Thursday, July 23, 2015

Is Go Fund Me the New Panhandling?

I feel that every other post on my Facebook these days is giving me a sad story and directing me to a GoFundMe page and asking for donations. Of course some of these causes are dire and situations that have legitimate reasons to ask for donations. In times of medical emergencies or natural disasters asking the public for money is a great way to raise funds fast. Donating to causes is not a new thing, but crowdfunding is fairly a new concept. The idea is great, but has websites like GoFundMe become the new socially acceptable form of panhandling. Somehow it has now become okay to ask everyone you remotely know and all their friends for money.

Over the last year I have seen people ask for donations for vacations, weddings, help with a new apartment, help with a down payment on a dream home, decorating a nursery, a new car, even to help pay tax debt. Now maybe this will sound cold-hearted but a lot of these are luxury items and if you can't afford it then it doesn't happen. Here is the other thing that happens with you start a frivolous GoFundMe page - people start to look at what you are spending and will judge you for it. If you ask people to help fund your trip to Europe and you are constantly posting about the new clothes you just bought, the fancy restaurant you went to, even the Starbucks selfies you take, people will judge you for it. If you can afford new clothes, why are we paying for your trip?

Maybe I am old-fashioned, but if you wanted something out of your budget then you saved until you could afford it. Because these are online campaigns and the recipient is just sitting behind a computer does this make it okay? If you were starting a new job and had a gap in between paychecks shouldn't it be your financial responsibility to have prepared for that and have saved money to get through it? If you wanted to redo your kitchen would you go up to all your friends face to face and ask them for money? 

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