·

Crowdfunding Can Actually Be A Good Way To Pay Off Your Student Loans

crowdfunding_unpopular-opinion-graphic

Like many young Americans, I accumulated a sizeable amount of student loan debt to get my master’s degree. By graduation, I owed the government tens of thousands of dollars that I didn’t have, and I expected to be tied down paying for it for the next ten years of my life.

But something miraculous happened just five months into my monthly student loan repayments: my dad sold a house he had invested in a decade or so earlier and paid off my debt for me. In full.

(Now: I could write a whole book on the gratitude my parents deserve for giving me the gift of financial freedom and lifting the emotional burden of debt from my life, but that’s for another day.)

So my loans were repaid, but not before I had schemed up an unusual strategy to try to repay some of my loan debt myself: I decided I would try to crowdfund some of it.

I know what you may be thinking; I know the doubts you may be having right now. Asking for money to pay off student loan debt sounds like a total abuse of the crowdfunding system. I felt this way, too, at first. After all, crowdfunding is a place for medical emergencies and ingenious inventions — not for young people who knowingly invested in their own education and now have to come to terms with the consequences of that investment.

Crowdfunding works in the first place because people want to support aspirational causes, or feel like they’re receiving something in exchange. For example, we wouldn’t be having this discussion about the moral acceptability of crowdfunding for tuition if I had crowdfunded for my tuition costs BEFORE taking out the loans, if I were crowdfunding my ability to pay for college before accepting a spot at a university.

I don’t deny that we have to take responsibility for the financial position we put ourselves in when we take out loans. But I also don’t think that means we should feel guilty for getting creative about paying off the debt. The way I see it, the financial system we’ve been set up in truly encourages us to get creative.

I believe this strategy has the potential to relieve someone of at least a few thousand dollars of debt — and benefit the patrons as well! — but, of course, only if executed wisely. This means you need a well-thought out marketing plan, and a purposeful execution.

First of all, you have to feel certain that at least 30% of the amount you’re asking for will get donated, most likely by people you know. This means you can’t ask for the full five or six figures, but likely somewhere closer to the 5k mark, depending on the extent and loyalty of your social network.

Secondly — and this is key — you have to offer something in return, so that the people donating will feel that it is worth it for them to invest in your loan repayment, other than just generally feeling altruistic. It’s appropriate if you pick something related to your degree. For example, my master’s degree was in public health, so I was going to volunteer at a local charity that delivers healthy free meals to those with late-stage chronic illnesses in exchange for donations. Was your degree in the arts? Maybe you can give a custom creation to each funder. Business? Maybe you can offer your time as a consultant. You see where I’m going with this: you should offer an exchange.

Finally, you will need a high-quality video. Do you have a friend who knows how to make videos? In my case, I was planning to get the charity involved in the video. The idea is to stay away from asking for “pity”; instead, you want to come off as a capable young person, with dreams to make the world a better place, or contribute to society somehow.

I never got the chance to try out my wacky student loan repayment idea, but I’m here to share it with those of you who still can. Remember, there are right and wrong ways to try to crowdfund a cause, like paying back your student loans. Just because it hasn’t been successfully done before doesn’t mean you can’t make it happen.

When not hunkered down writing for her travel and personal blog, Michelle can be found singing, tweeting about the meaning of life, or eating olives in bulk.

Image via Unsplash

eshop-banner

  • Summer

    I twitched a little as I read this. I understand that no one has to donate to anything they don’t want to, and I understand that it’s a free country and you can crowdfund for whatever you want, but it is tacky as fuck to ask for help in paying off run-of-the-mill debt. If a tragedy befalls you (ie; significant illness, injury) that renders you unable to work or some other unforeseen scenario in which you really do need help beyond what your immediate circle can offer, fine. Try crowdfunding. But just some average person of relatively normal health and capability to work asking for donations to pay down the debt they knowingly took on? Nope. There are literally thousands of other causes to donate to that would be a better use of someone’s spare dollar than my (or yours, or anyone else’s) student loan debt, and I would never dream of launching a kickstarter to basically say “hey guys, debt sucks! wanna help me pay off mine even though you probably have your own stuff to worry about?”

    • Savanna Swain

      THIS. I scrolled past someone on my news feed (with a higher salaried job than my own) legitimately asking people to fund her flight home for the Holidays because she couldn’t afford it after going to school, traveling abroad, + living in expensive city and it made me sick. In the past I’ve been unable to afford flying home for the holidays, but that’s MY responsibility. Not regular people. I get if a person has a serious ailment like a disability or illness keeping them from work, but otherwise…. join the club! We all have to work for our debt! -_-

      Crowdsourcing your debt repayment is basically you saying YOUR degree and financial future and place in society is somehow worth more than my own (or the next person). Not cool.

  • Ugh…I cringed when I read the title, and reading the post didn’t help change that reaction very much. I hate how crowdfunding has become this “normalized thing.” I get the allure of Kickstarter, as it helps aspiring entrepreneurs launch incredible products, and people are getting something tangible in return for their donations. I also get the GoFundMe pages that are set up to help someone battling with an expensive unexpected medical emergency or death in the family. Apart from those two purposes? Crowdfunding needs to stop. No crowdfunding vacations, honeymoons, and especially student loan debt. To me it’s ridiculous, selfish, and reeks of entitlement. Why is your life and what you want to spend money on more important than someone else’s? It needs to stop. You even said in your article “I know what you may be thinking…” and went on to explain exactly why you shouldn’t have done it, yet you proceeded to go against your own better judgement. It’s not creative to ask for handouts from your friends and family, it’s selfish. It’s the same reason I hate those multi-level marketing (pyramid) schemes, it guilt’s your friends and family into spending their money on you.

    I get what you’re trying to do, thinking of a creative way to get student loan debt paid off. I don’t have an issue with your motivation, and the idea of trying to “exchange” something in return for a crowdfunded donation is better than simply asking for donations and leaving it at that. My point is that crowdfunding has gotten out of hand, and even with good intentions you’ll likely alienate some of your friends and family. It’d be much more commendable to use your creativity to start working a side-job and use that income to help pay off your debt, rather than offering charity work or consulting in return for a crowdfunding donation.

    • Nila B

      This is exactly how I feel. Crowdfunding has it’s purpose, getting other people to pay your student debt isn’t it. Especially when it goes out to a circle of your friends/family that you could easily ask personally to help you. Would that be uncomfortable and weird? Probably. But how is asking them indirectly online any different?

  • Violaine

    Mmm, it’s a good post but I still disagree with the idea! Why would your degree be worth other people’s money, when very likely they also had to pay for their own degree, or for something as valuable to them – their wedding, their retirement, etc? The people you would be asking money from, if you had gone through with this idea, are probably your friends or your family, i.e people just like you who also struggle to pay off something. Offering something “back” does not make up for it – everyone has something they can give back. If you want to volunteer at a charity, it’s no longer giving and volunteering if you are asking for people to pay for your degree while you give your time.
    I’ll be done with paying for my degree in 2 years and a half and I wouldn’t dream of asking anyone to help me with it – because my friends also have debt to pay, my parents are still paying for their house while trying to save for retirements, and they would be horrified if this idea crossed my mind. And I still donate my time! I do use my degree to volunteer and offer my skills to work in a museum, but I wouldn’t even dream of doing that to get some money back – and God knows I would love the money.

    Honestly, there are better ways of paying for debt – like instead ofvolunteering if people give you money, get a side hustle – offer private tuitions, sell your stuff on eBay, become a waitress at the weekends… Just don’t expect people to validate your life choices (getting a degree) by giving up on cash they worked hard to get.

    • Maggie

      I think that’s the thing that bothers me most – saying you’re volunteering because people are crowdfunding your debt. So you wouldn’t volunteer if no one donated? That’s the part that seems extra tacky, I don’t know.

      • Summer

        Agreed. It’s not “giving back” if you’re only doing it because someone gave you money. If you’re going to volunteer your time and/or resources, you volunteer regardless of donations to your personal plight.

  • Diana

    TFD is selling out. How many times has Chelsea stated her disdain for crowdfunding but now has no problem with another clickbait piece that lines her own pockets? I wish I could say I’m surprised but I’m not in the least.

    • Violaine

      Jeez, why does it always come back to Chelsea? Her whole website is based on people sharing DIFFERENT ideas and then opposite ideas. It makes sense to me that although she is against it, she would be able to recognise a well-written opposite view when she sees one.

      • Diana

        Because this is Chelsea’s site and she decides what is on the site, what the titles of pieces are, etc. “Opposing views” should not be a euphemism for hypocrisy/making money off of “views” that are counter to what has been stated many times prior. The owner of a site is the chief editorial officer and regular readers of sites read those sites based on stated philosophies/policies/etc of those sites. If I’m reading a radical feminist website site and all of a sudden it’s taken over by rabid misogynists, I’m not going to be happy/read that site anymore.

        There are too many pieces on TFD with titles that are clearly click bait with very little substance in the articles themselves and there are also too many whose titles don’t even match what the article is about. I’m far from the first to state this.

        • Violaine

          I get what you mean, but it falls under the same content, though! I wouldn’t read either a feminist website that turns misogynist, but I have seen articles on the same website about women who decided to be stay-at-home mums (and explain how it works with being a feminist) and women who refuse to have kids, for example. They’re opposite views but they work on the same spectrum.
          I don’t know, I like having a place online where I read both articles that I find super helpful and motivating, and articles I find a bit cringy but reflect a view some people have. Where else would I hear about it??

          • Diana

            I hear you. But I wouldn’t put a stay-at-home mom in the same category as being anti-feminist. Feminism is the choice to do what one wants with ones life (although of course depending on a man/patriarchy is a “choice” under patriarchy and the goal of feminism to me is to dismantle patriarchy).

            My point still remains that TFD’s click bait articles are bullshit.

            Enjoy your day!

    • While I disagree with the point of the OP’s post, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t well written. It’s always good to have different views. Wouldn’t it be worse for TFD to only present the views they agreed with? The article’s title isn’t just click-bait, it clearly explains what the piece was about. Yes, the piece was probably published to create a discussion, but what’s wrong with that? If you think it’s published just for clicks, don’t read it. I disagreed with the premise of the content, but it was still a good read. It’s labeled “Unpopular Opinion” for a reason. It was about presenting an alternate view, it wasn’t a sponsored post promoting bad products, or anything like that. The best part about TFD is that they present tons of different viewpoints from people of all different backgrounds. Just because they publish a piece like this doesn’t mean it should be viewed as supporting that same opinion.

      • Judith

        Judging by the number of comments relative to how many an average post gets, I’d say generating discussion is exactly what this article does. 🙂

  • Stevie

    Never have I been so glad to hear of someone’s parents paying for their education!

    When I was in grad school, I was getting emails from friends who were in seminary. They were requesting funds for tuition and living expenses, would send Amazon wish lists for their books every semester, and even sent emails to raise funds for plane tickets for interviews. All the while, I was pursuing my own education and forming a plan to handle the financial ramifications of my decision. And paying for someone else’s degree certainly wasn’t part of that plan! No one, not even parents, should have to feel obligated to pay for the financial choices you make. Be responsible for your own damn self.

    The OP’s blog (yes, I was curious) states that she has quit her public health job and is pursuing freelance writing. I wish you luck, OP, and truly hope the career shift goes well. But I’m certainly glad you didn’t crowdfund the debt for a degree you’re no longer using! No amount of volunteering would cover the slap-in-the-face that would be for anyone who had funded your school debt.

    • Violaine

      I’d love to read about how you paid for your education! You should write a post about it.

      And I agree with you by the way 🙂

  • I hear a lot of judgment and I get it guys. It’s an “unpopular opinion” after all. But the whole point of writing this was to urge someone with debt to give it a try.

    To the doubters: I think the reason why it makes people “cringe” to imagine someone asking for money for their student loan debt is because we inherently blame individuals (and individuals alone) for their debt. It’s tough to parse out completely, but we have to remember the role the broken higher education system itself plays in student loan debt: that’s the whole reason why people are forced to make a decision about loans in the first place.

    Also, it’s understandable that people who have had student loans recently or are in the process of paying them off would scoff at contributing to someone else’s debt crowdfunding campaign. But those people aren’t the target audience for such a campaign. I think there are a lot of people out there who would see donating to help relieve someone of student loan debt as an incredibly practical and worthy cause versus, say, donating to someone’s fundraising campaign to pay for their holiday (as Savanna mentions).

    All in all, thank you for your thoughtful responses.

    • LynnP2

      As someone struggling with five figures of student loan debt, I think there’s a difference between saying it’s not fair to blame students for their outsize debts and assuming their friends and family should be the ones to help pay it off. It’s entirely another thing to say that the GOVERNMENT should take matters to reduce and forgive debt (which I absolutely believe it should). Parental help is great when the parents can afford it – my parents are helping me, and I am forever greatful- but disability or major illness aside, I wouldn’t dream of asking anyone else in my network.

    • Violaine

      Yes, but if I have spare money to donate, surely there are more worthy causes – and I don’t mean holidays?! I mean, if I wanted to donate money, I’d research a charity that helps a cause I think is a serious issue. I wouldn’t give it to ONE person, because if I had cash to spare, I would hope to help more than one individual with it, especially when I can think of 100 ways that individual can solve their issue without my money!

    • Thanks for taking the time to respond to the comments, it’s difficult to put an Unpopular Opinion out there and have a lot of people disagree with it. I don’t think your intentions are bad, I just disagree with the premise of using crowdfunding as a creative way to pay off debt. I agree that student loans are a huge problem in this country, but it’s much different to say “Student loans are a problem and the government should do something” than it is to jump to having family/friends paying off debt as part of a crowdfunding campaign.

      Awhile back I wrote an Unpopular Opinion for TFD about how I wasn’t going to pay for my future children’s college tuition. The reason is similar to why I disagree with your post’s premise. I think it’s imperative for a person’s life and future financial habits to go through the process of debt repayment. You learn how bad debt can be, hard work, you appreciate your degree more, how to allocate money every month towards increasing your net worth, etc. Having other people pay off your debt is taking the easy way out, instead of putting in the work to improve your financial situation. Your long-term future will greatly benefit from putting in the work.

      http://thefinancialdiet.com/why-i-wont-pay-my-childs-college-tuition/

      • Violaine

        I also think that (maybe it’s just me) if I pay for a degree myself, I might stick to it harder than if my parents pay for it. I am still paying for my teaching degree and… I am no longer a teacher!!! Haha. But I still use that degree in the sense that the job I have now wouldn’t have been mine without this degree. Doing this degree was so hard and honestly, if I didn’t have to pay back a huge loan, I might have given up. But having to pay back so much money every month made me stick to it – I didn’t want the student debt and no degree to show for it – and when I decided to leave teaching, it forced me to come up with a solid plan as I would need a good job to keep paying the loan.

        • for me, paying for my own degree (well, i am fortunate enough to live in one of those countries where higher education is free, but i’ve had to take out student loans in order to support myself during my studies and by the time i get my masters my student loans will be well into five figures) has also made me very concious on what i want to study and what i do with my time besides studying in order to make my time at university worth the investment.

          i also need to point out to OP that comparing crowdfunding to taxes doesn’t really work. in countries like the one where i live, where we have high taxes, everyone benefits from that in a form of free education, free health care, paid maternity leave etc. and the simplified idea is that since i get my education funded by taxes eventually i will ‘pay it back’ with my own taxes, which will (hopefully) be higher than if i didn’t have masters degree since i’ll be earning more too. crowdfunding only benefits that one single person, taxes benefit the whole society. so i definitely do not agree with this article, but i do agree that the student debt problem in the US is absolutely not normal and is harmful for your country. highly educated population benefits ones country, and i am all for creative ways to help pay off debt, i just don’t believe this is the right way to do it.

    • Violaine

      To be fair, it’s fairly brave to share an “Unpopular Opinion” and to do so under your name, not anonymously. I don’t know if I would do it!

  • Jazz

    One main problem I have with this article: recommending something that they never did. I could take this piece more seriously had she actually went through with her idea. It would have been interesting to learn about the consequences (both positive and negative) or if the idea was even worth trying. Why should anyone follow the author’s advice?

    Crowdfunding-no matter how high quality video you make-is lazy. Honestly, there are countless ways one can pay down debt. It requires you to do the adult thing and compromise. Personally, I work a job where 70 hours is expected along with driving 2 hours a day to go to and from said job. This leaves little personal time. The job itself is mentally demanding and high stress. I, however, am almost done paying my student loan debt after 5 months of working at said job. I’m working my ass off for a year to be able to not only repay my loans, but to build a nest egg. It’s a life lesson that nothing comes easily. Sometimes you get lucky, but often you are going to have to work for it.

    • Hi Jazz – my intention in writing the article was to find someone who was interested in trying this for their student debt. (The original title reflects this but was changed by the editors, which is normal and fine for online publications but FYI.) I was never trying to “stir up controversy” but truly just trying to share an idea that I think has potential with someone who could put it to use.

      • Jazz

        Again, I find the article holds little weight because it was not done. I think that if you are going to try to urge people to try an idea, it’s to have personal experience with that idea itself. Especially one that makes people put themselves out there to be judged quite negatively. What can one actually expect to happen? How do the positives outweigh the negatives? Is it actually realistic? Or how can one make it realistic? Is the amount of time crowdfunding worth the return?

  • Judith

    I don’t agree with the idea behind the article either, but what I saw as an actual flaw in the logic is this: getting a degree qualifies you for an entry-level job (if you’re lucky), so advertising yourself as a consultant might be way over your skill level. Sorry if it comes off as I’m splitting hairs here.

    • Summer

      I thought the same thing. Furthermore, if you DO have the skills to consult on a respectable level, maybe look into that as a means of earning money rather than as feeble trade fodder.

      • Judith

        Exactly, great point.

      • TJ

        Exactly, additionally why not spend the time you’re “offering something in return” working a side hustle where you are getting paid without begging your network

  • Man it makes me super sad to see that this idea makes you all feel so indignant. At worst, crowdfunding student debt could simply not work and you would be back where you started. But at best it could be a way to pay off some of your debt!! None of us will know one way or another if you never try because you are too afraid of being “tacky”. I don’t understand where all this pride about paying off loans comes from – it seems to me this issue is being made super moralistic when it is, as we all seem to agree, a systemic flaw. Who decides what the “right” and “wrong” way of paying off loans is?

    To those bringing up “the government” as being responsible for higher ed tuition: where do you think the government gets its money? Taxes. Meaning, other people are paying for your tuition. Kinda like…crowdfunding. To those talking about “normalizing crowdfunding”, I think the real danger is normalizing student debt. It is not “normal” to graduate with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of student loan debt. Ask your parents if life was like that for them when they were growing up (it wasn’t). As people in other westernized countries if life is like that for them (it isn’t). Student loan debt is the bad thing here, not crowdfunding.

    If there is one last thing I can say on this topic it’s that I hope you can open your mind and really try to look at this idea without judgment and without pride.

    Again, I really didn’t write this with the intention of trying to stir up controversy. I’m pleased to see so much engagement and interest but I never meant for this to be an “unpopular” opinion. (And I do wonder if labeling it as such affected the commentary.)

    P.S. Overall I am impressed that most of you took issue with the idea and didn’t attack me as a person, as happens in so many corners of the internet. So props to TFD for building an audience of decent folks.

    • Summer

      I agree with you in that I do not understand the glorification of “pride” in paying off student loan debt, because arguably, the system shouldn’t be so absurd that we end up in this desperate of a situation to begin with. I pay my loans because of the legal repercussions that would come along with not doing so—I don’t pay them out of some moral high ground, there’s no scrambling to throw every spare dollar at my loans and I don’t feel a single shred of ~accomplishment~ when I see that my payment has been drafted out of my account each month. I recognize that I got myself into this situation and I’ll pull the weight of my agreements, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be resentful about it. Because I am, trust me. The U.S. education system is capital-F FUCKED.

      My issue with your article here isn’t that there’s a “wrong” way to pay off debt. I don’t care how someone does it. I’m just curious how you could face your network of people you see and speak to on a regular basis after soliciting their help in in paying off your debt. As I made clear in my original comment, I’m well aware of the fact that no one is forced into donating a dime, but it’s still just….a tricky situation. Tricky because if absolutely nothing else, you’re opening yourself up to a lot of judgment, and I’m not talking about the fact that you’re crowdfunding, I mean judgment over everything ELSE you get up to. At least in my case, if I were to try to crowdfund my debt, I’d get questions like, “so how was your recent weekend in Paris?” and “I see you tried a new restaurant last week,” ie; calling my ass out on the recreational things that I do because I refuse to let my debt dominate my life. The only way I can honestly see crowdfunding for something like this would be if I scrapped absolutely every semblance of enjoyment—no traveling, no eating out, no drinking, no extraneous purchases whatsoever—and continued to do so for an extended enough period of time that people couldn’t come back on me and say something like “aren’t you talking about a trip to Thailand in February though?”

      So yes, while it is *my* personal unwillingness to solicit donations, I also feel that lifestyle choices are an angle of the crowdfunding conversation that hasn’t really been touched on here. If someone is going to setup a GoFundMe to chip away at their Great Lakes balance, they need to take a really good look at the things they’ve been doing (that others are aware of, at least) and be honest about the impact those things arguably have on their ability to pay down their own debt at a more rapid pace. People might feel apt to lend you a hand if it’s clear you’ve fallen on hard times and are struggling to make ends meet and there’s really no way to tighten your belt any further. Folks are far less likely to donate to someone who is just trying to be “creative” in their payment approach when they know that person is simultaneously going out on the weekends on a regular basis or is in the process of revamping their wardrobe. I’m all for creative solutions but there is nothing particularly innovative about asking other people for money just on the off-chance they might feel like slipping you a few bucks. Your article basically said to be cool with receiving less than you hope for and to make sure your video is good quality and otherwise, just go for it. I mean, sure, you CAN just go for it and do it and see what happens, but it’s probably best to approach it with a little more regard for the overall picture, if for no other reason than to save face when it’s over.

      My apologies if anything I’ve said has come off as an attack directly on you, as that is certainly not my intent!

      • To be clear: the 30% rule goes for any fundraising or crowdfunding venture; you’re gonna wanna be able to hit that first 30% in a “soft launch” before publicizing your campaign. It’s kind of like buskers putting their own coins in their hat before playing on the street – it’s more convincing to donate to something that’s already been donated to (social proof). It also gives people more confidence that they can help you reach your goal. (for more on soft launch – https://go.indiegogo.com/blog/2015/12/running-successful-crowdfunding-campaign-calendar.html)

        Also to clarify: the idea here is to strategize and plan the campaign, not just go around asking people for money because they should feel bad for you. As I said in the post itself, you don’t want people to donate out of pity for your plight – you want them to donate because they want to see you conquer your dreams.

        I’m curious how your logic applies to people who run crowdfunding campaigns to launch new products – what about their lifestyle choices?

        • Summer

          Crowdfunding to launch a new product or business is different, I think. You’re about to offer an item or service, presumably with the intent to reach many, many people. New products and companies typically begin with a need (or at least a strong want), so it’s feasible to think that if one person finds something to be useful or appealing, there will probably be others who will also find that thing useful and appealing. To crowdfund a product or business, you have to have something tangible enough to be able demonstrate the idea. People need to see enough to know that the product or service is real and actually stands a chance at coming to fruition if the funding is there.

          In terms of analyzing lifestyle choices, someone launching a new product isn’t three months’ worth of lattes away from realizing their goal. Unless you’re sitting on a fat trust fund and have ample time and resources, it doesn’t matter HOW frugal you are, you’re going to need help to bring your concept to life. I’ve never looked at a product or company kickstarter and thought to myself, “well, they’d probably be a lot closer to their goal if the founder wasn’t going to happy hour four times a week.” It’s just completely different. Besides, businesses have an entirely different set of liability and legal repercussions. It’s really difficult to compare it to someone asking for help with paying debt.

          Yes, I know you can argue that someone with XYZ degree can go on to do XYZ things and perhaps widely benefit others as a new product or company might, but it’s still not a direct benefit to anyone except the person with the debt. Plus, the degree has already been obtained. It’s not like the contributions will make education a reality for this person, they’ve already gotten what they wanted. You’re literally asking other people to help you pay your bills, that’s all it is. The idea that people will donate because they want to see you conquer your dreams is fine, but realistically, nobody is going to be that invested in your personal ambitions besides, like, your grandparents. Yes, it’s cool to see people achieve their goals, but in order for me to have any interest in contributing, I need that goal to be a little more than just “I have 20k left on my student loan debt and I’d really appreciate any help in paying it off!” If I’m going to selflessly donate money to a good cause, it’s not going to one person’s student loans, I’m going to give it to a legitimate charity with a proven record of doing good. If I’m donating money to a crowdfunding campaign, I need incentive. I need to see how *I* will also benefit if you succeed. If that incentive is great enough, then I’m willing to take the risk of donating money and perhaps getting nothing at all if the campaign doesn’t fund.

  • Sophia An

    The judgement for this article is so off putting, more so than the content of the article.

    Everyone is allowed to crowdfund what they want. If you choose not to support that cause that’s up to you but to feel any which way towards the creator is a tad bit too much. Yes, her friends will be turned off about it and they may lose friends due to it but anyone willing to do this should be aware of the risks and it’s up to them to risk it not the audience. Does it matter if it’s tacky or not? The author and creator has for all intents and purposes thought this through to the extent they think it’ll affect their life.

    As to the idea of there being better things to donate to, yes, there may well be. But again, the author is not telling you to donate, they’re asking. Anyone has the right to say no.

    I do disagree with the author encouraging this without doing it themselves. It’s one thing to present an idea and another to push people to try it without doing so themselves. If nothing else the author should explore more of the negative affects before telling others to do it.

    • Hi Sophia, I agree regarding the judgment, although I suppose I’m biased. And thank you for your refreshingly open-minded perspective.

      I was actually going to crowdfund myself but had my loans paid off before I got the chance to (and couldn’t be grateful enough for this). I wish I could have written an article about how I crowdfunded some of my debt and here’s how I did it, but I’m hoping someone else will take the idea and run with it (although unlikely at this point after reading through all the resentment here) and write that article him or herself.

  • Just browsed through Gofundme me out of curiosity. There are definitely some people out there making this happen*. Check it out, I think it’s pretty cool to see.

    https://www.gofundme.com/ha-help-me-pay-my-student-loans?ssid=832335108&pos=16
    https://www.gofundme.com/4g94qc?ssid=832340518&pos=25
    https://www.gofundme.com/nphmvhac?ssid=832343984&pos=31

    *Also a lot of people trying to make it happen and failing which I would attribute to either a goal set WAY too high or poor marketing and PR

  • Winterlight

    I am decidedly uncomfortable with this idea because I’ve seen it go badly wrong before. People who are fundraising from family/friends for (adopting a child, holiday, pay down debt, mortgage) will find that a LOT of people will be watching what they do afterwards. By requesting money, you are opening yourself to financial scrutiny.

    For example, I know of one woman who was fundraising towards adoption, got around $25,000 and then proceeded to take an expensive holiday and adopt a purebred dog. A number of people felt that the money spent on the dog and holiday (IRRC it was around $6,000 for the trip and $1500 for the dog) should have gone towards her fundraising goals. People also ended up asking if she’d used some of the fundraising money for this. The situation turned into a mess, and she lost friends.

    Be prepared for people to have an opinion on your finances, because you’re giving them an opening.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This