• Resolving Problems

Giving money to friends who do fundraising on Facebook

Published: April 20, 2015 | By | 10 Replies Continue Reading
A woman starts to feel as if her friend who is fundraising on Facebook may be using her.



I just moved to another state, Florida, and met a friend through Facebook because we share a love for golden retriever rescue. What was interesting is that I ended up moving into the same town as her.

We have gone out a few times as couples and have also gone out together alone. I helped her out in the past because she had posted for financial assistance to pay her pet bills last year and in previous years when her dogs passed away. I’ve noticed that on social networking, a lot of people do this.

When we first met, I did not think she was in financial trouble just because we had conversation so I know what her husband makes. I’ve also helped her out in the past by purchasing items in an auction, and sending her money after another golden passed away.

Now she is again posting for financial assistance, Out of guilt I guess you can say, I offered to buy a piece of jewelry for $50 in the auction, which ends at the end of the month. Now I feel that I should not have done it. Only after she saw my post did she text me back. I feel like just because now I offered money, she’s being more communicative and telling me we have to get together again.

Personally, I think this is ridiculous that she is posting on a social network asking for money again! Why oh why did I get involved in this? My point is I don’t feel like I have to give her money in order to have a friendship but we share many of the same circle of friends, and if I back out now and don’t pay for the bracelet, I’ll look foolish.

She said she had $5000 dollars in vet bills again. When is enough enough? Do you feel this is right that she is doing this? I guess it’s my fault that I offered to give her money again. We are not that close because I only moved here five months ago and when we went out a few time, we didn’t exactly click.

I really don’t know how to handle this, would you speak up to her about it or say nothing?

Signed, Sherri


Hi Sherri,

After a move, people tend to feel lonely, missing their old friends and neighborhood. Thus, it’s common to try to recreate new connections—sometimes too quickly. I can understand how you became fast friends with this woman: You shared interests in golden retriever rescue and felt as if you had previously “known” her—at least, somewhat—through Facebook.

Yes, the number of fundraising sites on social media sites is growing rapidly. Many people do fundraising on Facebook, soliciting online donations to pay vet bills or for personal or family medical care; and to underwrite creative ventures and business startups.

Should you donate money this way? It depends on whether you believe the money is going to a good cause and whether you have it to give. But requests like these are usually made on a one-time basis. I can see how you would begin to feel leery and uncomfortable when someone does it repeatedly.

Giving or loaning money to a friend often complicates the relationship, especially when the person giving the money feels as if she is being exploited. It sounds like you don’t trust this woman and are having fundamental misgivings about your friendship. Just because you gave her money in the past, doesn’t obligate you to do so again. Moreover, I don’t think you owe her any explanation of why you don’t want to give more.

Since you already bid on the bracelet, if you can afford the $50, my inclination would be to honor the commitment you made and then JUST SAY NO or ignore any other online requests she makes.

Trust your gut. It sounds like you may want to back off and rethink this friendship as well.

Hope this helps.

My best, Irene

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Comments (10)

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  1. Melissa says:

    Your question came just right in time for the same predicament I was going to write about. I met some people over social media due to a similar cause: I was fan girling on a certain foreign artist, lol. I live here in the USA, but I was born & raised in the same country where this foreign artist is from. I would make comments such as “I hope you & your band comes here in the USA for a concert!”. Before I realized it, I already made some internet acquaintances because of my fan girling mode. One day, one of my co-fanatics asked if I wanted to join their group chat regarding this artist. I saw it as an opportunity to know more about the artist because these people from the group chat are 90% living in the country where the artist lives. From day 1 of the chat, I already felt uneasy because there were a number of us they added in, and we all had one common denominator- we were all living abroad, and are in their perception, earning a lot since we are living in first world countries. On the third day, original members of the chat group were complaining about how costly it is to attend to the artist’s events, and how they’re hoping someone could help them. Some of the new chat group recruits left the session for good, and some donated. I didn’t continued to chat with them, but didn’t donate, nor did I bother talk about donating. By the end of the week, I got a personal message from the group leader asking me to help the artist by sponsoring some of the chat group’s members so that they could attend the artist’s concert. I kind of saw it coming, so I was ready with my spiel. I told them that I am already helping the artist by funding my relatives to attend the concert, and that I cannot shell out more money to sponsor other people. The following day, there was a college student chat member who was asking around for concert sponsorship, even “just half of the VIP ticket cost”, which is $60-70. I didn’t budge. No one did. She sent another message saying “I hope some nice person could help me buy a VIp ticket because I cannot afford it, and I can’t ask my parents for more money because they’re paying for my tuition and they’re already spending a fortune for my education”. It was irritating to read, but her pleas fell on deaf ears. And I still continued to chat with other people in the group. After a few more days, I got another personal message fr the leader asking for sponsorship because the artist has a gig in another city and they needed funds for that. I did not respond and from there and left the group chat for good. I sent the group leader an email stating that group chat is not really my things, so I had to leave. There was one member who bothered to email and ask why I left, and so I told her that I got pissed that people are expecting me to fund their own leisure and more to that effect. I’m not dumb to be financing their wants. I did tell her not to tell the group, because they have seen my profile picture, and there are sick people nowadays, so for my own safety, I just need to dilute the online friendship, that’s all. The leader didn’t respond to my email and stopped replying to my comments on her page. She used to reply to me a lot, and I know that she probably got offended by me leaving them. I still stuck around on her page, commenting on every picture of the artist she posts. After a month, she started heavily responding to my comments again. I felt happy that I was getting the same attention again. I was excited to receive a long-awaited email response to her, only to find out that she was asking me again to sponsor another group event. She didn’t even bother mention anything about the email I sent. I didn’t respond and completely stopped communicating with them all.

    I agree with Irene, there is some sort of emptiness that these people are filling in. I tend to keep to myself and don’t have many friends to hang out with, so this may be the reason I gladly accepted their “friendship” invitation. When the group lead started replying to my comments again after a long period of ignoring me, I was so happy that I wanted to ask for her bank account so that I could send her some money to sponsor their concert tickets. However, I knew that I was being stupid, so I contained my happiness and kinda observed again on how these people would treat me sans sponsorship. They were good at making me feel like an outcast whenever I don’t give in to any of their requests, and they were equally good in making me feel important right before asking for $$. I may be lonely, but unfortunately, I’m not dumb.

  2. Susan M. says:

    Only you know what you can afford to contribute to, what you consider to be worthy causes. Many of these sites do not verify whether the posters and their causes are even legitimate. I truly question this person’s motives, since she is repeatedly and apparently soliciting for various reasons. She needs to get a part time job or stop owning pets which she can not afford. As for the bracelet. I would move forward and purchase it. You can then resell it OR wear it as a sign of accomplishment for yourself…for a valuable lesson learned about how important your own time and resources are worth! You matter!

  3. Sheryl says:

    This whole thing makes me feel very uncomfortable. I’d definitely say to learn to say NO after honoring the commitment you already made.

  4. Maddie says:

    It is not your responsibility to take care of other people’s bills. Everyone has unexpected costs in life and most people do not take to the Internet to solicit funds.

    Beware of the fund me type of requests.

  5. Amy F says:

    Sounds like the relationship started around funding based on mutual interest and that money became the connection. She has a right to ask, you have a right to have opinions about her asking. Since you’re feeling resentful, I don’t see how giving money will improve the relationship.

    I give crowd sourcing donations anonymously because I don’t want money or the amount of money to get between friendships, if I don’t stay out of things completely. I have a friend who successfully used it a few times, she doesn’t know whether or not I contributed. She’s never asked and if she did she probably wouldn’t be my kind of friend. If you want to donate, do so anoymously and see whether the relationship changes.

  6. Laura says:

    It sounds like you feel that you have to pay for her friendship and it also sounds like she is taking advantage of her friends in general. We all have bills to pay and that’s what a job is for, not social media! If she takes in dogs, she needs to be able to afford this herself not lean on friends.

    I understand making donations for causes. I participate in an annual walk and solicit donations. I also support my friends that participate in similar efforts. This is different than what you describe as basically helping support her household.

    The bracelet things is done, so honor it. But stop helping her now. Enough is enough! If she drops you as a friend, chalk it up to a lesson learned.

  7. Sandra says:

    I agree with everything said here. As Irene says, trust your gut and move on. This person sounds like a user, not a real friend. You have a generous heart and deserve more even-handed friendships!

  8. Pat says:

    I agree! Pay for the bracelet but then put a stop to it. From what you say, her husband pulls in a good wage; it crosses my mind that she might just be scamming. I hope you’ve already found some REAL friends in FL!

  9. Dionne says:

    I agree with you. Someone who continually posts woe-is-me tales to get others to fund their hobbies would definitely get on my nerves. I would pay for the bracelet since you already offered. But then, no more.

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