When hearing the word crowdfunding, most individuals think about community and donating funds to those in need. It is about having your neighbor’s back and letting them know they have the support they need to get through one of the most challenging times in their life or to bring their creative ideas to life. Luckily, crowdfunding has become more accessible through digital platforms that allow people to make donations with a few clicks on their laptop or taps on their phone.
FreeFunder — founded by John Symonds in 2016 — was the first crowdfunding platform to offer users a place to create their campaigns and hold fundraisers for $0 fees. On top of that, this platform donates up to $70 to your fundraiser based on Facebook shares, has a Text-To-Donate feature that allows you to create a keyword people can text to make their donation, the option to embed the fundraiser on your personal website, and customer support with speedy replies.
We sat down with FreeFunder’s founder and asked him a few key questions that will help you understand why they are the best option when it comes to crowdfunding platforms.
How would you describe FreeFunder?
Any time there is a need, and there is a community interested in meeting that need, FreeFunder is the fastest and easiest way to gather people in one place to donate money and see the progress toward meeting that goal. FreeFunder is for personal crowdfunding. That means it could be for any emergent need like a hospital expense, funeral, or vet bill, but it could also be for raising money for a honeymoon, a mission trip, or a little league team.
How is FreeFunder different from GoFundMe?
Instead of charging the 5% fee that GoFundMe did, we would charge zero. Instead of charging a platform fee, we rely on optional donations from contributors. When GoFundMe changed their model to do this same thing about a year after we started, we had little to differentiate us anymore. But I think that no industry should have only one major player. The competition encourages innovation and quality improvements.
Today, FreeFunder continues to look for new ways to improve the experience for users while still being free of platform fees. Already we have added Text-To-Donate, embeddable fundraisers, and live event support. We are the only fundraising platform that actually donates to the campaigns on our platform based on the super important act of sharing and encouraging friends to share on social media.
How can you build the sense of community that stands behind crowdfunding through FreeFunder?
Each fundraiser is based on its own community. Many people don’t realize that no one is out there clicking through fundraisers and deciding what they should support. In almost every case, the person who creates the fundraiser needs to activate their own community, starting with close friends and family to get momentum going and then spreading the word through social media sharing. FreeFunder has a seven-day email sequence that helps prompt people to do the things that work well and help them get the most from their fundraiser.
How do you make your users trust you?
Transparency and fast customer support. We are happy to answer questions and help people through their concerns. We have also begun collecting Facebook reviews to help bolster credibility.
From the stories you have seen through your website, is there one that stood out to you?
Shortly after the pandemic forced the shutdown of most businesses and gatherings across the US, one of the Hackensack Golf Club members in New Jersey created a fundraiser for the caddies. The caddies that worked there were independent, not employees, so they were ineligible for unemployment benefits even though they were unable to work.
Leo Glynn rallied the other golf club members and raised nearly $70,000 for those caddies, which bridged the gap for them until the golf courses could reopen.
What is something you would like FreeFunder to be remembered by?
Innovation, ease of use, and friendly customer service.
John Symonds understands how necessary crowdfunding has become in the last few years, and he does not want people to find themselves stuck with no way to raise the funds they need. For that reason, FreeFunder is a crowdfunding platform created with users in mind. Every feature added was designed to make fundraisers more accessible and donations easier. They are the crowdfunding platform you should be using for your campaigns because they honestly want you to succeed.