Why FreeFunder Beats GoFundMe For Fundraising

by John Symonds
If you've ever run or donated to a personal crowdfunding campaign there’s a good chance you’ve heard of GoFundMe. They are by far the largest personal crowdfunding site, raising several million dollars every day through the hundreds of thousands of active campaigns on their site.

But does the fact that GoFundMe is the biggest site make it the best? We think not. Although the front pages will show extremely successful campaigns, you don't see the tens of thousands of unsuccessful campaigns that raised $0 buried deep in the site. And being on a big site doesn't actually help your exposure, as some might expect. Rather, you're now in competition against those hundreds of thousands of other campaigns, and unless you go viral on your own you’re not going to be on that front page.

The reality is that in order for a personal crowd funding campaign to be successful it's going to be largely dependent on your own network of friends and family. Occasionally there are campaigns that get picked up by news outlets or appeal to a broad audience, and those can raise significant amounts from strangers, but even then it all starts with your close personal network in the beginning. The platform itself doesn't make a difference in your campaign’s success, only the campaign itself and your own efforts determine whether or not the fundraiser will work. For more information about what makes a campaign successful or not, please see "Why Your Personal Crowdfunding Campaign Will Make $0."

So, given that the particular site you're on does not determine the success of your fundraiser, how do you choose the best site to use? Let's compare a couple of key features that make FreeFunder a much better choice.

No Platform Fee!
First, FreeFunder does not charge a platform fee. GoFundMe takes 5% of every donation made to your campaign. That's on top of the transaction fee charged by the payment processor, which is typically 2.9% + $0.30 and is unavoidable for anyone accepting credit cards (including FreeFunder). So, apples to apples, FreeFunder charges the fundraiser 0% and GoFundMe charges 5%. (Fees changed in some countries, see edit below)

We Donate!
Second, FreeFunder is the only crowd funding platform that will actually donate to your fundraiser based on shares. We know how important it is to get the word out to your personal network, so we donate $20 to your campaign when you reach 100 Facebook Shares, and another $50 when you reach 500 Facebook Shares. This encourages you to share, but also encourages your friends who may not be able to contribute financially to share as well - this real-world incentive to share can make a HUGE difference in how well your campaign does. GoFundMe does not provide this incentive, only FreeFunder does.

You might be wondering, "How does FreeFunder stay in business if they don’t charge a fee and they actually donate to fundraisers on their site?" In true crowd funding fashion, FreeFunder relies on the voluntary donations of contributors to keep the lights on. For example, if someone donates $20 to your campaign, they have the option to donate $1 (or less, even zero) to FreeFunder as well. In most cases, this is no problem for the person donating, and they willingly make the donation. This way that original $20 goes entirely to the fundraiser, instead of $19 which would happen with GoFundMe.

Over time, this difference is significant! $1 doesn't sound like much, but if you raised $10,000 you're talking about losing $500 that was intended for your fundraiser. Keep that extra 5% by creating your fundraiser on FreeFunder, and even get bonus cash from FreeFunder based on Shares!

Edit regarding GoFundMe Fees, posted Sep 19th, 2019:
About a year after FreeFunder's launch, GoFundMe changed their monetization structure to be very similar to FreeFunder's in some of the countries in which they operate. In those countries, instead of the 5% fee, they have a recommended "tip" amount that goes to the platform. This tip amount defaults to 15%, and can be adjusted between 10 and 20%, or you can manually change this to a custom amount (including zero). In contrast to GoFundMe's default and maximum tip amounts, the highest donation to FreeFunder allowed is 9%, and for any donation over $50 this recommended donation defaults to 5%. 
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FreeFunder Works!

When a beloved veterinarian from Butler, PA received news that a portion of his treatment costs for a life-threatening disease would not be covered by Boston Medical Centre it was time to turn to crowdfunding. Aubrey Kornrumpf, the office assistant for Dr. Denis Daman, created a free fundraising campaign on FreeFunder. Aubrey set a goal of $8,000, which was enough to cover the housing costs that Dr. Daman was suddenly expected to cover.

Within 5 days, the campaign had already raised more than $10,000. By the end of the campaign, more than $14,000 was raised to cover the housing costs as well as food and incidentals.

"Thanks to your generosity, Doc was able to begin his treatments on September 15th... Because of the beautiful hearts of every person who donated here, Doc and Mrs. Daman were not only able to get the housing he needed, but his daily transportation needs are now being met ...In short, those who donated here played a very real part in saving Dr. Daman's life, and repaying the debt to him for his life's work saving others. Needless to say, Dr. Daman is completely overwhelmed by this outpouring of support, and by the realization that his life's work has meant so much to so many. Thank you all, so very much." - Aubrey Kornrumpf

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