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Hey brother, can you spare a dime

June 25, 2012 - Art Smith
Because of the case of a bullied bus monitor, the Internet practice of crowd funding has gotten a lot of exposure in the last week.

Crowd funding is the practice, mainly online, of a lot of people giving a little bit of money for causes they believe in.

There are many websites set up to help facilitate this type of philanthropy. Last week a man in the Ukraine named Max Sidorov set up an account on a website called with the purpose of sending Karen Hull on a vacation. For people who have not looked at any media in the last week, Hull is a school bus monitor in New York who was bullied by a group of junior high students. One of the students uploaded a video of the taunts to YouTube and the video went viral.

The original goal was to raise $5,000 in a month. In less than a week it has raised more than $640,000. Huff will not only be able to take a very nice vacation, she now has enough money to do whatever she wants, including quitting her job, which she does not plan on doing.

Karen has gotten a lot of press lately, which means a lot of people have donated. Nearly 30,000 people have given money to the “Karen Fund” with most people contributing $5 to $10.

Not all of the funds on the site have captured the public’s attention such as Karen’s. In fact, some have not had contributions made to them at all.

People can chose to start funds in a variety of categories. Some are extremely personal, such as a husband wanting to buy his wife a new camera because she likes photography (raised $520) while others have a more global citizen perspective, such as a fund to help wild birds of prey. Sometimes you get something in return, other times not.

There are many great groups that struggle to raise money. Turning to crowd funding may be an idea that could help your group or organization complete the worthwhile project you have been struggling to fund. People will support causes they believe in, even those a half a world away.


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