Raising money to replace lost income during pandemic? GoFundMe may not be the way to go

A $100,000 gofundme campaign to help reopen the Tiki Bar at Lake Okanagan Resort is failing, as are many other COVID-19-related campaigns.

With so many losing their jobs to COVID-19 or wanting to help fight the spread of the disease, people might think that GoFundMe would be a perfect venue for raising money.

There are a couple dozen Okanagan and Kamloops based COVID-19 campaigns that have been launched since about mid-March with about half of them getting no donations.

One of the most ambitious was launched by one of three men who have taken over the food services at the troubled Lake Okanagan Resort.

It was launched April 6 in an effort to raise $100,000 for Okanagan Beach Club and Resort.

“With COVID-19, things have obviously been significantly tougher than initially anticipated,” Chris Strong, one of the owners, wrote on GoFundMe. “Starting a business at this time has its hurdles, so we racked our brains to figure out how to keep things rolling at a time of such uncertainty. We've come up with a solution that will allow us to get through this tough time, and relies heavily on the support of you amazing people.”

No one has yet donated to their cause.

Crystal Hedlund has had a better response in her goal to raise $1,000 for Baked Blessings.

She planned to open a bakery in Vernon before COVID-19 hit so put out a call for donations so she could bake for low income people. She launched on March 26 and reached $1,185 two weeks later. She planned to start making deliveries late last week.

“I am STOCKED up!!” she posted to GoFundMe on April 7 after going out to buy $1,200 worth of supplies. “I've got everything I need to get started!”

Sew the Curve is a Kamloops group that is making masks for front line workers. It launched a campaign on April 14 to raise $5,000 for materials that brought in a little over $1,000 by this week.

Supporting Local Hospitals and Communities is an effort to raise $10,000 to buy medical supplies for South Okanagan hospitals. By Tuesday, April 14, 18 donors had contributed $3,135.

Not doing so well is a $5,000 campaign launched March 24 called Help local small businesses in Penticton. It has no donations, nor does a $25,000 Tip Your Server in Kamloops effort to provide $250 tips to randomly selected servers in Kamloops and area. It was launched on March 18.


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