
  2. In the flex pricing structure, a 3% platform fee is charged with an industry-standard payment processing fee of 2.2% + $0.30 per donation.

Click here to know more about the GoFundMe projects. Also, find out about another popular crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter.

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