Grumble: The One-Click-Trick, re: GoFundMe and Change.org programs, and donations
Grumble! I’ve seen it yet again. Programs that sound right, even look right and people fall for it. I’ve fallen victim to it as well. This has to do with the “GoFundMe” and “Change.org” programs (they both work the same way).
A couple of years ago there was an Animal-Kin, this time a Donkey, that was in peril and a plea had gone out for help to save this Animal-Kin and others similarly suffering.
Just checked and, yep, I still have that plea for help. Here’s the link:
Of course I was moved by the plea to help these desperate Animal-Kin who, in this world so over-run with human-animals, cannot help themselves at all. And so, dummy that I am (or was), I donated.
Some of you know how this worked out; some of you don’t know. And it’s for those who don’t yet know that I must write this.
Turns out, no, not one bit of my donation went where I had wanted and had thought my coins should go. That is to help these Animal-Kin. In fact, I went so far as to write to Change.org. To my surprise they wrote back and here is their reply:
Jun 21, 2017, 8:25 AM
Thank you for contacting the Change.org Help Center.
Allow me to inform you that contributions on our platform do not go towards the cause of the petition. I am sorry about the confusion and any inconvenience this may have caused.
To further clarify, your paid promotion of $25 USD towards the petition “Save Donkey From Abuse” did not go towards the cause of the petition but rather to promote the petition to other users on our platform. Think of promotion like paying for advertisement.
Currently, your promotion of $25 USD is being completed, this means that the petition is being presented to potential users on our platform that might be interested in supporting the petition.
I hope this information clarifies. Let me know if you have further questions or if there is anything else I can assist you with.
All the best,
Change.org Help Center
Change.org · 548 Market St #29993, San Francisco, CA 94104-5401, USA
And today, here is what I read from a person using the GoFundMe platform:
Fall River, MA, United States
Jul 2, 2019 —
Ive had a lot of people asking if they donate to change.org will it go to me, I DO NOT receive any money donated toward change.org it just promotes the petition. many people are wanting to help with donations so i was asked to create a gofund me. if you would wish to donate it would be awesome, all proceeds will go towards lawyer/ specialist fee’s as well as getting her into proper training. any money left over would be donated to other animal rescues to help pay it forward. thank you so much for all the support ❤️
Notice what you do not see? Exactly! Where actually does one donate to if one wants to donate directly to support the individual? It’s not there. There’s no link for direct donations. It all leads back to the “advertising” platform.
Realizing that these platforms are only advertising companies was for me infuriating, to say the least. I felt I’d been duped. Far worse though was understanding that where I wanted my tiny, hard-earned coins to go, I couldn’t get those coins to the right place.
So, what does one have to do instead? Well, have to go hunting for the website or some other avenue to get support directly to where it is needed. And who has time for all that hunting about, correct? Thus, the one-click-trick is born. Just one click, a credit card, and all is done, right? Couldn’t be easier, sure?
This is one instance where venues like Facebook and Twitter are considerably more helpful in that at least there might be a direct link to the cause that has drawn one’s heart.
Searching for a direct link via one’s search engine of choice can be a bit time-consuming, but once found and bookmarked, it’s generally a one-time task. That link can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, so on, and the donated coins actually go to where they are needed. Of course, always check that a charitable organization is either a 501c3 (United States) or some other verification of actuality. The time invested in the initial search does become well worth the effort.
Please, Folks, don’t do what I’ve done in the past and that is fall for donating to venues like Change.org and GoFundMe, thinking I was actually helping the call for help. These are only advertising programs; even the organizations themselves will confess to this.
Plenty of other folks have become bitterly turned off to these advertisers because of how deceived they end up feeling in the end. But, yes, these advertising programs do one important thing – get the word out and bring awareness to a situation. If one wishes to support and pay for getting the word out, cool, but please know that is where your money is going.
Remember, not one penny goes directly to any cause on these advertising platforms. I mean, really?! These advertisers can’t at least share?
I know I’m being repetitive here but I keep seeing folks falling for this and asking the same questions over and over again when they land on these advertisers’ pages, ‘Well, I want to donate directly to you, so where can I donate to?’
So yeah, Folks, if you feel drawn to donate -and Bless your good heart for wanting to help those in need!- please, it really is worth your time and effort to find a direct link. Do a bit of homework.
I understand totally that homework can be time-consuming, can lead to aggravation and at times disappointment. Using those advertisers really does feel easier. Hence how the one-click-trick came to be.
But getting your coins actually to the cause that has drawn in your heart will not happen with those advertisers.
Getting the coins to where they are needed will only happen with you, your research and your sharing on open platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and so on.
By the way, just in case you might be interested, here is the link for helping the Donkeys and as far as I can tell, the donation route on this one looks legit:
Looks like maybe Change.org now at least permits a click-through link (this link was not on the original page of plea for help). Thank goodness for progress, eh!
Bless your good hearts.
Continuing to send good thoughts for our Nation, our Earth, all our Animal-Kin…