The Geek Angel Fund Idea

Big Edit

After it was pointed out that the central fund idea may be a bad idea & open up problems with accusations of favouritism and so forth, I’ve co-oped @Roxiqt to help with a twitter feed called @GeeksInNeed for sharing funding pages. That way people get more visibility and can choose who to help without any middle man issues.

End Big Edit

Or “Lets help people who need it when bad stuff happens to them”.

A couple of years ago I ran a GoFundMe campaign to help Adora & I with our medical expenses, because we had a lot of them at the time. We still do, but we’re managing on our own currently (with a little help from her Dad). We’re both very grateful for the help, but this post isn’t about us.

One of the ideas I’ve had recently is to set up a Patreon to fund a “Geek Angel Fund”, which would be set up to help with emergency funding for fellow geeks who need it, like Jan’s dead car or Hestiah’s cat’s teeth problem.

Those two have a combined goal of $3,800, which may seem like a lot, but it would only take 760 people donating $5 each to reach that total. If it was accumulated over 4 months then you’d only need 190 people donating $5 per month to get there. The idea is that if we each put aside a few dollars a month, and have many of us doing the same thing, we can collectively stand up in these emergency situations and go “It’s ok, we’ve got this”.

That’s the general idea. There are details like who should run it, how it should be run, who makes the decision on who gets help, etc, but that’s not something I think I should be part of, partially for practical reasons (I’m in NZ so there’d be international PayPal fees) and if I’m suggesting it as well as running it then it looks like a scam setup >.<

So, thoughts? Is this a good idea? Who would be good candidates for running this? Would you contribute?

About binkenstein
I'm a geek, living in Christchurch, New Zealand.

6 Responses to The Geek Angel Fund Idea

  1. - says:

    IMO, the problem with this would be that it would get “political” – quickly. Who deserves those funds? What are good reasons for them to need them? (a sick pet, a dead car, a fancy computer, a trip to Blizzcon) What if someone has donated and doesn’t believe that their donations should be used for a particular chosen cause? What if someone donates, but then a cause ISN’T chosen to be helped, and wants their money back because their friend didn’t get helped? Who gets to decide all of this? I think it’s a great idea, but I’d also fear the backlash.

    • binkenstein says:


      I’d say we can side step some or most of these by clearly stating things on the patreon page, like donators can suggest people to be helped but the final decision lies with whoever runs it, etc.

      Using your example, a sick pet or dead car would apply (although the car one would have some caveats), but the computer/blizzcon trip would be right out. I’m talking about emergency help, not giving people nice things.

      • - says:

        I’ve seen people consider a dead computer an “emergency” (their only way to talk to people, they stream for a living, etc), so that’s what I mean. It becomes a pick and choose, and I could see it becoming messy. What if the person running it decided that THIS person deserved funds for their new computer? (just one example, btw, it could be ANYTHING, this is just a quick and easy ’emergency for some, not for others’ scenario)

        • binkenstein says:

          Yeah, it all depends on context. A dead gaming rig wouldn’t be an emergency, but for someone who was a freelance web dev that worked from home, for example, it would be. In situations like those I’d say part funding would be an ok thing.

          I’d also expect people that are helped would start putting a little bit in if they weren’t already, so we can help more people in the future.

  2. Taser says:

    Hey Matt,

    sorry to be a little late with the comment. As noble as your idea of some kind of foundation for geek emergencies is, there are some problems/risks involved.

    1. Who runs it? Who takes care of the money? How do you build trust in this person to get anons on the Internet to donate?
    2. Who decides where the money goes?
    3. What is being considered an emergency?
    4. How do you make sure that only people in actual need receive funds? How do you check their financial background?
    5. How do you make sure that the funds are being used for the designated cause?
    6. Who is a geek?

    And that are only the initial thoughts coming to my mind.

    All the best.


    • binkenstein says:

      So late, in fact, that this idea was scrapped and replaced with

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