Your health is your most valuable possession—but what happens when preserving it costs you a fortune?
According to the Commonwealth Fund, 35% of American adults struggled to pay medical bills in the past 12 months. Medical bills are the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the US.
Many have discovered that crowdfunding is often the quickest and easiest way to ease a financial burden—yours or someone else’s. Crowdfunding not only lets you to raise money quickly—it also provides emotional support to the person you’re raising money for.
Set up your fundraiser for medical bills
Medical fundraising is used to help people with a wide variety of conditions, from ALS to cancer to fertility support and medical tourism. Medical crowdfunding gives people a platform to share a personal story with friends, family, and community. When people are faced with a sudden medical hardship, a free online fundraiser on GoFundMe can be an essential asset in a time of difficulty.
- Medical crowdfunding helps spread your story among your family, friends, their friends, and even strangers who may feel compelled to give.
- It 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.
- It can help spread awareness about medical conditions and the healthcare system.
Best practices for successful medical crowdfunding
Gather a fundraising team
Before launching a medical fundraiser, ask a few of your friends (or friends of the beneficiary) if they want to be part of the fundraising team. As they old saying goes, “many hands make light work,” and that’s certainly true for fundraising of any kind. Not only will the work itself be easier, but your fundraiser will also have greater reach through team members’ combined social networks.
Don’t worry if you can’t get a group of friends to team up. While a fundraising team is ideal, it isn’t necessary for success. We see individuals succeed every day on GoFundMe.
Perfect your pitch
Write your story honestly and thoroughly to help people understand the reality of your situation. The most important topics to cover: who the fundraiser is for, the medical condition they’re dealing with, the related expenses, and why your crowdfunding fundraiser will make a difference.
Offer a look into your life
Upload photos and videos that give people a glimpse of what you’re facing, and how you and your family are dealing with adversity. Photos are powerful fundraising tools. They help people empathize with the beneficiary—and empathy is key to crowdfunding. Fundraisers that include multiple photos raise significantly more than fundraisers that include only one.
Have a social media strategy
Social media gives you the power to reach your family and friends—and their family and friends, and so on.
- Keep your social media posts brief, and always include a link to your GoFundMe fundraiser.
- Post at key points in the day—you can use tools like Buffer to figure out the best time for your network.
- Encourage your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to share your fundraising fundraiser on social media (believe it or not, the thought might not occur to them until you ask).
- To spread the word on Facebook, set up a group for supporting the beneficiary (yourself, or your friend or loved one).
Throw a fundraising event
You want your medical fundraiser to reach as many people as possible, so:
- Contact the beneficiary’s favorite restaurant or local business and talk about the fundraiser.
- Ask if they’d consider matching donations up to a certain amount, or donate space for a fundraising event.
- At any event, set up a donation station with a laptop or mobile device displaying your fundraiser.
- Reach out to and local organizations, clubs, and institutions the beneficiary is involved with—sports leagues, churches, schools, or book clubs—and invite them to your fundraising event.
- Invite the local media to attend and cover your fundraising event.
Update your fundraiser
You can update your GoFundMe fundraiser whenever you want, so don’t hesitate to share information.
- Post updates on the beneficiary’s progress and setbacks.
- Consider creating a hashtag to represent the beneficiary and the challenge they’re facing.
- Share all of your updates to social media, so your friends and supporters can share them in turn.
- If any local media has written articles or blog posts about your cause, add the links to your fundraiser page and share them socially.
Throw an after-party
Thanking your supporters and celebrating is an essential part of the process.
- Organize a post-fundraiser event, such as a picnic at a local park, to show gratitude for the financial and emotional support you’ve received.
- At the event, provide updates on the recipient’s recovery. If possible, have the recipient present to celebrate their recovery and the success of your fundraiser.
Take the first step 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 crowdfunding, you can quickly start receiving the support you need to deal with the challenge of a sudden illness or accident. If you haven’t already launched your fundraiser, start your medical fundraising fundraiser today.