How to Cyber-Beg

Panhandling online may be less embarrassing than begging in person, but it's no less daunting. See if you have what it takes to make total strangers open up their wallets.

You will need

  • Website
  • PayPal account
  • Post office box
  • Reason to beg
  • Updates
  • Thick skin
  • Advertisers (optional)

Step 1 Set up a website Set up a website explaining why you’re asking for money. Choose a catchy domain name that’s easy to remember.

Step 2 Set up a PayPal account Set up a PayPal account so visitors can make donations directly into your bank account. Open a post office box for checks and money orders so you don’t have to post your address.

Step 3 Make it visually interesting Make your site visually interesting. Entice donors to check in regularly by illustrating how people’s contributions are helping you reach your goal.

Step 4 Update it regularly Update your site frequently; it helps keep supporters invested in your cause. Keep the postings light; funny, self-deprecating briefings seem to be more successful at eliciting donations than serious ones.

Step 5 Develop a thick skin Expect to receive nasty messages. Asking for handouts invites a certain amount of abuse, even if your cause is sympathetic.

Step 6 Don't expect miracles Don’t expect a huge windfall. Internet panhandling is now so pervasive that few cyber-beggars rake in big bucks.