2020 crowdfunding failures

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Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:42 pm

I stumbled on this fascinating study of GoFundMe campaigns over the past year. It found that 43% of campaigns during the pandemic raised no money at all, compared with 3.5% of campaigns pre-pandemic. Part of the issue may be that the pandemic stressed everyone, so fewer people were able to give. But the study did find the following, which adds an interesting spin to things:
There is no reliable data on the demographics of those who start campaigns or benefit from them. However, campaigns launched in highly educated, wealthy counties did better. Higher levels of income and education were positively related to the likelihood of starting a campaign, too.

This suggests that on top of being unable to reach potential donors with bigger wallets, those living in lower-income areas might be facing barriers such as poor internet connections, or lack of familiarity with crowdfunding platforms.

GoFundMe is aware of this. In February, the company’s CEO, Tim Cadogan, published an op-ed in USA Today arguing the rise in crowdfunding campaigns for basic needs is a sign Americans don’t have enough government support to face emergencies. “The surge in these types of fundraisers is a direct result of government programs coming up short,” he wrote.
So, that leads us to an important question: How can we make sure that those who are most in need have the ability to have their needs met? Is there a different way to do crowdfunding that could lead to a more equitable result? Do we just need to increase access to those in low-income areas? What do you think?
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