General Etiquette > Techno-quette

Etiquette of Crowdfunding

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TeraNova15:
The last thread I posted in this topic had me thinking. What is the etiquette of crowdfunding? What "causes" are acceptable? Does it matter who you reach out to?

I personally have no problem with contributing to:
Small to medium independent artistic projects where the artist show some capability or has a good track record, niche tech startups that apply to me, genuine and verifiable"down on their luck" causes (ie the head of the household lost their job and needs medical treatment and the life savings have been spent type stories).

Outside of that, I generally find requests to be rude.

squeakers:
I gave to a friend who was losing her house.  The money was being used to fix up a travel trailer/camper that she was going to live in.  It was neat to watch the renovations over time.

I've donated to buy a small appliance to cheer someone up.  It was done anonymously and he really was cheered up.  We're not talking big bucks... just an out of the blue surprise.


I declined to donate to help send a kid on one of those expensive "learning" vacations.  I think it was a People to People one. His dad was asking for the $4-5,000 to send the kid.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/19/education/edlife/leadership-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

cattlekid:
It does matter who you reach out to. 

For example, I belong to a Facebook page regarding kidney failure and dialysis.  We just had a row with a new member who arrived on the page and immediately posted their own page begging for donations for their family member who had kidney failure and was on dialysis.  The group moderator politely told them that this wasn't the best venue to ask for money as we are all in a similar boat and don't necessarily have resources to freely give away.  Some of the other page members weren't as polite.    Of course, the member disappeared as soon as they arrived.   ::)

Lynn2000:
I think this is an interesting topic because really, the phenomenon has been around for years--collecting money at church for someone, jars of change on business counters for a local child with a disease, etc.--but now it has a name, and the ability to reach a much broader audience through electronic media.

I also see a difference between something of a business nature, like a tech start-up or funding a movie, and something more personal, like medical treatment or summer camp funds for a specific person. For me school fundraisers fall more towards the business side, at least the ones that are organized by the school and benefit a large group of students, like the band or the class of 2015 or whatever.

The business ventures bother me less. I may or may not contribute, but they don't really offend me or make me uncomfortable inherently. They are basically advertising for a business or institution.

The personal ones make me a little uncomfortable. I don't know why. I feel for people who are in a tight spot, and I know for some asking people for help is really difficult and just indicates the desperation of their situation. I guess I find it strange to receive a request for help from someone I really don't know, which is made easier by social media--it is a weird intersection between donating to a charity (which I do already, to charities whose policies I'm comfortable with) and giving money to a friend (which I might if I knew them well). At a certain point, if the cause becomes big enough, uncomfortable questions get asked about where the money is going or how the people are behaving otherwise.

I guess overall I don't find it rude to ask, as long as you graciously accept people's decline. And, one should avoid being rude in the approach, like really laying on the guilt or violating a community's standards (like in cattlekid's example). I guess I think of these things as more like effective/not effective in generating money, as opposed to rude/not rude. Like advertising campaigns.

z_squared82:

--- Quote from: squeakers on March 04, 2014, 02:45:02 PM ---I gave to a friend who was losing her house.  The money was being used to fix up a travel trailer/camper that she was going to live in.  It was neat to watch the renovations over time.

I've donated to buy a small appliance to cheer someone up.  It was done anonymously and he really was cheered up.  We're not talking big bucks... just an out of the blue surprise.


I declined to donate to help send a kid on one of those expensive "learning" vacations.  I think it was a People to People one. His dad was asking for the $4-5,000 to send the kid.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/19/education/edlife/leadership-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

--- End quote ---

Actually, People to People tells the students to raise the funds as a learning experience. They don't want the parents to just pay for it, they want the students to work for it.

Of course, when I was a People to People Student Ambassador, it was before the scandal that involved a dead child being "nominated" and my "crowd funding" was a letter writing campaign to the local Knights of Columbus, American Legion and women's business groups.

I am much more likely to donate time or stuff than money. I find most Go Fund Me sites tacky, but then again, I don't see a lot of them. The most recent one was, "Help my friend, the single father, care for his child b/c the divorce is really expensive." I don't know the friend, and just no.

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