Need Money? Now You Can Beg For It

Having trouble paying off your student loan? Maybe you’ve overextended yourself with credit card purchases or have some other use for some cash. No need to fret. Starting tomorrow (though it looks to be up and running right now) you’ll be able to hit up strangers for cash and ask for donations through the new website being launched by Reality Charity LLC. .

The site will be modeled on eBay. If you need money post an appeal and the generous will be able to browse and search and respond to you directly. Donors will be able to give with their credit card or through PayPal. Those asking for donations can get identity verification through Equifax to inspire confidence in their pleas.

RealityCharity will be a for profit site, though it’s revenue will come in the form of advertising and through larger groups looking to raise money. Money won’t be taken from donors or individual recipients.

Much like eBay the site will rely on its user base to police itself. According to site founder Alexander Blass

…the site will be self-policing. Similar to policies at eBay’s auction site or Craigslist’s classified listings, users will be the ones responsible for reporting suspicious appeals. Donors and recipients will also be allowed to withhold their full names.

Hmm…we all know that eBay and Craig’s List are spam free right? Nothing but honest folks on those sites. Something tells me I’m not alone in thinking this is going to bring out everyone with the ability to spin a sob story and turn it into a request for money. You’d hope most people would be honest. You’d also hope most would do a little bit of research before giving money directly to someone. Is it realistic to think that either will always be the case?

Pick a tragedy that a large number of people have likely experienced in some way. Tell them how you’re currently undergoing the same tragedy and you’ll hit an emotional chord with those people. Some of whom will give as a way to heal their own pain or in the honest attempt to help someone else avoid some of that pain.

There’s nothing wrong with giving and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. People do suffer financial crisis through no fault of their own and sometimes need assistance to get out from under the situation. Charity and community can both be very good things. But without any real verification the site could be launching one scam after another.

I want to believe this will be something good and the site will end up helping many people in need. I really do. I’m also sure there will be many happy stories to come out of the site. Something tells me though, that we may end up hearing more stories of people giving to what they thought was someone in need only to find out later that need either never existed or was over dramatized to tug on people’s heart strings.

But if you do need money to pay off some debt now you have a site to legitimize your begging.

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7 comments

  1. I sinceerly hope U can help me. You see, my former boss, the exalted prresident himself, has been assasinated, and there is a sum of $52 million USD sittting unclaimed in his account. Can U help me bribe the bank officialls to recover this sum? Iif you allow me the use of your account for temporary perpose, I will share with U 20 % of the grant total $52m.

    It’s a popular story. I read an article on a psychiatrist who fell for it, mainly because the spammers kept telling him they live on $30 a month and can’t afford anything without his health. Right out of the gate, this concept seems doomed. On the other hand, as much as I could use a new lens, I’d rather leave the spotlight for someone who needs it. Hopefully some vigilance on the part of donors will make self-policing at least somewhat possible.

    But this is interesting from another standpoint: there’s another site, I forget the name, that’s a lot like eBay, but people with credit problems tell their story, then others with excess money lend it to people. If you need to fix your car, you might find a lower interest than a bank offers, or you could invest in an altruistic way. I think several “investors” would pool together to spread the risk of any given loan.

    Both of these sites have the potential to hurt the finance industry. The internet is changing the way we conduct most of daily life. I think there’s a lot of risk to what these people are doing, but it will be VERY interesting to see how this all plays out.

  2. What d’ya think the ratio of donors and beggers will be?
    I suspect it will be something like 100,000 to one, With beggers making up the majority.
    It’s a nice idea, But in this selfish world it has absolutely no way of working as intended.

    If there is something peple never do it’s actively look for people to give money to.

  3. Forrest I’m so sorry to hear about your boss. I’ll fax you all my bank info immediately so you can get those funds released. It’s funny though because I got three emails this week about assassinated presidents with unclaimed money. Must be an epidemic.

    Matt I’m thinking there’s going to be a lot of college students with sob stories looking for beer money. I’d trust the site more if they weren’t running it for profit and especially if they checked the stories. Last time I checked most people hadn’t received anything, though a few had been given $20 or so. I think one person had raised a few hundred.

    I’m curious to see how this site plays out and will be checking it regularly. I want to believe it will be a helpful resource to people in need, but my gut tells me it’s just going to be people asking others for money they don’t exactly deserve. Is it right to max out your credit card on things you don’t need and then tell a sob story to get others to pay the bill?

  4. Well, I’ve been requesting donations in my site for some 4 months. And, all I ask is $5. But, to be honest, no one except my best friend donated for the site. Why is the world like this ? Can’t they just give a fellow $5 ?

    I don’t have a credit card. But my dad has one and whenever he gives it to me, I do donate to people. I mean, I’ve donated almost $50 to various site. But, why doesn’t they ever return the favor ?

    In a world like this, I don’t think this would work out. And, did you see how much people are begging from others ? I saw a guy begging $50000 !!! He prolly posted after a sad lottery unluck, maybe.

  5. You have to look at it from someone else’s perspective. Why should they give you or anyone else $5? I’m not saying they shouldn’t give, but even for a donation you need to be providing something like free software.

    I think most people won’t just donate for content unless that content is so much better than anything else out there. We’ve become accustomed to thinking of content as something for free and only if we think it more valuable than all other content will we pay for it even if payment is a donation.

    People will give to help a cause or to help with a personal tragedy, but most aren’t going to just give you money.

    I did see some of the amounts people have been asking for on the site. The most I saw was $100,000 for a down payment on a house. Seems kind of ridiculous to me to ask people to give you money for a house.

  6. Hi!

    What will happen to the money if the person who needs it died just before the charity raised the funds needed? Will they return it to donors? I hope they just add it on their funds, so that they could give it out to people all over the globe.

    Anyway, people shouldn’t ask for personal entertainment stuff. Charity means help for the needy. Needy – people who need money at crucial times that might end up ones life.

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