Day 6

A complicated kindness: the unintended consequences of crowdfunding

Crowdfunding campaigns are everywhere these days. But despite the good intentions of those who start them, they can sometimes have unintended consequences.
James Robertson is a Detroit man who walked more than 30km to work and back everyday. He's has had to move out of his neighbourhood after a crowdfunding campaign raised more than $350,000 for him, and after a car was gifted to him by a local car dealership. (Ryan Garza/AP)

It's becoming a familiar story these days: the plight of someone in the news resonates strongly with people online, a crowdfunding campaign gets launched,  and what starts out as a modest fundraising goal turns into a runaway success. This week, a crowdfunding campaign for a Montreal woman who was refused her day in court far surpassed its goal.

Sites like IndieGogo, GoFundMe and Tilt are making it easier than ever to give and to amplify the reach of these campaigns. But sometimes, crowdfunding can create unexpected consequences, both for donors and for recipients. This documentary, A Complicated Kindness explores some of those stories.