Updated: Dec 17, 2020
Being IN NEED is never fun, especially when there's no end in sight.
It's embarrassing sometimes, not being able to manage all that ADULTING, but the truth is MOST Americans are in the same boat. So does that mean we all suck at money? Or is it more like the system (as it is) is flawed?
Our high schools don't teach us how to do basic personal accounting, which is a shame, really, since that's definitely an unavoidable part of adulthood, unlike trigonometry, which I have successfully avoided since the day I graduated.
Beyond that, cost of living goes up constantly, while wages stay low. Most middle income families are a medical diagnosis or a car crash away from financial ruin. And now with COVID wreaking havoc, things are only getting worse.
Unsurprisingly, many people turn to crowd-funding to help pay URGENT expenses. According to GoFundMe, a new fundraiser is set up every 8 seconds. EIGHT SECONDS??? That's a lot of people in need.
Also unsurprising, a large number of those fundraisers don't even raise a single fund.
So what the frick?
Well, just like in real life, it's all about who you know. If you have a robust social network to share your fundraiser with, you have a better chance at getting some cash to flow. Even better if they actually LIKE or sympathize with you + will share your story with THEIR network, too.
But what about sad sacks like ME?
I've kind of avoided social media for the most part. I have 45 Facebook friends. 8 of those I see or talk to every day. And I don't mean this in a mean way, but I don't have a lot of confidence in the other 37 to care about my pleas for help, unless it looked more like this:
I mean, I get it. I'm too poor to be charitable at the moment. I will still give a friend $20 for gas so they can get to work, but I don't go clicking around looking for places to stick my money. I can't wait to be charitable again beyond donating things back to the thrift store, but for now, this is my lot in life.
I KNOW I HAVE NO CHANCE to get strangers to care about how my air conditioning was broken in my car this summer, so we had the windows rolled down and then it rained and then the driver's side window wouldn't roll back up at first, and now it won't roll down. And we still have no a/c!
Right? Like who gives a crap about THAT (very true story) when someone else needs diabetes medicine, or life-saving surgery?
But even if I needed life saving surgery, like the Roys did, there's no guarantee at all that anyone will come to my rescue.
So what then? Are bozos like me just spinning wheels trying to start up a fundraiser at all? The thought of ME having to crowdfund anything terrifies me.
Your've vulnerable. You're sort of putting your heart out there, hoping people will be tender with it. But then, what if it turns out no one even noticed your thumping loaf of hopes + dreams?
Here's a NOVEL idea
Raffles for Regular People. But not of boring, new stuff.
I have a vintage Ralph Lauren Polo 1992 Stadium jacket like THIS ONE. My dad recently gave it to me, he's the original owner, so I know it's authentic.
I know if I need an emergency thousand bucks or so, it's in the closet, but what IF?
WHAT IF instead of listing rare, vintage collectibles like this jacket on eBay where only a few people are able to play, I could raffle that m'er- f'er?
I'm pretty positive that there are thousands of fans of vintage designer threads who would give a few bucks towards a shot at winning this bad boy, which means they're stoked enough to DO SOMETHING. Obviously, that Do Something is enter the raffle.
Let's just say it cost $2 to enter the raffle. Even if everyone only got one entry, only 1,250 people need to enter for it to reach $2,500.
Try to get 1,250 people to care about me n' my car! I dare you!!
But they like my Dad's jacket and you know what? I'm perfectly okay with that!
COMMENCE THE DREAMIN':
Now let's say they can each enter up to 10x. A total spend for them of $20, which HONESTLY is nothing to people who collect this stuff. Even if they don't want it for themselves, it's a great deal for a flip.
Now my silly jacket is suddenly valued at (gulp) $25,000! Oh, that's embarrassing. But I do need money. I wouldn't say no. Who would?
Remember earlier when I said I can't wait to be charitable again?! Well, if I could raise $25k on the fly like that? I would be willing to donate a portion to a charity that I care about, too!
I mean, no one's stopping me from setting up a Go Fund Me, in where people presumably could donate money for nothing.
I've never been good at receiving gifts, anyway. So why can't I give one of my Donors a rare, vinty POLO jacket as a thanks for thinking of me?
RIGHT?! But RAFFLES! Raffles are strange things. Raffles were invented for the sole purpose of fundraising, after all, but for something so small, there are a LOT of regulations to consider.
Some states don't even allow them at all, because it's too GAMBLE-Y. Others only let you host 5 raffles per YEAR or only allow you to sell tickets to people inside a physical location! So I guess RAFFLES ARE OUT, you guys!
But there's another way!