Your health is your most valuable possession—but what happens when preserving it costs you a fortune?
You wouldn’t be alone if you’re trying to figure out how to pay medical bills. According to the Commonwealth Fund, 41% of American adults have problems paying off medical debt. Many have discovered that crowdfunding is a quick and simple way to find emergency financial assistance for themselves or others.
If you aren’t sure how to raise money for medical expenses, this medical crowdfunding guide explains the best practices for creating a fundraiser that will maximize support and donations.
Why crowdfund for medical expenses?
People use medical fundraising to raise money for a wide variety of medical-related expenses, from cancer and IVF treatments to surgery costs—and everything in between. When people are faced with a sudden medical hardship, they’re often left wondering how to pay for expensive medical treatments and how to avoid medical bankruptcy. Crowdfunding can ease financial stress and allow you to focus on healing.
- Medical crowdfunding helps spread your story among your family, friends, their friends, and even strangers who may feel compelled to give.
- When you don’t know how to to get financial help for out of pocket medical expenses, crowdfunding makes it easy.
- Crowdfunding can get you the funds you need fast when you’re facing mounting medical bills. You can begin withdrawing funds as soon as you start receiving donations.
- Crowdfunding can help spread awareness about certain medical conditions and the healthcare system.
Eight best practices for successful medical crowdfunding
If you’re new to crowdfunding, you might not know how to set up a fundraiser for medical bills. While the below tips and tricks will help you create a compelling fundraiser, remember that the most important part is simply getting started.
1. Craft a compelling story
While making yourself vulnerable can be scary, writing your fundraiser story honestly and thoroughly will help people connect to your cause. The more people can understand the reality of your medical situation, the more they’ll be willing to donate to your fundraiser. A unique fundraiser title can also help catch people’s attention right away and entice them to read more about why you need financial help.
2. Tell your story through photos and videos
When it comes to adding visual elements to your story, photos are powerful fundraising tools, and videos can elevate your fundraiser to the next level. Photos and videos not only help break up blocks of text, but they draw people into your world and allow them to empathize with your story.
Fundraisers that include multiple photos raise significantly more than fundraisers that include only one. If you have medical bills, feel free to cover any sensitive information and then share photos of those so people can fully understand your plight.
3. Create a social media strategy
Social media gives you the power to reach family, friends, and even strangers around the globe. The best way to get started is to ask your network of friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to share your fundraiser on their social media accounts. Doing this can exponentially increase the number of people viewing your fundraiser.
When sharing with your own network, keep the social media post brief and always include a link to your fundraiser; this makes it easy for people to donate in just a few clicks. You might consider adding a unique fundraiser hashtag to your posts, or starting a social media contest to really get people involved with your cause.
4. Share beyond social media
While social media is an important part of fundraising success, fundraising without social media can extend your reach in different ways.
Personalized outreaches can make a huge difference when sharing your fundraiser. If you aren’t sure where to begin, start by emailing, texting, or calling a few close friends. Getting some initial support can encourage others to donate. If you’re having trouble finding the words to ask for financial help, fundraising email templates provide a lot of ideas.
For more tips on getting the word out, take a look at our blog post 25 Fundraiser Sharing Tips to Increase Donations.
5. Throw a fundraising event
Fundraising events are a wonderful opportunity to ask for donations in a natural way while bringing your friends, family, and community together to support a cause that’s important to you. If you aren’t sure what type of event to host, read our blog post Top Ten Fundraising Event Ideas for inspiration.
If you think your fundraising event could make a big splash, why not invite the local media to cover it? Getting press attention can bring in a considerable amount of new donations and raise awareness for your cause.
6. Keep everyone in the loop
As you begin to receive donations, your supporters will be hungry for information about your fundraiser. Have their donations been helpful? Are the medical treatments going well? You can answer these questions through updates.
You can use updates as an opportunity to share progress, setbacks, or words of gratitude that will keep your supporters engaged with your cause. Not sure the best way to write a compelling update? Read our blog post How to Write a Fundraiser Update.
Don’t forget to share all of your updates to social media so that your friends and supporters can share as well.
7. Show your gratitude
It may seem trivial, but thanking your donors is one of the most important actions you can take when fundraising. Thank-you notes make people feel appreciated, and they may even help with donor retention.
Thanking your donors can be as simple as posting a mass update to the fundraiser, or you can write individual donation thank-you letters for a personal touch that can have an even bigger impact. Gratitude doesn’t have to end at letters and emails, though. Take a look at our blog post 20 Affordable Ways to Say Thank You to Donors for more ideas.
8. Throw an after-party
Celebrating fundraising milestones and continuing to show your gratitude to supporters is an essential part of the fundraising process. Once you’ve hit your fundraising goal or you’ve decided to end your fundraiser, why not organize a post-fundraiser event with friend and family? You can host a simple picnic or potluck and use it as an opportunity to share in-person updates with everyone, and extend a final thank-you for all the support they provided.
Start raising funds for medical expenses today
In the blink of an eye, anyone can be touched by an unexpected accident or devastating illness. And a medical crisis is made worse when it becomes a financial crisis. With medical fundraising through GoFundMe, you can quickly receive the support you need to deal with the challenges of a sudden illness or accident. Our free fundraising model and best-in-class Customer Happiness agents are just two reasons why GoFundMe is the leader in online fundraising. If you haven’t already, sign up to create your medical fundraiser today.