How to Determine if a Fundraiser is Legitimate

Is GoFundMe Legit?

With over $9 billion raised from more than 120 million donations, GoFundMe offers users a proven and legitimate platform for fundraising. Our primary goal is to ensure that all of the funds raised on our platform are used only as stated in the fundraiser story. We also work to ensure that all donations are delivered securely to the right person. As part of this, GoFundMe relies on the help of our community to keep GoFundMe secure. Below are some guidelines and questions you can use to determine a fundraiser's legitimacy.

You should be able to answer the following questions by reading the fundraiser:

  1. How is the organizer related to the intended recipient of the donations?
  2. What is the purpose of the fundraiser and how will the funds be used?
  3. Are direct family and friends making donations and leaving supportive comments?
  4. Is the intended recipient in control of the withdrawals? If not, is there a clear path for the funds to reach them?

If any of the points above are missing on the fundraiser, we encourage you to message the organizer by clicking 'Contact' next to their name on their fundraiser to ask for more information.

donor and organizer discussing fundraiser legitimacy

Important: You may be wondering what it means when a GoFundMe has surpassed its goal but is still accepting donations. 

More often than not, it simply means that the fundraiser is getting more traffic than the organizer expected, and they may not be aware of the option to increase the goal from within their GoFundMe dashboard. 

While the organizer is always able to raise the goal amount if they see fit, some may prefer to leave the goal as is, regardless of whether or not the goal was met. Leaving the goal the same is not a sign of misuse and should not be a cause for any concern as to a fundraiser’s legitimacy.

If the fundraiser includes the points above but you are still unsure, ask yourself the following:

  1. Does the GoFundMe include intentionally misleading or factually incorrect information?
  2. Are the funds not being used for the stated purpose within a reasonable amount of time (including withholding funds from the beneficiary)?
  3. Is the GoFundMe impersonating someone else and/or copying their story?
  4. Is the GoFundMe violating any of our terms and conditions?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, please click here to learn how to Report a Fundraiser.

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