The place to set up an online account where anyone can contribute.You may remember about a month ago I wrote about my friend Susan’s relatives that were going through a hard time financially. I asked:

Is there a site that someone in need could turn to online to help in this desperate situation? And to turn it around, how do people in not-so-desperate circumstances know that their money is actually going to their selected family/charity? 

I got some great responses back.

Cherie suggested using some of Paypal’s features to put it on a blog or website.

John (and Sarah too) suggested as a worldwide donation option for those wanting to make a difference.

Jenny suggested her favorite site, A person in need can apply for “grants” which users of the site can contribute points towards funding.

And Craig at BudgetPulse suggested I check out SmartyPig, which has a way that you can not only create accounts people can donate to but also has widgets you can stick on your website, blog, Facebook page, etc. I actually found it the most intuitive and flexible of the sites suggested. I sent the information to Susan a few days later.

I finally got to catch up with her this weekend. Interestingly, her family (the mother of one of the members of the couple) is not comfortable doing this.

Susan and I philosophized that there could be a few reasons for this:

1) The mother is uncomfortable with the internet being used to raise money.
2) The mother is not wanting to come to terms with the situation.

Meanwhile Susan is wondering how many community suppers and other fundraisers her family has the energy to organize and how much money she can contribute monthly to the cause. It’s too bad that the mother is not keen on this; it seems that Smartypig would be the easy way to go.

Is it just my extroverted nature that makes me comfortable with this? If it was you in the situation, would you be uncomfortable if your family raised money for you online?

In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted if Susan’s family changes her mind. She doesn’t seem to think this is a done deal so we’ll see.

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts on the subject. I love that there are smart people commenting on this blog!

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