We’re entering a new frontier when a “GoFundMe” page is used as the official way to donate to a relief effort.
The one that’s dedicated to Las Vegas victims has already surpassed $8 million, well on its way to reaching its goal of $10 million.
The account is legitimate and was set up by the Clark County Commissioners in Nevada.
The last time officials used GoFundMe was for the Pulse Nightclub shooting and experts say it’s a great way to deter frauds.
Laila Saleh says she donates, “because I made it out unharmed and hundreds of people cannot say the same. Because I would want someone to help me if I were in need.”
Lauren Salazar donates because “it hits too close to home.”
These are just some of the reasons thousands have collectively donated millions to the Las Vegas victims’ fund.
“The sheriff and I thought it could maybe help some of these victims with funeral expenses, travel expenses as it relates to the families who have to come in from out of town,” said Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak.
The crowd-based fundraiser had already broken $8.8 million on Wednesday afternoon. Donors are reminded that there are fees taken from each donation.
GoFundMe says while donors will never be charged, after a platform and processing fee, GoFundMe takes 7.9 percent on top of $0.30 from each donation. GoFundMe has made more than $600,000 already.
The company says “these fees ensure our platform is safe and secure for donors and campaign organizers alike.”
They also note they’ll make a $150,000 contribution as well.
The Better Business Bureau said using GoFundMe as the official donation source can actually curb potential fraud from online thieves looking to use this website for scams.
“When you have something that’s set up by a government or by officials who are familiar with what’s going on, it’s a good sign. They’re trying to avoid charity fraud,” said Howard Schwartz, of the Better Business Bureau.
Another question many donors have is how will the money be used and will they be able to track their donations.
The Clark County Commissioners said they’re working on that right now.
The BBB advises if donors really want to know, they should ask.
“The money may be used for any one of a number of things, salary replacement, it could be medical costs, counseling, so it’s important to ask these questions,” Schwartz said.
The GoFundMe page for the victims can be found here.
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