21 Dumb Schemes People Actually Made Money On

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I have never attempted to solicit money from the masses online, so I’m not really sure how it works.

I’ve supported friends’ music and film projects in the past, but these stories from AskReddit about people asking for cold, hold cash for the most ridiculous reasons really blew me away. Take a look for yourself!

1. Tinder! For adoptions!

If you’ve ever been on the dating app Tinder, you know it allows you to swipe left if you find a potential mate unappealing, or right if you want to meet up. Well, someone managed to raise $4,000 online to create a similar program. Except instead of adults, you get to swipe left or right on children in your area who are up for adoption.

This proposed idea was called “Adoptly” and was ostensibly meant to speed up the adoption process. In the words of the developers:

“Once you’ve created a parenting profile, simply set your search criteria and Adoptly will instantly filter through our database, bringing the broadest range of adoptable kids straight to your fingertips. Just swipe right if you’re interested, or left to keep looking. And if a kid, through their agency or foster care, likes you back it’s a match.”

All those uncomfortable feelings you’re experiencing right now? Apparently they never occurred to the people who pitched this idea (or the people who funded it).

The campaign fell well short of its $150,000 goal, and that’s probably a good thing. Adoption probably shouldn’t be as easy as arranging a one-night stand in college.

On the bright side, the only comment on the Kickstarter page reads, “No way this is real.” Maybe it was all just an elaborate joke.

2. This is outrageous

A man named Zack Brown started a campaign asking for $10 to make a potato salad. He raised $55,492 by the time his campaign ended!

He eventually wrote a potato salad cook book, so at least he did something to earn the money. Still though. Ask and you shall receive.

3. Trashy

When the Powerball Lottery jackpot made it to $1.6 billion this one family used all their food and bill money to buy tickets, convinced that a couple hundred or thousand tickets would guarantee that they would win. Even though the odds were about 290 million to 1.

Surprise: they didn’t win. So now they had no money for food, gas and bills for the rest of the month. What do they do? They start a GoFundMe asking people to help them out and maybe even raise enough to try the lottery again the following week!

4. Survival

The dad of a buddy of mine dude worked a 9-5 until the day his youngest kid turned 18. Then he went full hippie. He has no money, is constantly on Facebook saying stuff like: “Oh wow, that trip looks fun. Wish I could go!” Or if someone posts a picture of their pet he’ll comment: “If we had more money we could’ve saved our dear old dog Bessie.”

One day he got the fancy idea to start a GoFundMe with the title “We need your support to survive.” He posts it on his Facebook 5-10 times a day. After a while, when he had only raised like $37.50 in funds, he started to message the link to everyone.

“Did you see the link? Are you going to support?” It started there. It ended with him leaving comments on peoples’ pictures. “Oh, you seem to have enough money for a night out…wish some of that money would find its way into my GoFundMe!” Unbelievable.

5. Privileged

A girl I went to high school with made a GoFundMe with a goal of $4,000 so she could go to Spain for a “photography trip.” She goes to a State college; her parents pay her tuition and she drives around in a Range Rover.

6. …what

A family I know were literally trying to raise money online to buy themselves a new car because they had run their son over with their old one. The kid died. It’s the most tasteless, insensitive thing I’ve seen in my life.

7. “Bring her home”

I know this Christian fundamentalist couple who made a big deal that the wife would never need to work outside the home once they were married. I guess it was part of their faith that women shouldn’t have to earn a living or something?

They filmed the whole congregation of their church going into her office on her last day of employment to “bring her home” for good. It was very bizarre. But not the most bizarre part.

After they married, the husband decided to make some extra money on the side by exporting firearms without a licence and falsifying export documents. Very religious man. He got caught and sent to prison, so they started a GoFundMe to raise money so that the wife still doesn’t have to work.

8. Dog problems

Ex’s friend: “I bought a great Dane with my college loans and didn’t have the proper resources to properly raise or support it, so now it needs to take anxiety medication as my schedule and apartment cause it to be alone and contained 14 hours a day. But I really want to move to California to learn sign language but I don’t have any money because my poor, poor, sad, giant dog takes all my time and resources. Please give me money to move to California so I can live my dream without having to admit I made a massive mistake taking on this animal because I looooooooove dogs so much and think only I can care for it like it needs to be cared for, instead of a properly prepared and available owner.”

Phew, thanks. That’s been on my chest for a while. Why do these people think it’s everyone else’s job to clean up their mess???

9. Send me on a trip

I literally saw this on GoFundMe: “Send me and my family to Disneyland because my children need this experience and we are poor.” I think they were asking for $10,000 for a family of 4. The kicker was, she lived in the UK and could have gone to the Paris Disneyland, but she was asking for triple the money so they could go to one in America. There was no explanation as to why.

10. Time to move out

A woman I used to be friends with beat up her husband while he was holding their small child. He filed for divorce and full custody of the kid with a protective order. But she wasn’t going to go down without a fight.

She started a GoFundMe for her court costs plus extra money so she could get her own place. I think she got like $40 bucks in donations, which is $40 too much.

11. Ugh

Two years after college (school in Boston), this woman started a GoFundMe for her plane ticket from Philly to Boston so she could “be with her friends” on the two year anniversary of the Boston bombing. She got the money.

Dumb because: 1) The next week she posted that she bought a huge vacation to Peru. 2) There’s a bus from Philly to NYC to Boston that’s like $40. 3) Everyone knows she just wanted to get drunk with her ex-frat bro college friends for free. 4) It’s disgusting to use the Boston bombing as an emotional plea to get money out of people when it had nothing to do with her.

12. Bad guys

We had a “pride bus” rolling through town the other weekend during pride week. Some neo-nazi guy tried to block the bus from moving and got a $5,000 fine.

He set up a GoFundMe account to pay off the fine. Needless to say he only raised like $100. Sometimes the bad guys lose.

13. This is crazy

I know a guy who broke up with his ex-girlfriend. She went back to China and blocked all means of communication with him. All he had was her parents phone number. He wasn’t even sure if she lived with them. He was convinced that she still loved him and that she blocked him to make the separation less painful.

So he started a GoFundMe so he could afford to take a low paying teaching job while searching for this girl in a city with a population of over 7.6 million people. How did he plan on finding her?

He planned to stroll endlessly around the city for hours everyday hoping that they would bump into each other.

He ended up getting about $100 or so. He used his own money to fund his trip and went to China. For months, he would actually walk around the city for hours just to look for her. Long story short, his story of love got featured in some newspaper and the staff of the newspaper found her for him. Turns out she’s getting married to some other dude. He was crushed. He probably should have just taken the hint.

14. This person needs help

This woman on started a GoFundMe to avoid eviction. She’d constantly post videos of herself smoking weed, going on shopping trips etc. But she needed our help because the baby needed diapers and it wasn’t her and her husband’s fault they were both unemployed.

The kicker is that people actually donated.

But when she did it the next month she had to take it down after it reached a high of $24.

15. Jet set

Just last week a good candidate for this was in the news in Australia.

Dan Single is a failed jeans designer/clothing label mogul who married a second-rate model. Their lifestyle might be called “jet set” and it used to get written up in gossip columns.

Anyway Mr. Single recently (in March) fell three floors from his hotel room in Paris and set up a GoFundMe page to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to finance his recuperation. There was instant backlash from the public for basically flaunting his party and jet set lifestyle for years, and then asking ordinary working people for a handout. He ended up taking it down after a few days.

16. Fired!

Someone I used to work with got fired for stealing money from the company.

She then set up a GoFundMe so people can give her money. She didn’t even try to pretend like she had a real reason; she just wanted money.

17. They don’t need help

This really rich girl in my grade had multiple sclerosis – which was really sad. But then her parents set up a charity to raise money for her. These people literally owned a golf course.

18. She’ll make a great mother

A friend who is very irresponsible with money got pregnant on purpose, announced the pregnancy the second the pee stick was positive, didn’t buy anything for the baby, because you know, everyone else will buy it all for her as gifts. Cancelled her baby shower because it was at a place that ‘wasn’t good enough’, then made a GoFundMe at 38 weeks because she had absolutely nothing for the baby. Nothing. Total donations? $15, from her mother.

19. Vegas!

A former friend used GoFundMe to “help pay her bills.” People gave generously to help her make ends meet. Then, the day after she reached her funding goal, she posted on Facebook announcing her trip to Vegas.

20. Big dreams

A girl who is a “celebrity” on Instagram at the time made herself a GoFundMe because she apparently wasn’t mentally healthy enough to get a job but she had “dreams of travelling the world.”

21. “Zach Comes Home!”

One of my classmates from high school started a GoFundMe to travel to Florida to live with his brother. It was pretty successful and raised about 2K. Now less than two years later he’s started another to try to come home to the Northeast. He doesn’t understand why none of the people he knows are contributing to it. The most recent one he posted was “Zach Comes Home!” And is still at $0.

It must be terrible to realize your friends are willing to pay $2,000 to send you away, but not a dime to bring you back.

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