Lists

Seven of the Most Galling GoFundMe Campaigns

If we have to keep paying for new tires, we're going to have to cut short our trip to Europe this summer, kids.
If we have to keep paying for new tires, we're going to have to cut short our trip to Europe this summer, kids. Bradley Gordon at Flickr

A recent spate of tire-slashing incidents in the Stapleton area prompted someone to start a GoFundMe campaign to (somehow) help reimburse those affected by the vandalism. While this seems nice on the surface — and we’re sure the initial impetus was positive — it also seems remarkably insular and insensitive, even coming from Stapleton.

After all, this is effectively the upper middle class “donating” to the upper middle class. Denverites all over the city — and in areas where the average income levels are far more modest — deal with the financial burden of vandalism all the time, and they do it without too much whining, and definitely without any financial relief. In short: By all means, give. But consider giving to someone who really needs it rather than the six-figure family next door.

But there are a lot of misguided and downright dumb ways to spend your money, especially on GoFundMe, which is a lovely concept that is often — as the Stapleton example shows — completely misused. Other examples? Glad you asked. Here are seven more.

click to enlarge Kanye thanks you for your contribution but wonders why you didn't give him more. - PETER JANNIK DJIKSTRA AT FLICKR
Kanye thanks you for your contribution but wonders why you didn't give him more.
Peter Jannik Djikstra at Flickr
7. Getting Kanye Out of Debt
Almost $8,000 has been pledged to supposedly help Kanye West get out of debt, which won’t help much to pay off the $53 million in debt that he’s apparently accumulated. (If you’re wondering how he's going to survive, I have one word for you: Kardashians.) Kanye is on record comparing himself to any number of legendary figures — Andy Warhol, Shakespeare, Jesus Christ — and if any one of those were true, this campaign might be worth more than it actually is.


click to enlarge It's up to you, New York...and strangers on the Internet. - CARL MIKOY AT FLICKR
It's up to you, New York...and strangers on the Internet.
Carl Mikoy at Flickr
6. Helping Khadijat Extend Her NYC Vacation
It sucks when you’re having a great time on vacay, and suddenly it’s over, right? So the solution is clear: Start a GoFundMe to beg people for cash to allow you to stay and stretch out that experience. It’s great that this young lady found NYC to be an exciting and provocative place (news to no one else, but okay), but seriously, should we be supporting this? Enough people said yes to that question — her request was fully funded, earning her $350, which should pay for one night in NYC if she’s careful.


5. Buying Dave Grohl

No, not buying something for Dave Growl — yes, the Dave Grohl from Nirvana and the Foo Fighters (who, as Dave Letterman used to say, are the only guys out there these days willing to fight foo). This is about actually purchasing Dave Grohl, who is not only a famous musician, but also a human being. Existing laws about slavery aside, the $35,000 goal probably wouldn’t buy an afternoon with Krist Novoselic. The founder of the campaign recognizes this, and promises that if such a purchase is impossible, he’ll “spend the money on beer, because Dave seems like the kind of person that would want me to drink beer.” The campaign has inexplicably raised over $1,800 so far, which is a lot of beer, and even more important, a significant amount of cultural shame.

click to enlarge Let's play a game called "Burning Man or Mad Max?" - JON COLLIER AT FLICKR
Let's play a game called "Burning Man or Mad Max?"
Jon Collier at Flickr
4. Sending Two Doofuses to Burning Man
In a crowdsourcing attempt to replace what should clearly be the responsibility of two sets of over-indulgent parents bent on being their sons’ buddies, we’ve all been asked to participate in sending Matt and Thomas to the Burning Man Festival, because “when the Playa calls you, you have to answer.” (Personally, when the Playa calls me, I let it go to voicemail.) No word on whether the $590 campaign scored helped them get there, or what the Playa wanted from them in the first place.

Keep reading for the most galling GoFundMe campaigns.



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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen