Today's guest post is by Peppercommer Dandy Stevenson.
The following event announcement landed on my Facebook page yesterday:
A friend’s adult son is apparently going after his third advanced degree in music composition, and I, along with 1,112 of his other closest friends, have been invited to help pay his way. I hardly know where to start with this one, but that as an educated adult he has no compunction to begging is as good a place as any. I mean, this is not to help his favorite charity.
Wait a minute. Maybe he IS his own favorite charity. Is he such an artist that a mainstream job is too dangerous? If he was a waiter, some aggrieved customer might stab his magic fingers with a fork.
Besides, if he has a data base of 1,000+ friends, and if each person gives just five dollars then he’s got a tax-free five thou easy as pie. Much easier than breaking a sweat or waking up at 7am, right? As he says on his fundraising page, “The life of a composer can be overwhelming at times.” (One can only imagine.)
And by donating I am “helping to shape the path of an artist.”
His virtual tin cup is part of GoFundMe (“The easy way to raise money online.”) And he is just one of thousands who have set up sites to pay for such things as a honeymoon (“We’re thinking of sailing in the Caribbean!”) a dirt bike (”…cuz, honestly, that's about all I want.) or bankroll a Miss Teen USA hopeful (“Singing lessons are expensive!”).
Of course there are the heart-tugging pleas from cancer patients and those who lost homes to natural disasters. Maybe. This mainstream solicitation portal dilutes everything to the point that you wonder just how many doe-eyed children are really sick. Or it could be just sick parents trying to make an easy buck.
Ever since the United Way scandal (Millennials: look it up) charities have suffered mightily. And today, while things are better, thanks to such watchdog organizations as Charity Navigator, non-profits still have an uphill battle for the public’s dwindling discretionary dollars. And vehicles such as GoFundMe aren’t helping.