I may well have gained the wrong impression when I signed up for GoFundMe, the crowdfunding site, the other day. I had thought it was one of those crowdfunding sites where you can create your campaign and get it out there right away. Looks like I was wrong, and I may well consider deleting it completely over the next week or so.
What’s wrong with it? Well, there are things you need to know about the publicity side of GoFundMe which are not immediately obvious, and which are not explained when you sign up. You need to search for these pieces of information, and you need to know that you need to search.
You must have a Facebook profile. If you don’t have a Facebook profile your campaign will not be put into the public search area. No matter what you put in to search, your own campaign will not appear, not even be hinted at. This is explained, in a manner of speaking, when you create your campaign. I limit the level of explanation because it was not clear, as I signed on and created my campaign, that this was the case. There was merely the repeated hint that you can raise far more money, more donations, if you use Facebook to publicize. Of course, this is a no-brainer for anyone who has Facebook, they are going to link their campaign there no matter what.
Photo Source: Platform 4 – Creative Commons
However, it goes a stage further, and this is something you need to search for: linking to Facebook does not automatically bring your campaign into the public area. It can still not be searched for. You need to have a Tag – a subject area such as Medical, Business, Charity – which can only be put in to your campaign by a member of GoFundMe’s staff. So, someone reviews the campaign; not a bad thing. However, it goes another level deeper: you can only get a Tag when you are linked to Facebook and have at least ten friends there. And we’re still not through: you also have to have raised your first five hundred; and that means family and friends who you will no doubt already have tapped for cash and help. And, of course, it means a good profit guaranteed for GoFundMe, who take five percent of donations. Offline donations, in this case, do not count.
So, in order to go public on GoFundMe you need to link to an active Facebook profile with at least ten friends and raise your first five hundred. Information which is not given out to you at the start of your journey into crowdfunding with this site. Had it been I would not have even clicked further on GoFundMe. The world doesn’t revolve around Facebook, no matter how much of the Internet it has taken over, and the idea of hitting on family and friends just to get into the public sphere, which is something most people will already have done anyway, strikes me as being well below the belt. A big thumbs down to GoFundMe and their hidden conditions.
Love & Kisses, Viki.