Does have ethical or legal limitations on what they will permit?

2014-07-13-GoFundMe2 is a crowdsource funding organization, essentially letting people donate money for specific causes, collaborative charity on an individual scale. Their purpose? 5% of all donations made. doesn’t seem to be particular about where their paycheck comes from. Witness Sierra Westika’s e-begging for money to mutilate her son.

What I wonder is whether there are limits? Can I crowdsource my baby girl’s circumcision? What about an abortion. How much should one ask for an abortion? How about breast augmentation surgery for my 5 year old daughter?

Below is a letter I’ve sent to via their contact form. I await their response.

Subject: Does have restrictions on what one can ask money for?

It has come to my attention that a user, Sierra Westika is asking for funds to perform non medically necessary surgery on her infant child.

Are there restrictions on what will accept? For example, can one crowd-fund for an abortion, or an illegal act, such as the purchase of drugs or the service of murder?

Please understand that my question is not intended as vexatious or frivolous, as I intend to share your response (or non-response should it be the case) with my social network and perhaps, based on the response, journalistic media.

I’ve searched for some indication of what is impermissible, and the only limitation I’ve found was fraud under the guise of disaster relief. If I’ve missed your policy on this, please excuse me as you direct me to the document.

Thank you,

Francis Roy
Québec, Canada.

As an aside, I was amused by the CAPTCHA challenge.


Update: has responded.


Meghan (GoFundMe Customer Happiness)

Jul 14 07:53 AM

Mr. Roy,

Thank you for your message. We are aware of the controversy surrounding the page. GoFundMe is a neutral platform that allows people to raise money for their cause. Anyone can use GoFundMe as long as their campaign is not breaking the law or in violation of our terms and conditions.

I will have our community managers look in to this further.

Thank you,


We’re here to help! I’ll try my best to respond within 5 minutes during normal business hours.
Customer Happiness, GoFundMe

Having read read the terms and conditions, their answer boils down to “If it’s not illegal, do it.”

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One thought on “Does have ethical or legal limitations on what they will permit?

  1. Alex says:

    They say they want to be neutral and allow anything that doesn’t explicitly break the law, and yet they’ve explicitly banned supporting abortion in their TOS, a procedure that’s perfectly legal. Probably because one or some of the owners of GoFundMe find it personally objectionable. Too bad they don’t feel the same way about permanently mutilating babies.

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