Call me cynical, but I've always been wary of crowdfunding pages.

Setting up a page appears to be incredibly simple and any requirements seem minimal at best.

And we accept it as gospel - after all, why would anybody want to take advantage of our generosity? Perhaps because it is a bankable attribute - there's a saying about "a sucker for a good cause".

Are those who donate not entitled to see "proof of purchase"? Some kind of validation that money raised has or is being spent ... responsibly.


Hospital-verified medical expenses, itemised travel and accommodation receipts just to confirm all funds donated are spent only on legitimate and intended costs, and not the mini-bar and lavish room service bills.

Anyone can spin an emotive scenario and wait for the dosh to come rolling in.

Some people have the wherewithal and media savvy to get their cause - valid or not - promoted as a thinly-disguised news headline and watch donations come in even faster.

Does every low-income earner with a health condition qualify?

Then there are the stories of those who have proven to be scammers or those who claim to be raising cash for somebody else but then withhold the funds.

The recent suspected botulism case here in New Zealand is a prime example.

And how was it possible for the wife of a prominent NZ sportsman to attain a page just days after posting pics in a luxury five-star hotel in Dubai?

Admittedly the page was withdrawn due to public outrage, but not by the website concerned.


Someone's say-so just isn't good enough. Fact-checking needs to be exercised - rigorously.

We expect organisations and businesses to justify and be accountable for their expenditure ... why should the social media beggars of today be held to a lesser standard?

And let's get real here, it is begging - albeit, by another name. But how are the online ones somehow deemed more legitimate than those on our streets, the ones we criticise, judge, cross the street to avoid and frown upon?

Does a website somehow make them more worthy and/or reputable?

Bona fide charities, businesses and even beneficiaries are held accountable for their costs - why should online public bludgers be exempt?

If anything they should be held to a higher level of scrutiny for the very reason that their cause is based predominantly on hearsay.

And while the majority of pages aren't a scam, why would those with an authentic cause object to a request to justify their spending of what is, effectively, public funding? We expect such disclosure from our government so I really don't see the difference.

And what of the "open goal" fundraisers?

What happens to any monies that exceed actual costs, as is sometimes the case? Or those who don't raise enough to cover the cost of the intended treatment or purpose? Should the cash be returned, forwarded to another deserving page or charity or should recipients feel free to consider it a bonus?

Then there are those who refuse to answer the hard questions being asked by potentially generous donors. Shady or what?

There's a place for crowdfunding pages, but I would just like to see some tighter regulations around them and a much higher standard of accountability.

It's not so much to ask from those who are asking so much of us - #givealittlemoreinfo