I’ve written about this before, but obviously no one gets the message. On a daily basis, sometimes two or three times in a given day, I get tweets, Facebook messages or even emails about “sharing” someone’s story and plea for funds.
Almost always the second I see a link to Kickstarter or GoFundMe, I quit reading anything else.
Also, the second I see one on those links in a comment here or on social network pages, I remove them.
No, it’s not because I don’t care about anyone or that I’m just some sort of selfish jerk. It’s because I’m following the advice given on the very same websites!
For example, from GoFundMe’s safety page:
Donors should only contribute payments to GoFundMe users they personally know and trust. We’re often asked how a donor can tell the authenticity of a personal cause found on GoFundMe. Unfortunately there is no way to 100% guarantee that a user’s GoFundMe donation page contains accurate or truthful information. As such, donors should not make payments to any campaigns or people unless they fully understand and trust the cause presented.
“Personally know and trust”
Let me say that again, only contribute payments to people you “personally know and trust”.
Can you see how asking someone you’ve never met to simply “trust” you that your story is true and that you really are trying to raise funds for a good cause is silly? The reality is that there are many, many people who use these sites to just rip people off with heartbreaking stories that are completely false. Since I don’t know any of the people asking me to share their story and their fundraising efforts why would I assume they must be legit? Because they asked nicely? (Which, by the way, many of these people do not ask nicely, they almost demand.) I’m not pointing my readers to anything that I don’t have 99% certainty is legit. I’m not going to run the risk of my own reputation, let alone the money of my readers.
I hope when you need financial help, you can get it from those around you who know and trust you. Stop expecting people who don’t to send you money.
If you’re being asked to donate money to someone you don’t know, remember the advice above. Just because it’s on the internet, doesn’t mean it’s true.
Maybe I should just reply with this every time someone asks?