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.
: Check your local and federal laws regarding internet panhandling and related tax regulations.
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.
TIP: Avoid sites that charge a fee to show you how to cyber-beg.
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.
TIP: Investigate the possibility of accepting advertising on your site to earn even more money.
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.
FACT: Karyn Bosnak, one of the most successful cyber-beggars in history, made $13,300 in less than 4 months to help pay off her credit card debt.