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Crowdfunding Rent Is Actually A Thing That New Yorkers Do

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In a world where people crowdfund money for everything from a batch of potato salad to a new Manhattan hotel, it shouldn't come as a surprise that people try to crowdfund their rent, especially in a city as expensive as New York. What may actually be a surprise is that a lot of these people are successful. AM New York takes a look at the trend and found that the campaigns that are most often successful come from a place of need. Their rent isn't necessarily high, but unfortunate circumstances—a serious illness, financial troubles, legal conflicts—put them on the brink of eviction and led them to websites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo.

GoFundMe seems to be the site with the most needy renters. A search for "rent" and a Brooklyn zip code turned up 401 results, mostly from creative types who are struggling to get by while pursuing their artistic endeavors. This couple, a singer and musician, is less than $400 shy of their $2,000 goal. Bonz Malone, who AM New York spoke to, raised $155 more than his $1,500 goal to pay his back rent to be able to "save my desktop and finally publish my novel." Another writer is seeking help for the same reason, but she's looking to raise $7,000, enough to cover "rent and groceries for a few months."

The secret to a successful campaign? A wide social reach—your Facebook friends and Twitter followers better be generous—and "lack of shame," according to AM New York. Looking through the active campaigns on GoFundMe, it appears that most campaigns are far from their goals, but, unlike Kickstarter or IndieGogo, the website doesn't require a deadline on campaigns and hosts get to keep whatever donations they receive.

Poll results

· New Yorkers are fundraising online to pay the rent [AMNY]
· GoFundMe [official]