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.