'Logistical nightmare': GoFundMe organizer frustrated by fund withdrawal process
SUDBURY -- A Sudbury area woman is cautioning others about the fund withdrawal process for a popular online crowdfunding platform after money raised takes over a month to be released.
Chantelle Gorham says she has been in contact with GoFundMe for over a month after nearly $30,000 was raised to support two families affected by a tragic New Year's Day car crash on a northern Ontario highway.
"I don't recommend anyone who is raising funds with a timeline to use them," said Gorham.
On Tuesday, a day after CTV News ran the story on the delay, Gorham says she received notification that the funds are finally scheduled to be released Wednesday, Feb. 5.
An email sent to Gorham from the site's community management team states:
"Our team has reviewed your campaign and lifted the precautionary hold on the payment account.
The withdrawal is scheduled to be sent on February 5, 2020. Keep in mind that once a withdrawal starts, it will take 2-5 business days to arrive in the account."
An explanation provided by Dave, from GoFundMe's trust & safety team, states that the company wants to ensure that the money gets to the right people.
"Our number one goal is the safety of our giving community and ensuring that fund always reaches those intended. When a campaign is created on behalf of another individual or family, as in this case, our team takes the necessary steps to verify the banking information and flow of funds to the beneficiary.
With funds from this campaign being shared between two families, we required permission directly from each family before the funds were transferred. This layer of protection makes sure that the funds go only into the right hands," said Caitlin Stanley, of GoFundMe.
The crash killed Uche Osagie's three young children and seriously injured another boy and his mother that were travelling with them.
Gorham felt inspired to create the online fundraiser to help the two local women with the costs incurred as a result of the collision just days after it happened.
A funeral for 11-year-old Destiny, 10-year-old Flourish, and 6-year-old Britney was held Jan.18.
The 10-year-old boy who survived remains in SickKids hospital.
"If you’re relying on a platform such as GoFundMe for emergency money, it’s not the platform for you, because time is of no issue to them," said Gorham.