SSN Commentary

Crowdfunding is an Imperfect Weapon Against the Pandemic

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University of Washington-Bothell Campus

Originally published as: Nora Kenworthy "Crowdfunding is an Imperfect Weapon Against the PandemicThe Washington Post, April 2, 2020.

As the infection rate of covid-19 has exploded across the United States, the growth of charitable crowdfunding campaigns has seemed similarly exponential. More than 35,000 covid-19 related fundraisers have appeared on GoFundMe, the New York Times reported last week, raising $60 million. There are campaigns to support unemployed workers, to purchase personal protective equipment for health-care workers, and, of course, to cover personal medical expenses. Some are sponsored by influencers and celebrities; others by people struggling to just get by. The terrain of covid-19 crowdfunding is evolving rapidly, with Yelp, for example, trying to capitalize on the platform to offer unsolicited help to small businesses.