News

$246,500 for 209 Bundaberg Go Fund Me campaigns

Sarah Rosborg used Go Fund Me to raise money for a cause close to her heart.
Sarah Rosborg used Go Fund Me to raise money for a cause close to her heart. Marc Stapelberg

BUNDABERG residents have donated more than $246,500 to 209 local Go Fund Me campaigns since the site started operating seven years ago.

Go Fund Me takes 6.75% from each donation, meaning the organisation has collected at least $16,500 from Bundaberg campaigns since 2010.

ARM Newsdesk research reveals that Bundaberg-based appeals for cash cover everything from sports to arts and cancer.

The region's most successful campaign is Eli's Fight 4 Life From Snake Bite in which 1545 people gave $77,700 to help the family of a Gladstone boy who is recovering in hospital after he was bitten by a taipan.

The goal for this fundraiser is $100,000.

Other successful campaigns included Roberts & Chivers Families which has raised $12,500 of a $20,000 goal to help the family of two fishermen who disappeared off Fraser Island.

Jen's Fund has raised $12,000 for a woman whose husband died suddenly; Let's Help Adrian raised $11,280 for a boy with leukemia; and Vicki's Fund raised $6900 for a woman battling breast cancer for the second time.

Only four of the region's Go Fund Me pages have raised more than $10,000, 46 pages raised up to $10,000 and 44 raised $5 to $1000.

About 115 Bundaberg Go Fund Me pages have no donations.

Consumer group Choice says potential donors should do a bit of research before shelling out their cash when they see a plea for help, just in case it was a scam.

"As a consumer, if you're planning on putting your money into a project you do need to do your homework,” Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey said.

"The onus is very much on you because there are very few legal or other requirements on the person actually asking for the money.”

Mr Godfrey also suggested donors and site creators make sure they were across the fees charged by crowdfunding sites.

Danielle Logue is one of Australia's leading experts on crowdfunding.

Dr Logue said Go Fund Me-type fundraising campaigns were popular because they allowed generous Bundaberg residents to "connect” with causes on a personal level as opposed to being "mugged” by street collectors.

"The whole model of giving is shifting,” said the University of Technology Sydney management discipline group senior lecturer.

"Ease is one of the reasons why they're successful.

"People are becoming more familiar with, and trusting of, donating online.

"Campaigns are set up to provide you with that individual connection and to provide ongoing feedback of how the cause is going.

"What we call chugging - that is the mugging for charity form of fundraising strategy - turns a lot of people off, unlike these campaigns.”

Turning a charitable idea into a fundraising success

SARAH Rosborg is the brains behind one of Go Fund Me's most successful campaigns.

The web designer wanted to raise $75,000 to build a safe house for young women in Kenya via her charity Rafiki Mwema.

Ms Rosborg turned to the popular crowdfunding site to start the ball rolling.

Naming the page after Australian mummy blogger Constance Hall, within weeks of the site going live, Queen's Castle by Constance raked in $200,000.

Ms Rosborg, a seasoned fundraiser, said her initial plan was to raise the money via her own website but she decided to move it to Go Fund Me because of its ability to handle mass donations without crashing.

"I set up the whole campaign on our website for people to donate there,” she said.

"On the day Constance Hall shared news about the plan, we had such a huge influx of people that our website crashed.

"I'd used Go Fund Me for a previous campaign so I set up the page because I knew the servers would handle this large amount of people.

"So in five minutes I'd made the page and people started donating straight away.”

Building a successful donation site takes some skill but luck can play a huge a part as well.

"I think it was successful because of the reason we were raising money,” Ms Rosborg said.

"But I think it also comes down to reputation - I've worked hard for many years, people know my dedication to this particular charity.

"But at the end of the day I think it was so successful because Constance Hall shared it (on her site).”

Ms Rosborg said getting the story right was the most important part of setting up a Go Fund Me page.

"The story is important - you need to put all the information across,” she said.

"It helps to be reputable in that your friends and family follow you, trust you and know that you're asking for this for a reason.

"Don't just make a campaign for anything - make sure it's a really important cause and your family and friends will support you.”

Ms Rosborg said it was also important to share fundraisers across social media pages, particularly Facebook, and to regularly update donors and followers with how the campaign is going.

What the tax office says about money-making campaigns

BUNDABERG residents raising money through Go Fund Me have no need to worry about tax implications unless they provide a product or service in return for donations.

Certified Practising Accountants Australia tax policy head Paul Drum explained money donated to personal causes, such as helping a family member in crisis, would be seen as a gift by the Australian Tax Office.

Mr Drum said this meant the money did not need to be declared when completing tax returns.

He said there was a downside though as contributors could not declare their donation in their tax returns unless the organisation receiving the cash was a deductible gift recipient.

Mr Drum said entrepreneurs seeking donations in return for a share in a proposed business or an actual product did face tax implications.

"If for example you said 'I've invented a new motorcycle helmet and if you give us money to get this to market we guarantee you'll be one of the first people in the world to get this new helmet', then you're selling a helmet in a way. So there are income tax implications because this is business oriented.”

The Federal Government was forced back to the drawing board when 12 months ago when its Corporations Amendment (Crowd-Sourced Funding) Bill failed to make it through Parliament, with Labor claiming it failed to address stakeholder concerns.

Cashing in on a crowd - who's who in the online charity world

THERE are a number of internet-based crowdfunding sites operating in Australia.

Go Fund Me is the site most individuals turn to raise money for causes that impact them directly - such as helping a sick mate or collecting money to send a child to a sporting event.

The site describes itself as "the world's largest social fundraising platform” and claims to have collected more than $3 billion from more than 25 million donors.

Chuffed.org and Start Some Good target people and organisations wanting to raise money for community-based social enterprises such as housing for the homeless.

Pozible.com, Kickstarter.com and IndieGoGo.com are popular with budding entrepreneurs who want the community to fund projects such as music albums or business start-ups.

These three sites also provide a platform for individuals to raise money for personal projects such as helping mates or family through tough times.

All of the crowdfunding sites charge fees.

Go Fund Me, for example, takes a total of 6.75% from the donation pool before it is released to the page creator.

Pozible collects 3-5%, depending on the amount raised. It also charges 2.4-3.4% plus 30c for each credit card or PayPal transaction; and it has a bitcoin charge as well.

Kickstarter keeps 5% of all funds raised plus it collects 3% and 20 cents for each credit card transaction.

StartSomeGood.com takes 8% from donations and IndieGoGo collects 7-12%, including credit card charges.

Unlike the other crowdfunding sites, Chuffed.org campaigners do not pay any fees, instead donors pay 2-2.9% plus a 30c payment processing fee when they contribute to a cause.

- ARM NEWSDESK

TOP 10 BUNDABERG GO FUND ME CAMPAIGNS

CAMPAIGN, RAISED, DONORS

Eli's Fight 4 Life From Snake Bite, $77,723, 1,545

Roberts & Chivers Families, $12,535, 182

Jen's Fund, $12,193, 118

Let's Help Adrian , $11,280, 112

Vicki's Fund, $6940, 30

Running for Dorcas Soup Kitchen, $6115, 67

Help Keep Carina Speedway Alive, $6005, 38

The Samancs, $4475, 39

To Walk Again, $4456, 54

Nyitnaniup Goat Stud WA Fire Relief, $4045, 20

Source: Go Fund Me

Topics:  australian tax office certified practising accountants australia choice chuffed.org constance hall danielle logue donations fundraising go fund me indiegogo.com kickstarter.com money paul drum pozible.com sarah rosborg start some good tom godfrey


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Register for Relay for Life 2017

SIGN UP: Lorna Hicks, Debbie Shields, Julie Sandeman and Ashlee Hansen at the Central Highlands Relay for Life 2016.

Throw your support behind Relay for Life 2017.

Day extra special for new citizens

FLAG DOWN A PARTY: The council will hold events all over the Central Highlands.

Australia Day will be extra special for our newest citizens.

Their stories live on

HISTORY LESSON: Lady Annie Brassey visited Tenterfield in July 1887 while spending much of the last 10 years of her life at sea. Hear her story on Australia Day.

Hear the region's stories of old at the historical afternoon tea.

Local Partners

Women "bullied" into caesareans at rural hospital: claims

Maternity service review causes chaos at Emerald Hospital.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

Win your love with tickets

SMILES: Staff and children from Outside School Hours Care are fundraising for a new playground at the centre.

DAZZLE your darling with tickets to this year's Valentine's Day Ball

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Buderim man strips off for speed dating with a twist

RAW AMBITION: Buderim local Jackson pictured with his blind date Candice in a scene from SBS's new dating show Undressed.

People have done stranger things for love

Matthew McConaughey wrongly used as medical example

Doctor tried to steal credit for McConaughey's hair treatment

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!