Crowdfunding is Tough for Aspies

Man, it can be hard being an Aspie. And being an Aspie who’s fallen on hard times and needs a helping hand is even harder.

You know what it’s like. Or maybe you don’t — so I’ll explain.

Imagine your main source of income is ripped away from you. You’re suddenly at 30% of what you used to have coming in. You cancel everything you can possibly manage to be without. Like cable for the kids, fast food and going out, your AAA membership, your renter’s insurance. You downgrade your cell phone plan and eventually cancel it. You sell everything you can for a fraction of what it’s worth. You drop your medical insurance for your State’s plan. But some things you just have to keep paying, no matter how tough. Your rent or mortgage, utilities like power and water, food.

So somehow you find the money. Maybe you max out your credit cards, overdraw your bank. That only helps in the very short term because, eventually, you’re going to have to pay them back.

You start to reach out to people you know for help. But if you have Asperger’s (and many other mental health issues), that can be a very short list. Some people will be able to help with money, most of them will offer advice and try to be helpful.

But still, with each month you get deeper in debt and it gets tougher to stay afloat.

Sure there are crowdfunding sites that focus on personal causes like Indiegogo’s new platform, Generosity, YouCaring, and GoFundMe. But for people with Asperger’s, there’s a distinct disadvantage.

You see crowdfunding relies on getting the word out about your cause. And the biggest chance of getting funds and spreading the word, according to most of the sites, is through your friends.

But what do you do when your friends list consists of just your wife, your kids and a couple of ex-acquaintances you haven’t spoken to in years? Well, you’re basically stuffed.

To start with, most people are just not inclined to help strangers thay have no connection with. It’s not their problem.

Then there are those who would love to help out but can’t afford to because they themselves are facing difficult times. It’s not their fault.

And in any case, for neuro-typical people seeing a campaign from someone with only a handful of friends, it sets off warning bells. It’s not conceivable.

They don’t understand how that it’s possible that a real person can have so few friends — especially when they have 600 or more on their list.

Believe me, it’s possible — just ask an Aspie.

You see, for us Aspies, making friends tends to be something we’re not good at. We tend to have a small handful of real, true friends, and very few ‘hangers-on’. Given that the first (and maybe the biggest) donations tend to be from people in your close circle of friends, you have limited choices.

If your friends list consists mainly of your household — who are likely in the same situation of need — donations can take a long time to come in. If they come in at all.

So what’s the answer? I really wish I knew because I’m writing this from a place of personal, experience.

If, by any small chance, you feel inclined to give an Aspie a break and help out in a time of need, you can send a small donation to me on Venmo.com using the email address: mike@emailme.today

If you’d like to help but you’re also going through a tough time and can’t spare a dollar, my heart goes out to you. But maybe you have more than 5 people on your friends list and could spread the word by sharing this article?

If you don’t feel inclined to do either, have a fantastic day anyway.