Has GoFundMe and other Crowdfunding sites become the 21st century street corner for begging?

Online funding sites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter have done wonders in the realm of alternative finance where small businesses, esoteric products and services, and even charitable concerns can get public funding since banks no longer provide these services after the Credit Crisis of 2008.  In fact, crowdfunding has helped many people to do wondrous things over the past few years, with one of the most notable accomplishments being the producing of a Veronica Mars movie that had been clamored for by rabid fans for several years.

But like with nearly every new and innovative idea, there are always one or more individuals who use these platforms to either con or scheme to get money for themselves without actually producing or providing a tangible return to those who voluntarily give to that ’cause’.

Thomas says her money problems are rooted in her two divorces, and that her second resulted in the loss of her entire ‘nest egg’.

Before opening her practice, Thomas lost two jobs over what she says were disagreements with colleagues. She said this was due to her own high expectations as a surgeon.

Before turning to Vanzant and the OWN network, she started a GoFundMe account, pitching a variety of start-up businesses she hoped to receive donations for.

In a video embedded on the account, Thomas says she developed it as an ’emergency fund’ for her family with the aim of restoring ‘financial stability after severe sudden financial losses over the past couple of years associated with a combination of financially crippling life challenges’.

However, after 10 months, she has raised only $2,000. – Daily Mail

As opposed to a more recent story where someone created a crowdfunding request to donate funds for a family of children who lost their parents in an automobile accident, Debi Thomas is a former world class Olympic skater and certified physician for many years, who lost everything through bad choices, not from a horrendous ‘act of God’.  And subsequently, her GoFundMe page is little more than the 21st century form of begging online as it attempts to entice the public to feel sorry for her bad choices and support her next comeback with charity.

crowdfunding begging

Americans have always been some of the most charitable people in the world, even giving to causes that they never even bother to investigate or find out how much of their money actually goes towards the mission of that charity.  But today there are more than a third of the population already relying upon government assistance just to survive each month, and many more who have to subsidize their incomes with charity from food banks and a myriad of non-profit organizations, and this is leading even the most affluent in America to hold tight to their purse strings because you can only get so much blood from the same turnips year after year.

Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for Secretsofthefed.comExaminer.com, Roguemoney.net, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.