Consumer Reports: Crowd Fundraising

Consumer reports: crowd funding

From paying medical bills to helping a family after a disaster, crowd funding has become a popular way to raise money.

But Consuemr reports says you shouldn't blinding give your money away.

Roughly one in five Americans has donated to an online crowdfunding campaign, often in amounts of $11 to 50 dollars.

"I feel like I've become part of a family of support for this person. I like to see results and if my money can help that person fulfill that goal of whatever they need medically or something to make their life more comfortable than I am happy to see that." Said Ann Niemeier.

But before you let a personal story tug at your purse-strings, there are a few things to consider. Consumer Reports says it can be hard to tell if the campaign is legitimate. In fact there have been documented cases of fraud.

"But in general a lot of these sites take measures to take to prevent that from happening," Nikhil Hutheesing, Consumer Reports Money Editor.

To protect yourself you might want to keep donations between friends.

"Generally the best thing to do is to give only to people that you know rather than complete strangers." says Hutheesing.

If you don't know the recipient personally, don't be the first one to pitch in and you may want to read comments from other donors. You also want to avoid OVERfunding. If a campaign has met it's goal… dont feel the need to give more.

Also keep in mind, the recipient won't see EVERY dollar you give. These sites often charge the campaign a fee. If you know the person in need, you might just want to hand them the money directly. eric roby cbs 12 news.

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