Posts Tagged ‘community helping pay hospital bills’

Service of Reading the Fine Print

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Fine Print

I’ve railed against teensy type in photo captions, especially when an art director puts copy on top of an image or colored type against a dark background. Guess he/she figures nobody reads captions so the objective is to make the page look good.

But the fine print I had in mind for this post was more about fees that are easy to miss.

charityI received a request to support a small-town businessman with hefty bills to pay for melanoma treatments. The email came from the upstate car dealer from whom we’ve bought or leased cars for years. He obviously shared his database for the cause.

I followed the link to the website that was collecting the money. Most donated from $10 to $100 [your choices start at $100 but there was an “other” option] and a few gave $1,000.

When I looked they were $2,000 short of the $30,000 goal.

In addition to amount, a donor had other choices. You could post your name or be anonymous; jot a message or not but the donation appeared on the list. In small print next to a box to check [or not] you were asked to agree to cover the $8.20 transaction fee. When I looked in there were 271 donors so the website’s fees were $2,222.

Crowded barI knew a woman who had many friends in NYC police and fire departments and she frequently went to fundraisers at neighborhood bars for life or death causes, education funds for orphaned kids and the like. The bars threw in snacks and made money off the beer they sold. In this context an $8.20 transaction fee may be a legitimate cost, though I think that there should be a ceiling. If a community generates mostly $10 donations to reach a $30,000 goal, the fee would be outrageous–$24,600–and if the family had to pay it, they’d be only $5,400 ahead.

Have you heard of ways a community can help someone in time of financial crisis?

What are your thoughts about the online method of gathering such support?

 Doctor bills


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