Crowdfunding implications


Aspen Earnhart, Feature Editor

Go Fund Me– they can be found all over social media for various reasons. However, there’s many implications and scandals that have accompanied this type of crowdfunding. The most common issue people have with crowdfunding is the possibility that it may be a scam, and the story listed could be made up. There’s also a processing fee associated with pretty much all crowdfunding sites that can take a decent sized portion out of the money raised.

A Go Fund Me can be created for anything- according to their website, “We see people use GoFundMe to raise money for themselves, friends and family, or even complete strangers in random acts of kindness. People raise money for just about everything, including medical expenses, education costs, volunteer programs, youth sports, funerals & memorials – and even animals & pets.” This means that you can raise money for really anything, from chicken nuggets to a family member’s funeral.

The biggest drawback of crowdfunding is the fees and deductions, and pretty much every site has them. The typical amount is 2.9% for payment processing and $0.30 per donation. For example, if you raised $500, $14.50 would be taken out for processing and depending on the amount of donations received, the fee would be even higher. These deductions can easily add up, especially if the amount raised is high.

There have been quite a few scandals associated with Go Fund Me, but the most notable recently is that of Keaton Jones. In December 2017, a boy named Keaton Jones was featured in a video that went viral on Facebook. In this video, Jones tearfully explained the negative effects of bullying and it garnered massive support.

    A third party individual then created a Go Fund Me for Jones, which received a substantial amount of donations. When it surfaced that Jones’ mother had posted some questionable photos on Facebook, such as herself with a confederate flag, those who donated became rather upset. However, the Jones family never actually received any of the $56,000 that was raised by the third party and all of the donors never saw their money back.

Go Fund Me does have a program in place called the Go Fund Me Guarantee in which they claim, “Protecting your generosity is our top priority. If you, law enforcement, or GoFundMe finds that campaign funds have been misused, then you are eligible for a refund.*” However, even this guarantee requires a claims process to get a full refund.

    While crowdfunding can be beneficial and convenient in cases of family deaths and illnesses or school fundraising, there are drawbacks to the platform and method. It’s best to approach any donations with caution and do your proper research prior.