Elsewhere online
June 14, 2016

Crowdfunding Sites Teem With Drives for Orlando Victims

There’s been a major proliferation of crowdfunding campaigns to benefit the victims Sunday’s Orlando nightclub shooting and their families, with more than 100 fundraising drives connected to the tragedy being hosted on GoFundMe alone, Slate writes.

"Crowdfunding has come age," finance columnist Helaine Olen asserts, citing main Orlando-related campaign on GoFundMe, hosted by LGBT advocacy group Equality Florida, which raised $2.1 million in a little more than 24 hours after the massacre at a gay club that claimed the lives of 49 people.

But she also raises some concerns about the online drives that crop up in the immediate aftermath of mass shootings and natural disasters, saying they can harbor scammers — GoFundMe has already taken down a few questionable Orlando campaigns — and by their nature do not last long enough for raise enough money to cover victims' long-term needs.

"That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t donate — you should!" Ms. Olen writes, but she advises donors donors to support drives that promise to benefit all victims rather than just individuals, unless they are connected with the particular person or family.