Dear Barb—GoFundYourself

Dear Barb:

Hi, I have a friend who started a GoFundMe page to raise money to self publish a book she is writing. It is an autobiography which she says will be an inspiration to others. I know her story and I believe it will be an inspiration, but I don’t want to contribute to self publishing. If the book is good enough I feel she should be able to get a publisher to publish it. So she has started this GoFundMe page on Facebook, Google, Instagram, Snapchat and every other social media forum. She has also been sending direct messages to certain organizations campaigning for donations. A few people have donated, but not anywhere near the goal she is trying to achieve. Because she is not getting the response she wants she is posting nasty comments on social media, threatening to unfriend people because they are not helping her out. She is getting the complete opposite reaction to what she wants. The friends that I have spoken to are quite upset that she is expecting them to fund her book. I think if she continues with this behaviour she is not going to have any friends left and still won’t have her book published. I really don’t think the intention of a GoFundMe page is to intimidate people into donating. My feeling is that she needs to take this page down and apologize to her friends. Should I be supportive even if I really don’t believe in what she is doing?  Looking forward to your response, Megan.

Hey Megan:

Wow, your friend is not creating an atmosphere of giving. GoFundMe pages can be used for anything, medical expenses, education, charities, sports events, funerals, animals who need medical   treatment and even raising money for yourself, if that’s what you choose to do. The choice to donate is a personal one, as it is when donating to any charity. The funds should be freely given and graciously received. Your friend seems to have unrealistic expectations for this project.  For someone who has written an inspirational story, she is definitely not very good at inspiring people to give to her charity. I do not believe you need to be supportive of something you do not believe in. However if she is a good friend you might want to share your feelings with her about what she is doing. Perhaps she has lost perspective and needs be brought back to reality. On the other hand, she may believe that her friends should contribute; in that case there is nothing you can do to change her thinking, except follow your own heart. Interesting question Megan.

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