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alisoncooks

GoFundMe or YouCaring...experience?

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We have had so many people ask how they can help our family, now that word is out about DH's new diagnosis (and upcoming bone marrow transplant).  DH & I are pretty independent (stubbornly so), but if we're being honest: we are hemorrhaging $$.  We've barely made a dent in our medical debt from the past 3 years (separate cancer treatment).  It's pretty discouraging to feel like everything is tumbling down around you.

 

Since people are asking to help, we are considering using a crowd-funding platform to raise money to lessen the burden.  If you have used either Go Fund Me or You Caring, what was your experience?  Positive or negative. :)

 

TBH, I'm afraid to be judged.  I'm afraid that if we accept help, then we're opening ourselves up to criticism (ie. the feeling that I can't even grab a burger from McD's without someone judging me for wasting $ on takeout).  So....if you've given to an online fundraiser, do you find yourself looking at the recipient any differently?  

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Firstly, people who want to judge will judge no matter what you do.

 

Secondly, I donate to some folks I know through Patreon, and the reason I do that is because their life is hellish and I sure don't judge them for that.

 

Have people said what kind of help they want to offer? Quite often people only want to help in unhelpful ways, so don't take it as a personal criticism of you if that happens.

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I’m sorry you are facing this!

 

When my cousin’s house burned down last year we gave him money directly through PayPal because of the huge percent GoFundMe takes. I believe it is 8%. But it is easy for most people to give through a platform like that.

 

I do not look down on people that are facing a genuine need like you are facing. I think most people have compassion for those going through a crisis such as the one you are facing.

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I’m not a fan of them. I think they’re tacky. And very rarely do the donation amounts really do that much, unless it’s a sudden accident or a cute kid - I hate to say it but it’s true.

 

I’m sorry you’re struggling against medical debt. It’s been a battle for us for years and once we dug out we had Benny :rofl:

 

What you could ask for that might get a better response is help with chores, meals, driving to and from appointments, etc. It keeps you connected to your support system and people get to give without opening their wallets directly. I have gained more for the benevolence of friends than anything in recent years. It doesn’t help pay the bills, but it feeds my heart and that has been a bigger deal. The bills will always be there, but I don’t feel quite so marooned with them!

Edited by Arctic Mama
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IME, I would use You Caring, not Go Fund Me. I have contributed to You Caring before, but GFM bothers me due to the large amount of frivolous nonsense requests. I do think that it is a legitimate thing to ask for crowdsourced help with medical bills and I would not hesitate to help a friend in such a manner.

 

As far as worrying about judgement, I think you just have to decide you don’t give a @$*& what people think. They have not walked in your shoes. You need help with this and if it pisses someone off then they don't have to contribute.

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I've used GoFundMe once before, for fundraising for a team. I have heard that YouCaring is better now though.

 

It makes me sad that GFM has become so negative... but I have zero judgment of anyone I know personally using it to raise money in the wake of an illness, a tragedy, or even a small fundraiser for a group they're involved in. It's when it's someone I don't know that I simply cannot trust it.

 

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I’m not a fan of them. I think they’re tacky. And very rarely do the donation amounts really do that much, unless it’s a sudden accident or a cute kid - I hate to say it but it’s true.

 

I’m sorry you’re struggling against medical debt. It’s been a battle for us for years and once we dug out we had Benny :rofl:

 

What you could ask for that might get a better response is help with chores, meals, driving to and from appointments, etc. It keeps you connected to your support system and people get to give without opening their wallets directly. I have gained more for the benevolence of friends than anything in recent years. It doesn’t help pay the bills, but it feeds my heart and that has been a bigger deal. The bills will always be there, but I don’t feel quite so marooned with them!

 

 

IME, I would use You Caring, not Go Fund Me. I have contributed to You Caring before, but GFM bothers me due to the large amount of frivolous nonsense requests. I do think that it is a legitimate thing to ask for crowdsourced help with medical bills and I would not hesitate to help a friend in such a manner.

 

As far as worrying about judgement, I think you just have to decide you don’t give a @$*& what people think. They have not walked in your shoes. You need help with this and if it pisses someone off then they don't have to contribute.

 

 

I agree with a little of both. People and support systems are an important thing in your situation. Unfortunately, if this new medical expense looks like something beyond what you will ever be able to manage, looking for some support may not hurt. If you think you can manage it eventually - paying off over time, you may be more comfortable asking for practical help, like rides to places, meals, babysitting, etc. to make day to day life easier.

 

And if you do decide to use either of them you need not feel judged. As Quill said, people have the choice to donate. Once you donated money, it is out of your hands. How would people know that you got a burger? :)

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A couple of years ago, the Dh of a homeschooling friend went to the er with a lingering cough and found out he had cancer. He basically did not return to work and worked on contracts and had just finished one. They did not have an income coming in once he got sick. He set up a blog and was very forthright with their expenses. Most people wanted to help with food, but that was not an expense they needed covered as they qualified for assistance for that. He asked people offering to help to consider paying/partially paying a specific bill. Eventually, gas cards were very much appreciated to help towards the new, added daily expense of gas to and from the hospital. Each month, people were very generous and met there needs. The one bill that he asked to make sure got paid each month was his life insurance premium.

 

I think people donated directly to them or through their church so additional fees were taken from any donations.

 

They were very open about what they were going through as they went through it, and they had a big network of friends. His illness lasted one year from finding out until his passing. I don’t think they started sharing their need until several months into it, when they probably realized how serious his illness was.

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I can't speak as to which one is better, but I would recommend having someone host the fundraiser for you, rather than doing it yourselves. It just presents much nicer for someone to say, my cousin/friend needs a bone marrow transplant, please help! than to do it yourself. No actual difference, I realize. 

 

If I donate, I don't look at the people differently, because I don't donate if I think it's dubious. 

 

What size town are you in? If you're in a bigger city, does the newspaper do local news or columns for the various neighborhoods? I used to write for our city paper, concentrating on a specific geographic area, and I wrote a "local has medical crisis" story every six months or so. Some people got a nice chunk of change particularly if they had a background in the area, with people who may have known them in the past but but weren't aware of the current dx. Cute family photos with the kids help; email one when requesting coverage, and then email it again to the particular writer who covers your story. Some people will not donate online, period, so you should also have a donation account set up with a local bank. 

 

The A+, #1 fundraiser for medical crises is a benefit. Try to have friends ask around about organizing one for you. They get the Lions Club to donate a hall, local restaurants to donate food, businesses to donate auction items, groceries to donate liquor, and bands to donate performances. Sell tickets very reasonably with a plate of food included - the money will be made on door prizes, auction items, and cash bar. 

 

Best of luck to you. 

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I’m sorry you are facing this!

 

When my cousin’s house burned down last year we gave him money directly through PayPal because of the huge percent GoFundMe takes. I believe it is 8%. But it is easy for most people to give through a platform like that.

 

I do not look down on people that are facing a genuine need like you are facing. I think most people have compassion for those going through a crisis such as the one you are facing.

 

I don't mind them and like being able to help out causes I think are worthy, but when I found out about the cut GoFundMe takes, I was pissed I didn't just hand the people a check. It's ridiculous. After Hurricane Harvey we knew so many people that needed help and I did a bunch of contributions through GFM, then my dh came home and told me about the percentage lost to GFM. I hadn't read the fine print. I was fuming. I wish I'd done PP or something instead. 

 

I think another option, in addition, would be for a close friend to throw y'all a fundraising dinner or cook out or something.  BBQ Fundraisers are big here, and I don't think facing a cancer battle two times in a row is anything a person should throw stones at. Y'all need all the help and support you can get and if it's a hug, or a donation or whatever, I don't see anything wrong with asking for help. I can't imagine what y'all are going through. Your friends probably WANT to help and often people don't know what to do beyond bring food, but you can only use so many casseroles but most people feel weird just inviting themselves over and handing someone an envelope of money for fear of insulting them. I think making a platform be it online or a fundraiser is a great way for people to show they care. 

 

 

Hugs and prayers for you, your dh and the rest of your family. 

Edited by texasmom33
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From my reading, Go Fund Me and You Caring have a 3% fee (2.9 for YC) + $0.30 per donation. That covers PayPal fees, basically. Not too high, really...

 

I grew up in a small community where BBQ plate fundraisers were pretty common. We are different in that we know very few people in our town (I can count our connections on one hand, maybe two). Our church is in another town, so it's pretty inconvenient to get the actual, physical help like mentioned above. It would create more work for me to find ways to allow people to feel useful. Maybe it's rude, but I don't have the energy for that.

 

However, because of the nature of DH's work, we do have a widespread network of friends/acquaintances, most in other cities/states.

 

IDK. I'm still thinking on it. Perhaps there's other options.

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From my reading, Go Fund Me and You Caring have a 3% fee (2.9 for YC) + $0.30 per donation. That covers PayPal fees, basically. Not too high, really...

 

I grew up in a small community where BBQ plate fundraisers were pretty common. We are different in that we know very few people in our town (I can count our connections on one hand, maybe two). Our church is in another town, so it's pretty inconvenient to get the actual, physical help like mentioned above. It would create more work for me to find ways to allow people to feel useful. Maybe it's rude, but I don't have the energy for that.

 

However, because of the nature of DH's work, we do have a widespread network of friends/acquaintances, most in other cities/states.

 

IDK. I'm still thinking on it. Perhaps there's other options.

It appears they are only charging the processing fee now, they use to charge another fee in addition. With PayPal you can send money Friends & Family for free, but GFM may be easier.

 

Would your church or husband’s company possibly be willing to sponsor a fundraiser?

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If you need help, its a good idea to let the people asking to give you the help of a local fundraising dinner and setting up a fund.  The fund can be with a local bank or with an online platform.  People know how high deductibles and co-insurance are now.  Be very upfront with the person as to how much you need to raise.  People respond to need.

 

The only criticism I've ever heard is for the people whose spouses make high salaries and both have good medical coverage...it was as if  they did't want to deplete their savings by a nickel, but were happy to deplete the donors' savings.  People would rather donate time in that situation, if needed.  I turned down all help, I was very ill before AFA so I didn't have the super high deductible and co-insurance that people do now plus my teens knew how to cook. The help I did need was driving, and no one would help, even extended family...as noted above, most people aren't going to go out of their way and most people have work and school .  They'll donate cash and a few will donate a meal.  No one is going to criticize how funds are being spent from the fundraiser, its expected that you'll have transportation and eating out expenses as well as the medical.  

 

So, yes, accept.  And let your church help. 

Edited by Heigh Ho
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I have used both to donate money several times. They were very easy to navigate & I like that you can give discreetly or leave a message. I do remember one platform charged a fee. My mom was donating to a friend of mine with cancer & she was very put off by this. She wanted my friend to receive every dollar, so she just mailed money directly instead. FWIW, I don’t think they are tacky. I find it a convenient way to communicate an issue and collect funds for a cause. No one is forced to participate. And I find a lot of people really want to help others and just don’t know how, so this makes caring tangible for those who need it.

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I’ve seen crowd source fund raisers where people do it through a big bank, like Bank of America or Chase. An account is set up and people can go to any branch of that bank to make a donation. Or you can transfer money. I don’t know exactly how it works.

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Not tacky at all. I have donated through both and would never dream of judging someone in your position. Anyone who does is a jerk.

 

Huge hugs to you and your family! :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

 

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We have had so many people ask how they can help our family, now that word is out about DH's new diagnosis (and upcoming bone marrow transplant).  DH & I are pretty independent (stubbornly so), but if we're being honest: we are hemorrhaging $$.  We've barely made a dent in our medical debt from the past 3 years (separate cancer treatment).  It's pretty discouraging to feel like everything is tumbling down around you.

 

Since people are asking to help, we are considering using a crowd-funding platform to raise money to lessen the burden.  If you have used either Go Fund Me or You Caring, what was your experience?  Positive or negative. :)

 

TBH, I'm afraid to be judged.  I'm afraid that if we accept help, then we're opening ourselves up to criticism (ie. the feeling that I can't even grab a burger from McD's without someone judging me for wasting $ on takeout).  So....if you've given to an online fundraiser, do you find yourself looking at the recipient any differently?  

 

 

We've donated to a few different folks and I think it's a great platform.  (Have only used GoFundMe.)

And, on the McDonald's thing, the donations are for food too.  When people are sick and going to dr. appointments, frankly they hemorrhage money AND time.  It's really rough.  I wouldn't think anything of someone going out to eat at a time like this.

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My son was able to get secondary insurance through the state that covered all of his BMT that our primary insurance did not. The oncology clinic had a social worker that helped us set that up. I have no idea if there is something like that for adults, though. A Caring Bridge or Facebook page is one way to let others know your needs as well as update them of what is going on. Remember that lots of people want to help, so once you decide how you want to go about asking for it, don't worry about being judged. And don't forget to post the link here as I am sure people here will want to help.

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I donate and don't judge, but I think people feel differently depending on how it is presented.  I remember something like this...totally my wording from vague memory.  Can't remember if the e-mail came from a relative or the person, but it was also posted on the YouCaring site.  It wasn't just asking for money, but help of all kinds, and it was really only intended to go to those that asked if they could help, or to spread among friends and family.  

---------

Thank you for offering to help.  Please know that your thoughts and prayers mean a great deal to us., but some people have asked what more they can do.  I've tried to put together a list, if you feel called.

 

1. We have several trips a week to the hospital, gift cards for gas or the restaurants nearby are much appreciated.

2. The house is sad and George and I have a hard time being upbeat all the time.  If it works for you and your kids, sometimes it would be nice for Sally to go along on activities to get that sense of normalcy.

3. Home-cooked meals are always appreciated, or picnic lunches for chemo days.

4. Our portion of the chemo is expensive and George has had to cut his hours, so if you feel called to donate you can use the links for PayPal or YouCaring below

 

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And I'm so, so sorry that you are going through this  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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When my dh passed away suddenly, a friend of my son's (she was like a mom since he lived out of town) set up a GoFundMe account to cover funeral expenses. My kids had to tell me before I saw it posted on Facebook. I didn't know how I felt about it at first, but it was very humbling that people I didn't even know were donating.  Over half the funeral expenses were covered.  Then a family that my son knows that has a charitable foundation sent a donation to our church to cover the remaining expenses.  It truly was a blessing.  I don't think anyone would judge you for setting this type of fund up. I too am so sorry you are going through this.

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