Is it just me or has GoFundMe gotten far too out of hand in the past year or so? I understand that there is a real and legitimate need for online fundraising, and that it has helped countless people and families to afford medical expenses, burial expenses for sudden loss, school expenses, rebuilding after a house fire, travel and more.
But what about those crowdfunding requests that are fake or just plain shady? Oh you know, Stacy and Danny just bought a new home and they are looking to fill it with new, fancy furniture. Nope, absolutely not. I personally will not donate to such a cause.
It is up to each individual what causes they choose to donate their money to. If you feel that your trip or your wedding is a worthy cause, by all means! Create a page. Those that WANT to donate, will. I’m just very picky about where I send my money.
There are multiple online fundraising or crowdfunding platforms available online. I’m not saying that all of these are sketchy, or that there is not a need for them, because there IS a need for them. In moderation. The system is jacked, simple as that.
It irks me how some campaigns get massive amounts of donations, while others get next to none. Often, the successful campaigns are those that pull at the heartstrings or the donations pour in simply because the kid in the photo is adorable, or is hooked up to IVs and is wrapped in bandages. It could simply be because of how well written the campaign page is.
Am I skeptical of each and every GoFundMe page? Yes and no.
I find myself rolling my eyes more often than not, and I will always, always do my research before donating.
My main thing: Who’s to say that the “parent” requesting your money is actually the child’s parent or caregiver? Who’s to say that the person posting the request has even ever met the child? Who’s to say that the dog in the photo actually needs surgery?
The bottom line: unless I know you personally or I understand and trust that your plight and/or your mission is legit, you are getting no funds from me. Harsh? Maybe, but I work too hard to blindly give my money away.
Which brings me to another point. If you believe that this is a legitimate request and there is a legitimate need, why not just hand them the cash in person, or PayPal them the funds directly with no fees? GoFundMe takes 5% of each donation that you receive, on top of a 2.9% WePay fee and a 30¢ per donation fee.
For example: Stacy and Danny are requesting $10,000 for their new, fancy furniture for their new home and they do, in fact reach that goal, GoFundMe will take their processing fees and and WePay fees meaning that they are actually getting closer to $9,200.
GoFundMe acknowledges that not 100% of the campaigns are legitimate, and that there is no foolproof way to know that your donation is funding a legitimate cause.
“As such, donors should not make payments to any campaigns or people unless they fully understand and trust the cause presented.”
Don’t be a sucker. Do your research, and if you know the creator of the campaign personally, give them actual cash or send them the money directly through PayPal so that they get the full amount of your donation.