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.

Huge police operation in lead-up to Melon Festival

Police have applauded the behaviour of Melon Festival patrons over the weekend.

Drug seizures in lead-up to festival ensure safe weekend for all

Linc Energy underground fires 'extinguished' says Minister

The Linc Energy Hopeland site form the air.

Underground fires extinguished, says State Environment Minister

Further 47,000ha under contamination investigation

This map provides information about the Hopeland and surrounding region excavation caution zone and investigation area.

Excavation Caution area now extends south of Hopeland

Local Partners

Biennial Rodeo 'biggest ever' in Chinchilla

As the dust settled in the days that followed the Melon Fest Rodeo, Chinchilla Rodeo Committee President Paul Ellem's shock and surprise were still evident.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

Bride and Prejudice: Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

Steve Price has threatened to quit the jungle.

Will camp ration clash with Keira cause Steve to call it quits?

Novel with lots of heart

The romance in A Quiet Kind of Thunder was only one of the joys of the book.

Book proves to be a gem with layers

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!