Just Because a Friend Shared the Story on Facebook Doesn’t Mean it’s Legit: Do Your Research Before You Click “Give”

August 19, 2014

articleHave you ever stumbled upon a crowdfunding site and wondered what is this? Crowdfunding as defined by Merriam-Webster states: “the practice of soliciting financial contributions from a large number of people especially from the online community.” There are several websites that sole purpose is crowdfunding and these sites are very popular right now.

How it works: You find a project on a site that you believe your contribution will impact. Projects can be to help someone with financial struggles or to help someone with an entrepreneurial adventure. Sometimes these projects are legitimate and sometimes they are not. Since you are the donor, you will need to find out for yourself if the information is viable.

Better Business Bureau® Serving Central Indiana offers these tips when considering donating your money:

  • Look into all of the information before you decide to give. Put on your investigative hat. Does the person in charge of the project have enough experience to make the project take off?
  • Read the terms and conditions before giving any money.
  • If you desire, reach out for more information to get your questions answered.  If there is not a phone number to call or place to go for more information, then it may not be a project worth your investment.
  • Set a budget for yourself and only give out money you can afford to give.
  • Contributions are not tax deductible unless the group is a 501©(3).
  • If you think one of the crowdfunding sites has suspicious looking information, please contact the site directly with as much information as you can.
  • Find out if you will receive anything in return for your donation.
  • As always do as much research as possible to make the best informed decision you can.

If you have a question about a company or want to find an Accredited Business you can trust, visit BBB’s website at: bbb.org/indy/