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Parents Take to Crowd Funding Birthday Parties to Keep up with the Joneses

The Short of It

Would you ever ask friends and family to fund your child's birthday party? It's not as unusual as you might think. Birthday-related campaigns on GoFundMe have raised nearly $1 million from more than 20,000 donors for celebrations since 2010. There was a 330 percent increase in donation volume for birthday campaigns between 2013 and 2014.

The Lowdown

Rebecca Michals, director of BabyCenter's global community, told Good Morning America that social media has influenced the crowd funding trend. Moms see pictures on Facebook of their friends giving their children amazing birthdays, and they want that for their own children. And Pinterest isn't doing anyone any favors, since everything looks amazing on there.

With sites like GoFundMe.com, moms feel that it can't hurt to try. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Michals said there's a definite sense of "if you give to my child's birthday party, I'll give back to yours" in the crowd funding community.

The Upshot

Apparently, crowd funding your child's second birthday is totally acceptable, especially if you're trying to keep up with the Joneses. These aren't exactly parties that "give back." It's more likely that these are over-the top, excessive birthday parties given to impress the neighbors more than the kids. I doubt the people crowd funding for birthday parties are destitute; otherwise, they'd probably be crowd funding for something more important, like food or shelter.

They say it takes a village to raise a child; maybe it takes crowd funding to afford children's birthday parties these days. What do you think? Okay or too much?

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