How does the money I raise get to my account?
FreeFunder uses Stripe as our payment processor. When you create your campaign, you'll add a Stripe email address so that donations go directly to your account.
If you already have a Stripe account, entering your email address will connect that account to FreeFunder. If you don't have an account yet, Stripe will create one for you. You'll receive an email from Stripe with a link that will let you set your account up - be sure to do this! Once your Stripe account is set up, any donations made to your campaign will go straight to your Stripe account, and then to your bank account.
Stripe charges a fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction - this goes to Stripe, FreeFunder does not take any part of that.
Usually the first transfer from your Stripe Account to your Bank Account happens 7 days after the first donation, and then every day after that on a rolling 2 day basis. To look up past and scheduled Payouts, you can log into your Stripe Account and click on the "Payouts" link in the left menu.
What happens if I don't reach my goal?
Campaign Owners receive the money donated immediately, so even if you don't hit your goal you'll keep whatever you raise. This means that FreeFunder is intended for personal causes where "every dollar counts," rather than for projects which would require you to hit a specific goal in order for it to work.
Are there any fees on donations made to my campaign?
FreeFunder does not charge any fees, we rely on optional donations. Stripe, the payment processor, takes 2.9% + $0.30 for each transaction. Every payment processor (Stripe, PayPal, WePay) takes a fee like that, and Stripe's rate is the same as the others.
The difference between FreeFunder and other sites is that FreeFunder does not take a platform fee - most other crowdfunding sites will charge their own platform fee (usually 5%) PLUS there is the payment processor's fee, which is unavoidable.
What are the tax implications for the Campaign Owner and for Contributors?
The answer to this depends on your specific situation, so we recommend checking with your tax advisor.
If you are the Campaign Owner, the bank account that is connected to your campaign is the one that may have tax implications. If you are raising money for someone else, you may want to have the money go directly to their bank account instead of to your own. In some cases you may be able to write off the amount you received because it was gifted to you rather than received as income, but again, you should check with your tax advisor to be sure.
If you are a Contributor, you may be able write off some donations, depending on the situation. If this is important to you, make sure you consult with a tax advisor prior to donating.
If FreeFunder is free, how does it stay in business?
In true crowdfunding style, FreeFunder relies on the voluntary donations of campaign contributors! We do not take any part of the donation to your campaign. Instead, when someone is making a donation they will see a recommended donation to FreeFunder as well. The person donating can choose to donate a small amount to FreeFunder, or they can click on that recommended donation link and change the donation to zero.
How can I make sure my fundraiser is successful?
While there is no way to guarantee success, there are a few things you can do to make it more likely that your campaign will succeed.
- First, make sure you have a compelling and detailed description. People are not likely to donate unless they understand who you are, who the beneficiary is, what happened, and why they need help.
- Send personal emails to at least 10 of your close friends and family right at the beginning of the campaign. Get some momentum going, and be sure to share your campaign regularly!
- Make sure to add a great photo, and preferably more than one. You can add more photos in the description section.
- Show urgency by defining the specific thing that you need to raise money for and when you need it by. If you are vague, it is unlikely to work. If you have a specific need within a specific time frame, people are more likely to understand the importance of helping.
- Always thank the people who donate, and be sure to post updates about the progress at least once per week.
What if my campaign ends and I want to continue fundraising?
You can easily extend your campaign at any time by logging in to your FreeFunder account and clicking the "Manage This Campaign" link. Head to the "Publish" tab and you'll find the options to extend your campaign near the bottom.
Can I raise money for a business on FreeFunder?
FreeFunder is designed to be used for personal causes, so those are best. You could potentially raise money for a business, but you cannot offer rewards or investment opportunities, so you may find it difficult. Campaign Owners keep all the money they raise, regardless of their goal, so make sure you're only creating campaigns where "every dollar counts" rather than one in which a failure to reach your donation goal makes the project impossible to complete.