So this is where we’re at today. Mashable is writing articles about how to ‘responsibly’ raise money for someone else via crowdfunding. In other words, doing something for someone else by doing as little as possible.
Let’s be honest here: setting up a GoFundMe page for your friend’s cousin’s kid with cancer takes all of 10 minutes out of your day. Grab a few pics from Facebook, write up a sob story, and BAM — what a generous friend you are! Except you didn’t actually do anything.
Still, as far as cyberbegging goes, it’s semi-noble to care enough about someone else that you want to help them via the kindness of strangers if, say, you don’t have any money of your own to give them.
Let’s take a look at Mashable’s recommendations (in bold).
Make the sure the person actually wants assistance
Yeah, you think? If you know enough about your friend’s finances to know that they need help, either your friend is a blabbermouth who tells everyone their business or your friend confided in you in confidence assuming that you aren’t the kind of asshole to put their business all over the internet. You should know your friend well enough to know which statement is true. If you don’t, then don’t put up a GoFundMe page. “It might be tempting to surprise a friend with money they desperately need, but there’s risk in not letting your friend have a say in a crowdfunding campaign set up in their name,” says Mashable. Indeed, just look at what happened to Kanye West.
Make sure you’re telling the story responsibly
For purposes of this page in particular, we’re going to share a cautionary tale: people have gotten into trouble for writing up a story that wasn’t accurate. Not because they intentionally set out to deceive people, but because they were conveying a story they themselves were told. If you have any doubts about your friend’s issues, skip the GoFundMe page on their behalf and let them put one put themselves if they need the money that bad. It isn’t worth getting caught up in their drama. Remember, you’re writing non-fiction, not a movie screenplay.
Be ready to put in the effort
Far too many people believe the magic GoFundMe equation to be as follows:
1. Put up GoFundMe page.
In reality, the “success” equation is far more complicated and, oftentimes, totally random. If you’re taking responsibility for your friend’s financial problems via GoFundMe, then be prepared to promote your page to the point that people start unfriending you on Facebook. I know I would. You should also be prepared to explain to your friend that despite your best efforts, you raised a whopping $2 after 8% fees. You’re welcome, pal!
Don’t use guilt as a tactic
Ah yes. You especially shouldn’t use guilt as a tactic if you’re the lazy ass friend that just slapped up a GoFundMe and can’t even give your friend $5 so they can catch the bus to work this week HOLY SHIT WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Yeah. Guilt doesn’t work. Guilt makes you look like a giant asshole. Guilt will make people unfollow you in droves, so next time you fire up a GoFundMe page and actually need money, guess who won’t be there for you to whine to?
We here at GoFraudMe humbly recommend that you avoid crowdfunding on anyone else’s behalf whenever possible. Let them handle their own shit. However, if you must, make sure you’re prepared for every possible scenario: no money raised at all, a few bucks raised, or — perhaps the worst scenario of all — your fundraiser goes viral and suddenly you have $35,000 that isn’t yours in your bank account. People have ruined their lives over a lot less.
Unless your friend was in a terrible accident that severed off every finger and you want to start a GoFundMe page to buy them a bionic hand, perhaps it’s best to let them put up their own page. But hey, do whatever the hell you want, who cares.