Should you start a GoFundMe for someone in need of financial support?


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Someone you know is in dire financial straits and you want to help. You cannot provide all the necessary help yourself, so you are considering setting up a GoFundMe on their behalf.

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While this can be a quick and easy way to raise the necessary funds, you are in a bit of a conflict.

In most cases, a GoFundMe is created for someone in a difficult situation that they did not expect, so the last thing you want is to cause some drama by starting a fundraiser.

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Maryanne Parker, founder of Manor of Manners, a San Diego-based label consulting firm, said it was okay to start a GoFundMe for a family member or very close friend who is in need of financial help. , usually after having obtained its authorization.

“If there is an unexpected death in the family and the relevant person needs financial help, after a real discussion we can continue with the GoFundMe account,” she said. “When the person who needs help is injured or sick and cannot ask for help on their own, we can go ahead and create a GoFundMe fund. “

Of course, there are many different reasons that someone might need a GoFundMe. Even though the person is technically capable of starting their own fundraiser, Parker said it is sometimes good to do so without first consulting with the recipient.

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For example, she said if a friend’s child needs to attend an important sports camp that could impact their future, but you know they can’t afford it, surprise them. with a fundraiser GoFundMe is perfectly appropriate. She said it’s also okay to start a GoFundMe for your best friend if their pet is sick and you know they don’t have the money for a necessary procedure.

As to when it’s not appropriate to start a GoFundMe, Parker advised against doing so if you’re not really close to the person who needs the help.

“It can be seen as intrusive,” she said. “The GoFundMe account has a strong personal element and we could be moved by creating one.”

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Additionally, she said, while the reason for GoFundMe isn’t particularly important, starting one can be seen as greedy and thoughtless. She said some people are also not interested in showing the vulnerability that comes with being the recipient of a fundraiser.

“Running a GoFundMe campaign can damage our relationships and cause distress to our friend or family member,” she said. “Some people have strong pride and dignity, and exposing a very personal situation to the world can be rather uncomfortable.”

Before continuing, Jodi RR Smith, president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, based in Marblehead, Mass., Agreed that it’s important to make sure the person wants your help. After confirming that they do, she said that you will need to get permission to share certain information publicly.

“Make sure you know exactly how much of their private stuff you are allowed to share,” she said. “Even if it is your spouse or your child, you will need to consider their feelings before moving forward.”

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She said you’ll also want to think about how much time and effort you’re willing to devote to the cause.

“Is this a one-time situation and for a limited time or will it continue?” She recommended to ask you. “Are you willing and able to continue to focus on fundraising? “

Additionally, Smith said you’ll need to look at any personal ramifications you might face. She said you will want to take into account factors such as which bank account the funds will be transferred to, keeping track of the money and disbursements, who has access to the funds and what they can be used for and any tax implications of GoFundMe.

“Take the time to speak with a lawyer and an accountant to make sure your act of kindness doesn’t turn into a financial nightmare,” she said.

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Plus, she said you’ll want to know that starting a GoFundMe for one person might invite calls for more in the future.

“By creating a fund like this for a friend or relative, you will open yourself up to requests from other people in need in the future,” she said. “Know your limits so you know when you will or will not coordinate such an effort again. “

Starting a GoFundMe can be a much appreciated gesture, but think about it first. While every situation is unique, it’s always appropriate to make sure that you don’t overdo or share someone else’s personal situation too much.

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Last updated: September 2, 2021

This article originally appeared on Should You Start A GoFundMe For Someone In Need Of Financial Support?

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