Answering Your Questions on How to Fundraise for Ukraine Relief

| 8 min read Uncategorized

Our mission is to help people help each other. We have been inspired by our global GoFundMe community doing just that – immediately taking action to help people impacted by the crisis in Ukraine.

In fact, as of March 14, more than 350,000 donors from 140 countries have generously contributed to a GoFundMe related to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Together, we’ve raised over $50 million to help those in need. 

We remain committed to distributing funds as quickly as possible while balancing speed ​​with safety to ensure your fundraiser is in compliance with global laws and regulations. Many of the funds raised are already in the hands of those who need immediate relief. 

This is a complex and ever-changing situation – moving money during a war is complicated and involves specific compliance checks. We are working around the clock to protect you, our donors, and fundraiser organizers, to ensure all fundraising efforts are in compliance with U.S. and international laws and regulations, and within our Terms of Service. Our Trust & Safety verification process can take time. For more information on our proactive Trust & Safety measures, see here.

We’re answering your questions below on how to fundraise for relief efforts and what may be required during our Trust & Safety verification process: 

How can I help Ukraine? 

The fastest, safest, and most helpful way to help those in need is through charities working on the ground:

  • Donate to a verified fundraiser that supports relief efforts. Our Trust & Safety team has verified the fundraisers on the Ukraine Relief hub and will continue to add verified fundraisers to it as more become available.
  • Start a certified charity fundraiser for a verified organization providing critical support to those affected. 

Why is my fundraiser under review? 

Our Trust & Safety team is carefully reviewing fundraisers related to this crisis. This is an important step to ensure the fundraiser is in compliance with the evolving regulations, international laws, strictly enforced policies from our payment partners, and our Terms of Service. It’s also important that we protect the generosity of all donors by ensuring that any funds raised on GoFundMe can be delivered as intended by the organizer. 

What details do I need to provide to help the fundraiser review process? 

To speed up the review process, we recommend you include the following details in your fundraiser description: 

  • All cities where funds and assistance are being sent. Specificity is important here – please include the name of the city, town, or village. We cannot accept generally stated regions or territories.  
  • Clearly detail the purpose of the fundraiser and how the funds will be used. This can include, but is not limited to, accommodation costs of newly emigrated individuals, travel, medical supplies, and clothing for refugees. 
  • If you are distributing funds to an organization after withdrawing to your bank account, you must list the organization’s name on your fundraiser and you will be expected to agree, in writing, that you will transfer funds to that organization.
  • If you are sending funds to an individual or group of individuals, such as sending support to your family or colleagues, we will need to know all their names. If you do not want to list them on the GoFundMe page, you will need to send them to us separately via email. Please know that this may add time to the review process.

Why do you need my documentation? 

As part of our review process to distribute the funds raised, we may need to gather additional documentation to verify your identity or the identity of the recipient. We know getting money to people as quickly as possible is important, however, this is necessary to meet payment processor requirements and ensure the fundraiser is compliant with our Terms of Service. The information you share is only required for internal GoFundMe verification purposes and will be used in compliance with our Privacy Notice:

Why do you need the full names of the people I’m fundraising for, and can they remain anonymous? 

When money is transferred to individuals or organizations through GoFundMe fundraisers, we are required to abide by all applicable U.S. and international laws and rules set by our payment processors. This means we are required to verify personal information and identification of anyone receiving funds. Unfortunately, we are unable to make an exception. If you prefer to share this information privately, you can do so via email with our Trust & Safety team. Please know that this may add time to the review process.

How long will the review process take? Can you expedite it? 

After sharing the details requested by our Trust & Safety team, a member of our team will review the information and provide you with an update within 5 business days. Please know we’ve dedicated as many people as possible to review all fundraisers and are working around the clock to try and expedite the process.

Why can’t I get my funds immediately?  

We are required to verify the identity of anyone raising the funds, the intended recipients, as well as the reason for raising funds to ensure it is in accordance with applicable laws. As part of this process, it may take some time while we work with you to complete required reviews. This time for review may increase during high-volume times. We appreciate your patience as we work as quickly as possible to support you and your fundraising efforts.  

When will my funds be distributed? 

Our goal is to release all funds as quickly as possible, however, at times, we may require additional information which may delay fund transfers. The best way to ensure your funds are released in a timely manner is to provide as many details as possible in your fundraiser description, as we outlined above. We also recommend keeping a close eye on your email for any outreaches, verification requests, or updates from our Trust & Safety team. 

Why haven’t I heard from you yet? 

Our Trust & Safety team will communicate with you through the email address you used to set up your GoFundMe account and fundraiser. Please be sure to monitor the email address for any important updates or notifications from our team that impact your ability to continue fundraising. If you are not receiving notifications from our GoFundMe team, please check your spam mail folder. 

Why did you remove my fundraiser? 

This is a complex situation that continues to evolve as new information is released by governmental agencies. At this time, we are not allowing fundraising for the following causes: 

  • Any war effort support, regardless of the country, which can include funding weapons, any supplies to soldiers, and propaganda.
  • Travel to any location to support military or propaganda efforts.
  • Any fundraisers in violation of our Terms of Service and our processing partners terms of service.

What happens to the money when you remove a fundraiser? 

When a personal fundraiser is removed after raising funds, we will notify the organizer and proactively refund all donors. What matters to us most is that donor intentions are honored. When that’s not possible due to complex laws and regulations covering a war zone, donors will get their money back.

For fundraisers that benefit a charity, we may be unable to approve delivery of funds if the charity supports any of the following causes:

  • Any war effort support, regardless of the country, which can include funding weapons, any supplies to soldiers, and propaganda.
  • Travel to any location to support military or propaganda efforts.
  • Any activities in violation of our Terms of Service and our processing partners terms of service.

In such a case, we will work with the person who started the fundraiser to select another organization to donate to and all donors will be notified about the change. Donors will be able to request a refund if they don’t want to support the newly chosen charity. 

Can I raise funds for the military? 

We do not allow GoFundMe to be used for funding weapons or military activity. This violates our Terms of Service

Can I raise money for my employees who are now refugees? 

We will request additional information to understand how the funds will be used, details about your company organizing the fundraiser, the full names of the individuals based in Ukraine receiving funds, and their locations. Should we require further clarification, we may request additional information including a copy of your employee verification policy.  

Written by Brittany Chambers

I believe we all have the power to make a difference. Through informative and heartfelt content, I hope to create change and inspire others to give back to those who need it most.