If a campaign does not hit its goal, what happens next depends on if the campaign is a Keep-it-all or an All-or-nothing type.
The campaign owner may have mentioned their chosen campaign type in their story. If not, you can find the type in a few ways. The easiest is – if the campaign owner chooses to show this information – in the Owner information section directly under the share bar:
However, as this information is not always there, you can always tell by what words appear after the amount raised in a campaign.
If the campaign in question is the All-or-nothing type, the word ‘pledged’ appears by the amount raised and ‘All or nothing’ appears under the ‘Contribute’ button.
If the campaign is the Keep-it-all type, the word ‘raised’ will appear instead and nothing reads under the ‘Contribute’ button:
Now onto the original question – What happens if the campaign I contribute to does not meet its goal? #
For All-or-nothing campaigns #
Your contribution is a ‘pledge,’ where the promise of a transaction is given by you and held until either the deadline or the goal is reached.
Your credit card or PayPal account will not be charged if the goal is not reached within the timespan.
If the goal is reached, you will be charged the specified amount. This might happen before the deadline if the campaign hits its goal early. You may have extra fees from your credit card company or PayPal if you do not have the funds available, so perhaps set yourself a reminder!
For Keep-it-all campaigns #
Your contribution is an immediate transaction, with the funds going directly toward the campaign owner’s Stripe or PayPal account, no matter whether the goal is achieved or not. The goal here is a representation of the funds estimated to complete the outlined project, but the campaign owner has determined that some of the work can be done with any contributed funds.