This possibly reveals me as a terrible person but... Fundraisers


Backroads
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You know, GoFundMe and other such giving sites.

But I'm not annoyed all the time. I get it. Bad stuff happens, people don't always have the funds, it's good of us to be charitable and help those in need.

To get to the point, I've seen, as a random citizen of the community, various tragedies. And inevitably funds are raised for the grieving or otherwise suffering loved ones. And what gets me is how many of these people seem to be very wealthy.

So I am left wondering, can they really not afford this disaster? No emergency savings? In the worst case scenario, no life insurance policy? 

Again, I get it. Emergencies can be expensive. Wealth can be tied up. Costs are going up for everyone. Funerals are pricey. A sudden loss of income causes issues.

It could be that donating money is just what we do. Like bringing over casseroles. 

But it still makes me wonder how many of us are prepared for emergencies and I can't help but be amazed when people who seem quite wealthy aren't prepared.

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It’s common to get “compassion fatigue”, especially with gofundme. For a slightly different perspective: 

Pre covid when we saw Make a Wish kids at Disney both LG and I would be incredibly moved, often to the point of tears. Now we see them so often that it’s become normal. We still feel bad for them, but it's now like “Yup, good luck kid. See ya’ in line for Space Mountain.” Cruel? Not really, we just adapt quickly to our circumstances. It’s almost impossible to not have subconscious mental barriers up. 

 

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1 hour ago, LDSGator said:

It’s common to get “compassion fatigue”, especially with gofundme. For a slightly different perspective: 

Pre covid when we saw Make a Wish kids at Disney both LG and I would be incredibly moved, often to the point of tears. Now we see them so often that it’s become normal. We still feel bad for them, but it's now like “Yup, good luck kid. See ya’ in line for Space Mountain.” Cruel? Not really, we just adapt quickly to our circumstances. It’s almost impossible to not have subconscious mental barriers up. 

 

I think there's a point where you can only care so much. I've been in too many situations that just drained me emotionally (before later learning to better ground myself) and it's hard. Shedding tears over every tragedy is tough to do.

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I'm less sympathetic to GoFundMe stuff now. For some people, I'm familiar with the family/circumstances and know that there are financial needs. But, for others, I'm very suspicious. One of my friends lived in a house that was easily $800K (by the size of the house and market) and due to a bad storm, her basement got flooded. She went onto GFM to ask for $10k to renovate her basement. Ummm, no, it's called suck it up and save for what you want done. I feel bad this happened to you, but I'm not going to give you money for a want. And I'm really bugged by people who start a GFM for themselves. I guess it's more honest, but in my mind it is the same as standing at the intersection with a sign asking for money.

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It depends on context.  My wife generates income from voluntary donations through the Ko-fi app.   “Content creator/Facebook advice giving superstar” is a good way to explain it.  She doesn’t charge for what she does, because she wants to be able to help folks who can’t afford it.  Most ppl give nothing, some give the $5 minimum, every now and then she helps someone well off and gets $100 or more.

 She also points her community towards legitimate hard luck cases, and helps poor folks with emergencies with their fundraising. Most of them are quite uncomfortable with asking for help like this, so she does it for them.

 She co-owns an online store that generates the real revenue of the whole enterprise, the Ko-fi deal is just an additional way to monetize her sales efforts.

When it was time to expand into a new building, she took it to her community, and they crowdsourced $4-5 grand - about half the total cost. One large donor, a handful of medium sized contributors, a hundred or so small ones.

(Don’t tell your teenagers, or they’ll get all excited about earning $$ on YouTube playing video games. That’s almost always a losing proposition.)

 

Edited by NeuroTypical
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1 hour ago, NeuroTypical said:

Don’t tell your teenagers, or they’ll get all excited about earning $$ on YouTube playing video games. That’s almost always a losing proposition.)

Too late. My brother (admittedly an adult) fixed his roof and goes annually to Disney on his YouTube income. He's mentioned wanting to quit his day job but the wife nixed that.

Edited by Backroads
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6 hours ago, beefche said:

I'm less sympathetic to GoFundMe stuff now. For some people, I'm familiar with the family/circumstances and know that there are financial needs. But, for others, I'm very suspicious. One of my friends lived in a house that was easily $800K (by the size of the house and market) and due to a bad storm, her basement got flooded. She went onto GFM to ask for $10k to renovate her basement. Ummm, no, it's called suck it up and save for what you want done. I feel bad this happened to you, but I'm not going to give you money for a want. And I'm really bugged by people who start a GFM for themselves. I guess it's more honest, but in my mind it is the same as standing at the intersection with a sign asking for money.

I had to file a petition to terminate parental rights, where the parents took to GoFundMe with a sob story about how DCFS stole their kids (we didn’t steal your kids, Karen; we got a warrant after you forgot to feed them for a week because you were high on heroin) and their public defender wouldn’t do anything for them (you quit returning her calls six months ago), and now you have to hire a “real lawyer” (who either a) will bungle things because he never practices in juvenile court, or b) lost his public defender contract because all the judges knew what a sleazebag he was) who will charge you $10K and lose anyways.

So yeah, I tend to take GoFundMes with a grain of salt.  Though we did recently donate to one for the funeral of one of our former cub scouts who committed suicide last month.  😞

 

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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Yeah, unless I have personal knowledge of the situation I usually stay away from GoFundMe. Especially if someone is doing it for someone else. I donated to someone's medical expenses on a GoFundMe set up by a friend for someone else only to find out that their insurance covered it all. So they used all donated funds for funeral expenses. It was still a good cause but it woke me up to the realization that sometimes people try to help others by setting these up without knowledge of whether it's needed or not. 

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GoFundMe also has a really, REALLY spotty record of living up to it's promise to not gather funds for folks who have broken the law.  Here - take a look at 500+ active gofundmes trying to gather enough money for someone to post bail.

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9 hours ago, laronius said:

Yeah, unless I have personal knowledge of the situation I usually stay away from GoFundMe. Especially if someone is doing it for someone else. I donated to someone's medical expenses on a GoFundMe set up by a friend for someone else only to find out that their insurance covered it all. So they used all donated funds for funeral expenses. It was still a good cause but it woke me up to the realization that sometimes people try to help others by setting these up without knowledge of whether it's needed or not. 

This is definitely my biggest area of critique (after actual greediness). While I know not everyone has insurance or good insurance, insurance still is a common thing. So when I see seemingly wealthy people asking for money, I get suspicious. You seem like you could afford the insurance that would cover the majority of this crisis. What exactly are you going to do with these raised funds?

Edited by Backroads
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7 hours ago, Backroads said:

seemingly wealthy

That’s the key. We all have different lifestyles but generally speaking, the super rich don’t live in a home with 88 rooms, 200 luxury cars, and four movie theaters. You’d be amazed how many millionaires drive “older” cars and have surprisingly modest homes. 

Edited by LDSGator
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1 hour ago, LDSGator said:

That’s the key. We all have different lifestyles but generally speaking, the super rich don’t live in a home with 88 rooms, 200 luxury cars, and four movie theaters. You’d be amazed how many millionaires drive “older” cars and have surprisingly modest homes. 

This is a good point. It could very likely that they don't have as much money as I might assume.

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On 11/1/2022 at 12:34 PM, LDSGator said:

That’s the key. We all have different lifestyles but generally speaking, the super rich don’t live in a home with 88 rooms, 200 luxury cars, and four movie theaters. You’d be amazed how many millionaires drive “older” cars and have surprisingly modest homes. 

That’s often why they are millionaires.  They spend wisely.

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Keep in mind, when it comes to America's love/hate affair with it's millionaires, there's been a change.  The love/hate thing is now with billionaires.  Millionaires are fine.  Especially since millionaire status is in reach of average Americans who are willing to put forth the discipline and hard work to attain the status.  But mostly, that changed two nanoseconds after Bernie Sanders became a millionaire.  His (and everyone else's) angry tweets about how "we need to make the millionaires pay their fair share", changed overnight to "we need to make the billionaires pay their fair share."  It was amazing to watch.

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12 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Keep in mind, when it comes to America's love/hate affair with it's millionaires, there's been a change.  The love/hate thing is now with billionaires.  Millionaires are fine.  Especially since millionaire status is in reach of average Americans who are willing to put forth the discipline and hard work to attain the status.  But mostly, that changed two nanoseconds after Bernie Sanders became a millionaire.  His (and everyone else's) angry tweets about how "we need to make the millionaires pay their fair share", changed overnight to "we need to make the billionaires pay their fair share."  It was amazing to watch.

 

It's far easier than many realize, especially in the past 2 years.  My home has jumped in valued by about 3.5X of what it was worth a mere 3 years ago.  There are many who are suddenly millionaires simply because the property they own is suddenly worth a lot more.

I am not sure WHY people always want their property values to rise.  For those who plan on LIVING in their homes, it's a real pain.  Suddenly you can owe a LOT more in property taxes simply for living in the same place.  Your wages don't go up as quickly, your ability to pay doesn't really either, but suddenly you owe a LOT MORE taxes simply because of how quickly your property values rose. 

People consider the rise of property value a good thing...I do not know where they get this idea unless they are looking at it from the perspective of being greedy and using property as investments rather than someplace to live. 

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9 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

 

It's far easier than many realize, especially in the past 2 years.  My home has jumped in valued by about 3.5X of what it was worth a mere 3 years ago.  There are many who are suddenly millionaires simply because the property they own is suddenly worth a lot more.

I am not sure WHY people always want their property values to rise.  For those who plan on LIVING in their homes, it's a real pain.  Suddenly you can owe a LOT more in property taxes simply for living in the same place.  Your wages don't go up as quickly, your ability to pay doesn't really either, but suddenly you owe a LOT MORE taxes simply because of how quickly your property values rose. 

People consider the rise of property value a good thing...I do not know where they get this idea unless they are looking at it from the perspective of being greedy and using property as investments rather than someplace to live. 

I get how real estate is an investment, but I just can't get fully behind the idea of only seeing it that way (in some ways I want to blame this attitude for the some of the market issues).

I don't necessarily like my house's value having risen. I still can't sell it and buy anything better.

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Folks, I'm a horrible person again. Perhaps I just need a little prompting to do some good.

I'm part of a local-needs-style Facebook group, and the admin of the group are actually to the point of trying to make it a proper non-profit.

Every year they try to do a Christmas drive. You know, the usual, gather up families in need, get 'em a few things. 

This year, I actually have a bit of money I could sponsor a family with. But every time I come close to volunteering in this group... I just can't.

The past two years have had disasters. Since it's Facebook and not yet a proper organization, there's no real way to vet anyone. So you're getting all manner of choosing beggars and those looking to stock up on all the gifts. 

I still may sponsor a family for Christmas, but not through there.

I suppose, like a GoFundme or whatever, I can't trust it.

Yet, does that make me uncharitable? If I were truly giving, it wouldn't matter what the actual needs were, right?

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3 hours ago, Backroads said:

Yet, does that make me uncharitable? If I were truly giving, it wouldn't matter what the actual needs were, right?

Being a “giving” person is not, in and of itself, a virtue.  Being a helping person is a virtue.

Giving in a way that does not help is not virtuous.  It just makes one a schmuck, or a poser.  IMHO you are 100% right to want to ensure that your giving is actually helpful.  

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4 hours ago, Backroads said:

Folks, I'm a horrible person again. Perhaps I just need a little prompting to do some good.

I'm part of a local-needs-style Facebook group, and the admin of the group are actually to the point of trying to make it a proper non-profit.

Every year they try to do a Christmas drive. You know, the usual, gather up families in need, get 'em a few things. 

This year, I actually have a bit of money I could sponsor a family with. But every time I come close to volunteering in this group... I just can't.

The past two years have had disasters. Since it's Facebook and not yet a proper organization, there's no real way to vet anyone. So you're getting all manner of choosing beggars and those looking to stock up on all the gifts. 

I still may sponsor a family for Christmas, but not through there.

I suppose, like a GoFundme or whatever, I can't trust it.

Yet, does that make me uncharitable? If I were truly giving, it wouldn't matter what the actual needs were, right?

 

1 hour ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Being a “giving” person is not, in and of itself, a virtue.  Being a helping person is a virtue.

Giving in a way that does not help is not virtuous.  It just makes one a schmuck, or a poser.  IMHO you are 100% right to want to ensure that your giving is actually helpful.  

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I'm not sure how sponsoring a Christmas can be abused like giving money to a beggar that's just going to buy alcohol or something. I mean if you're buying stuff for a family for Christmas, you buy the stuff. So any abusive things you buy, you bought, so.... Or am I misunderstanding? As far as actually knowing whether the family actually "needs" the sponsoring or not...I wouldn't, personally, stress to much about that. Here's how I figure...if they lied that's on them on judgment day. I was still charitable.

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4 hours ago, Backroads said:

Folks, I'm a horrible person again. Perhaps I just need a little prompting to do some good.

I'm part of a local-needs-style Facebook group, and the admin of the group are actually to the point of trying to make it a proper non-profit.

Every year they try to do a Christmas drive. You know, the usual, gather up families in need, get 'em a few things. 

This year, I actually have a bit of money I could sponsor a family with. But every time I come close to volunteering in this group... I just can't.

The past two years have had disasters. Since it's Facebook and not yet a proper organization, there's no real way to vet anyone. So you're getting all manner of choosing beggars and those looking to stock up on all the gifts. 

I still may sponsor a family for Christmas, but not through there.

I suppose, like a GoFundme or whatever, I can't trust it.

Yet, does that make me uncharitable? If I were truly giving, it wouldn't matter what the actual needs were, right?

We always take our kids to a store like walmart and have each of them pick a name off of their Angel Trees. The Angel Tree is sponsored by the Salvation Army, and I trust them to do a decent job of vetting true persons in need.

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8 hours ago, Backroads said:

Yet, does that make me uncharitable?

God's definition of charity is Godly love. The world's definition of charity is giving stuff to needy people. (And if the truth of their hearts were known, many or most of the world's "givers" would candidly, if privately, define it as giving stuff to unworthy people who are beneath them.)

There is a world of difference, in many senses of the word "world". If others consider you uncharitable, you have Vort's official permission to not care.

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