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Nora Kenworthy with Marcus Harrison Green

The True Costs of Crowdfunding

Tuesday, May 28
7:30 pm PDT
$5 – $25 Sliding Scale
Learn more about Sliding Scale tickets.


The Wyncote NW Forum
1119 8th Ave (Entrance off Seneca St.)
Seattle, 98101 United States
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Note: Town Hall events are approximately 75 minutes long.

Book cover: White title at the top says "Crowded Out." A hospital patient in a dressing gown holds a smartphone with two hands. A blue hologram of people walking comes out of the phone's screen. Subtitle on hologram says "The True Costs of Crowdfunding Healthcare."
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Crowded Out: The True Costs of Crowdfunding Healthcare

The Elliott Bay Book Company

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Headshots of Nora Kenworthy (with fair skin, long brown hair, and red eyeglasses) and Marcus Harrison Green (with dark skin and buzzed black hair)

Over the past decade, charitable crowdfunding has exploded in popularity across the globe. Sites such as GoFundMe, which now boasts a “global community of over 100 million” users, have transformed the ways we seek and offer help. When faced with crises—especially medical ones—Americans are turning to online platforms that promise to connect them to the charity of the crowd. What does this new phenomenon reveal about the changing ways we seek and provide healthcare? In Crowded Out, Nora Kenworthy examines how charitable crowdfunding so quickly overtook public life, where it is taking us, and who gets left behind by this new platformed economy.

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Although crowdfunding has become ubiquitous in our lives, it is often misunderstood: rather than a friendly free market “powered by the kindness” of strangers, crowdfunding is powerfully reinforcing inequalities and changing the way Americans think about and access healthcare. Drawing on extensive research and rich storytelling, Crowded Out demonstrates how crowdfunding for health is fueled by—and further reinforces—financial and moral “toxicities” in market-based healthcare systems. It offers a unique and distressing look beneath the surface of some of the most popular charitable platforms and helps to foster thoughtful discussions of how we can better respond to healthcare crises both small and large.

Nora Kenworthy is Associate Professor at the University of Washington Bothell. She is the author and editor of several books, and her writing has appeared in the American Journal of Public HealthSocial Science and MedicinePLOS OneScientific American, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.

Marcus Harrison Green is a columnist for The Seattle Times. A long-time Seattle native, he is the founder of the South Seattle Emerald, which focuses on telling the stories of South Seattle and its residents.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle.

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