Need money? Crowdfunding without getting scammed

An empty crib sits in the spare bedroom at the Dayton, Ohio home of Robert and Ashley Lane. After years of unsuccessful fertility treatments, they hope crowdfunding will help them raise part of the $23,000 they need to adopt a baby. 

"It's been tough," said Ashley Lane. "We just decided we couldn't take that emotional roller coaster anymore."

Like many others in the Miami Valley, The Lane's are asking other people to help them with their dream. 

"With adoption, you have to come up with the money up front," said Robert Lane.


Chanae Norrod of Huber Heights raised $500 for special needs books at United Rehabilitation Services. 

"We were able to donate several books to the day care facility to stay in house and we were also able to give every single child in the facility a book to take home," said Norrod. 

Statistics tell us that crowdfunding sites have more than doubled in the past few years. In 2010, crowdfunding earned $880 million. In 2014, over $16 billion was raised with over $34 billion last year. 

"I think there's clear evidence that we are in a sharing culture," said Art Jipson, of the University of Dayton. 

New research tells us that 47% of millennials have donated to one of these crowdfunding sites or they plan to donate soon. Although it is a huge opportunity for people who need money, it can also be a huge risk. Last year, a woman in Tennessee set up a fate crowdfunding page after Kinsley Kinner, 2, died in Butler County. 

"A lot of these crowdfunding sites are bogus," said consumer advisor Clark Howard. "Before you donate, you need to know who is really behind that page and is the money really legitimately going to the cause that has touched you?"

Experts said if you want to make money from crowdfunding, you need to make sure your spelling and grammar are correct, offer specifics about how you plan to use the money, and keep your donors in the loop about your progress. 

"I thought, well everybody else has a GoFundMe, let me just check it out," said Kassi Cusick of Riverside. 

Cusick loves Johnny Depp so she decided to try and raise the money she needs to meet her idol when his band performs at the Fraze Pavilion this summer. A "meet and greet" with Depp costs $1500. 

"I hate asking for money and it makes me uncomfortable, but I thought this is a good way," said Cusick. "It's easily accessible. I can share it on social media and kind of get the word out."

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