(update: I’ve removed my GoFundMe site, since there was no reason to continue it. I’ve corrected the post now)
For the past four months I’ve been trying to raise money through “crowdfunding,” using GoFundMe. To date I have raised exactly $0.00. What happened? Where was the bounty to come from “leveraging the Internet?” Here are the five main reasons that I’ve determined caused my “epic fail”…
5) It’s a recession
People just don’t have a lot of money to spare even for their own needs, much less for some random yahoo with his hand out. If I was doing this during the height of the bubble, I’m sure I would have gotten at least one $5 donation. As it is, the number of people with disposable income is so small that finding them is nearly impossible.
4) Obscure fundraising site
No offense to the good folks at GoFundMe, most people haven’t heard of them, so if your fundraising project isn’t set up through Kickstarter, there’s not going to be as much interest or trust among the few people who might be able to donate. Unfortunately for a lot of people, Kickstarter isn’t an option, due to the onerous requirements that they place on potential fundraising efforts. GoFundMe has great terms, the only problem I have is that I never got the minimum $100 total donations that would let me get on their main page.
3) Solicitation fatigue
Since it’s a recession, there are too many people out there asking for money, for any number of more or less worthwhile causes. Unfortunately, after a while it gets to be too much, and the natural human reaction is “Oh, crap, someone else with their hand out! Next!” There are too many worthy causes out there to donate to all of them, and so people prioritize and rightly so. Unfortunately for me, my cause hasn’t been a priority for anyone! (grin)
2) Ad blockers
Given the rise in annoying advertisements on web pages, there are a number of groups who have come up with ad blocking software that you can install that will prevent you from ever seeing any advertisement. Of course, the main reason website owners have ads is so that they can help pay for the site, but that’s less important to the people viewing the site than the viewer not being annoyed by the ads. Unfortunately, donation ads are blocked as well, unless the person using the blocker bothers to see if it’s worth their time. This never happens.
And the main reason for failure:
1) Too small a “crowd”
Unless you are outgoing enough to solicit random people, or have thousands of Facebook friends, or like Instapundit have hundreds of thousands of viewers per day, you’re not going to have a big enough “crowd” to solicit funds from. I’m probably using Facebook incorrectly, since I only send “friend” requests to people I actually know, or at least have had some personal contact with. I could send hundreds of requests to “friends of friends of friends”, but I consider that annoying someone for no reason. Therefore, since my site only gets about 20 views per day (a few hundred when I post photos), I don’t reach enough people who have enough money and who can still be concerned enough to donate.
At any rate, this is my personal experience, I’ll leave the donation link up for a while, maybe someday someone will actually donate $5, to end the humiliation of “epic failure.” (removed link)