Money and crowdfunding

Photo via 401(K) 2012


Emma Fillipoff, a beautiful blonde-haired 26-year-old from British Columbia, was last seen purchasing a pre-paid cell phone at an Ontario, Canada 7-Eleven on November 28, 2012.

After more than 200 leads and thousands of phone calls, interviews, and news stories, there is still no information about her location or safety. Her mother, Shelley Fillipoff has recently taken the next step in this investigation that many local police are considering a “cold case.” She has hired private investigator Jasper Smith to help find her daughter. And, although price is the last thing on her mind, the $95 per hour cost is potentially ruinous.

It can be terrible to find yourself to be in a position where you need to hire a private investigator to find someone you love. Not only does it mean constant worry and sleepless nights, but it can result in taking time off from work, which can impact your investigation funds.

Fortunately, the Internet provides a unique solution to families who are trying to finance private investigations. Sites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter are giving financially strapped families additional ways to raise the money to find the people they love. And they are having much more success than you would imagine.

Fillipoff, always hoping for the best, turned to crowdfunding as a way to manage the potential debt of hiring her private investigator. Within just the last few weeks, she has already raised more than $10,000 for the cause.

And crowdfunding has been such a successful way to find missing persons, it’s even being used in one of the most famous missing persons cases of all time – the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.

In 2014, pilot Dana Timmer started a Kickstarter campaign to again look into the famous disappearance. The campaign, backed by 251 contributors, raised over $33,000 to fund a search party over Howland Island, one of the areas that is rumored to have been close to the place Earhart disappeared. Unfortunately, the campaign fell short of its $2 million price tag, but it gives hope to many who are searching for family and friends many years after the fact.

Another example of successful missing person investigation fundraising was for the lost Oregon City man, Adrien Chase. Using the crowdfunding site DonationTo, they were able to raise almost $5,000 for posters, search parties, and private investigation.

No matter how impossible it seems to find the funds, there is a way for you to afford the private investigator you need. Crowdfunding is a 21st Century solution that gives you and your family a way to share the financial burden without having to give up the vital search for your loved one.