On Monday night I was on a red eye to Los Angeles. When I boarded the plane I saw this tweet:
When I got off the plane I saw this one:
We have talked about crowdfunding before (I am told we discussed it in class during my absence). Normally I take the con side of the argument. I have never fundraised for myself before (my parents would not let me go door-to-door selling wrapping paper in middle school and would buy all my girl scout cookies) and thought it impolite to ask people for money.
But just because I would never do it does not mean it shouldn’t be done.
Aside from the morality argument, let’s take a moment to realize just how mind-blowing it is that people can raise that much money in such a small window of time simply through social media.
This was posted on Twitter and Facebook. Various accounts shared the message and in four hours Molly had a plane ticket to LA.
The part that truly astounds me is that this was not for a charity or philanthropic cause. While I believe the students deserved the trip and the opportunity to gain career experience, it surprised me that they were able to sell people on the cause.
It proves the power of social media and the personal connections it breeds.
Most of the donors were Molly’s family friends or those with strong ties to the university or Sports Xtra. The connections Molly made online in these virtual communities paid off… literally.
It also helped that the funds, as with most crowdfunding, were going directly to a source rather than a blanket organization where they might cover costs unrelated to the cause. People know and care about Molly, if the receiver would have been anonymous I do not believe they would have had the same success.
Social media is truly taking us places we have never been before. And while I may not completely agree with crowdfunding, it’s existence and success amazes me.