Start a GoFundMe Page?
GoFundMe has become increasingly popular in recent years. It makes sense. Times are tough for a lot of people. It’s no secret that I started a GoFundMe page for my son because we found ourselves in a dire situation.
But, if you go to the GoFundMe site to start one, right away you’re hit with your call to action. They want you to start one. So you see several places to click that option before you see explanations. In fact, it’s not until you go to the Q&A page that you will find most of your answers. And the link to that is way down at the bottom of the first page.
Now that I’m a little over 6 weeks into mine, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned about running a GoFundMe page.
What to know before starting a GoFundMe page
- The money you receive from your GoFundMe page is a gift. What that means is- there may be tax implications for whoever receives the money. That may be important to know before you start. I’m not a tax attorney nor do I play one on the internet. So ask one if you have questions.
- They have amazing customer service. No, really, they do. I had a few questions early on and they were amazing at getting back to me with full explanations.
- Plan it before you actually do it. Gather up your photos and write down your story in Microsoft Word or something first. And set aside the time to do a good one. I was feeling desperate so I literally came home from the grocery store and did it. Now I wish I had taken more time and written some things a bit differently.
- GoFundMe is not a bank. They do not want to be subject to banking laws and regulations which makes sense. Those same laws also dictate that since they are not a bank, they cannot hold your money (donations) for longer than 30 days. Have a bank account set up to accept the funds.
- You can set up a GoFundMe page for a non-profit. If you have a non-profit or want to raise funds for one, you can do that. However, you may want to see if you can set something up for direct donations to avoid the 3% processing fee.
- It’s not as easy as some people make it look. Recently a page for the Philadelphia Mummers raised over $100k in a day! But for most of us, it’s not that easy. You see so many stories “go viral” and you might think it’s easy. It’s not. It takes a lot of hard work. I’ve been at it 6 weeks and am only at about 15% of my goal. And that is with a large social media following. I don’t like fundraising and asking for money so this is way out of my comfort zone anyway. Having to repeatedly ask is difficult. If it wasn’t for my son, I’m not sure I could do it.
- Getting money from strangers is a weird feeling. Don’t get me wrong. I am very grateful that we are receiving the donations as Kevin’s life depends on it. I can’t achieve this goal without the kindness of strangers. However, it has been a very emotional experience and a wide range of emotions that I wasn’t prepared for.
- GoFundMe is the choice you want. Sure, those jerks from NJ are well, jerks. And they made the news. Still, the fraud rate on GoFundMe is extremely low. And GoFundMe is the best-known site for this purpose. Sure, there are others. And if you Google it, you’ll find a list. If you scroll that list, you might think, ‘Ok, yeah, heard of them.’ But none are as well known as GoFundMe.
If you do decide to do this, good luck to you!
See Kevin’s GoFundMe Page.