Find Financial Support With These Medical Fundraising Tips

From ER visits to long-term care, medical and healthcare expenses can wipe out savings accounts and leave behind debt that lasts for years. Medical crowdfunding is a powerful tool that can help people conquer medical bankruptcy and focus on healing.

Countless people have found that using GoFundMe for medical expenses can help pay for prescriptions and doctors visits—as well as procedures not typically covered by insurance, like IVF treatments or gender confirmation surgery. You can also do a fundraiser for a loved one to cover medical costs like chemotherapy, hospital bills, co-pays, home healthcare, medical research, and physical therapy equipment.

Below, we’ve gathered some of our best medical fundraising tips to help you raise more money.

How to create a successful medical fundraiser

1. Make your title count

Your fundraiser title is one of the first things people will read, so it’s important to try to capture people’s attention while giving insight into what you’re raising money for. GoFundMe titles for medical fundraisers should be specific. For example, “Help Martha Fight Cancer” tells people more than “Martha’s fundraiser.” For more examples and specific tips, read our blog post Six Smart Ways to Write a Powerful Fundraiser Title.

2. Tell your story with vulnerability

Your fundraiser story is the place to let readers know what you or your beneficiary is going through. You may be tempted to keep your story as short as possible. Still, people will be more willing to support your cause if they fully understand the financial, physical, and emotional troubles you’re experiencing.

Introduce yourself and the main characters in your GoFundMe fundraising page. Start with the most important information. Be honest and direct with your supporters. Keep it brief and heartfelt. You can always add more details later if needed.

When writing your fundraiser story, try to answer these questions:

  • What happened?
  • How has this affected your life or your beneficiary’s life? Share details about their life before and after diagnosis.
  • What is the recommended treatment and potential medical costs?
  • How will these funds help you or your beneficiary?

We understand that medical issues can be personal, so only share the details you’re comfortable with.

If you need more help writing your story, read our blog post Writing Your Fundraiser Story: A Comprehensive Guide.

3. Add photos and videos if you feel comfortable

Photos can draw others into your story and help them trust your fundraiser. Most people will feel more comfortable donating to a cause when they can see photos of the person their funds will be going to. Be sure to use high-quality images that show you or your beneficiary. It can be challenging to be vulnerable in this way, but this vulnerability inspires people to support you during this difficult time.

Create emotionally engaging videos to share your diagnosis and explain how donations will help your recovery. Videos can powerfully connect with donors, raise awareness, and increase donations. Use GoFundMe’s “record a video” feature to start your fundraiser or add a video update to an existing fundraiser. Videos can tell your story in a way that images can’t and touch the hearts of your supporters.

Some ideas on how to use video for your fundraiser:

  • Produce a short video introducing yourself and explaining why you are fundraising in a selfie-style format to help donors understand the cause. Share it on Instagram or TikTok.
  • Create a video tribute to pay homage to the person you are raising funds for. Make sure that the video is of high quality and captures the essence of the individual’s life and achievements.
  • Celebrate reaching a fundraising milestone halfway to your goal or one week away from a related event or date.

4. Share your fundraiser with friends and family

Sharing your fundraiser with everyone you know is one of the most important actions you can take in reaching your fundraising goals. We understand that asking for help can be difficult, but your network truly wants to support you during your time of need. These are some tips to help you share your fundraiser online:

  • Learn the best way to ask for donations before reaching out to anyone.
  • Reach out to a few close friends or family members first to become more comfortable with asking for support.
  • Use these fundraising email templates if you need to get past writer’s block.
  • Simply asking people if they can share your fundraiser with their contacts and social media is another easy way to gain support.

5. Reach out offline

If you’ve exhausted your online fundraising efforts, it can be helpful to take your fundraising efforts offline. Fundraising without social media can open up new opportunities and help you connect with potential supporters in a more personal way. Asking for support offline can mean anything from making phone calls to using email. Fundraising events are another opportunity to ask for donations and gain support locally:

  • Local community events like car washes, pancake breakfast, bake sales, or partnerships with local businesses
  • Host a charity silent auction with items from local artists and businesses
  • Create a fundraising challenge with a marathon and pledges
  • Ask people to participate on a talent show or walk-a-thon
  • Sell old clothes through a block party or yard sale
  • Offer handmade cards or flower arrangements from your garden
  • Teach a class online and raise more funds for medical expenses
  • Organize a trivia night or karaoke night at a local bar

6. Post updates to keep your supporters involved

Once people donate, they’ll be eager to know how you’re doing and how the funds are helping. The best way to keep people in the loop is by regularly writing fundraiser updates. If you aren’t feeling up for that, you can always ask a close friend or family member to write them on your behalf.

  • After using the funds for your cause, update donors on the impact of their donation to inspire more giving.
  • Update your supporters about upcoming fundraiser events and milestones at least weekly.
  • Let your supporters know if you need additional help.
  • If you’re organizing a fundraiser for someone else, consider including quotes or updates from the person to express their gratitude.
  • Don’t forget to post a final update once you’ve decided to end your fundraiser.

7. Don’t forget to share other needs

Using GoFundMe for medical bills can be a powerful way to raise money. Still, you might have other needs that need to be met. Do your pets need to be cared for while you’re in the hospital receiving medical treatment? Would a hot meal be a relief after a day of doctor’s appointments or while you’re in the hospital?

List these needs under a title that says, “Other ways you can help.” This is a great way for people who may not be able to contribute financially to lend a hand. Have loved ones create a calendar to cover those needs so others can sign up to help with errands and more.

8. Send thank-you messages to supporters

This is a super easy fundraising idea that has a big impact. Be sure to let your donors know how much you appreciate their support by sending thank-you messages. If you aren’t sure how to tell them what a difference their donation has made, take a look at our blog post How to Write a Donation Thank-You Letter: Templates. For other ideas on how to show gratitude, see our blog post 20 Affordable Ways to Say Thank You to Donors.

Create your fundraiser with GoFundMe

Crowdfunding has become essential for raising money, whether for launching a new product, paying off medical bills, or funding scientific research. GoFundMe is a well-known and trusted social fundraising platform that caters to individuals, teams, and nonprofits. With a community of over 100 million donors worldwide, it is considered one of the best crowdfunding sites for personal fundraising with easy social media sharing. You can raise funds for all types of medical costs, from bills and copays to transportation and caregiving, and keep your funds even if you don’t meet your goal.

GoFundMe has helped raise more than $15 billion, offering the only donor protection guarantee called the GoFundMe Giving Guarantee. GoFundMe has a dedicated customer care team that offers assistance at every step of the process.

Medical fundraising helped these people

1. Save Yoel and Yael

Zohar and Gabi were beyond excited to welcome their twins Yoel and Yael into the world. But about two and a half months after their birth, they discovered both of their children had a rare genetic disorder that causes brain degeneration. Realizing they were in a fight against time, the couple searched for the best medical fundraising sites and found GoFundMe to help them pay for expensive gene replacement therapy. They raised over $251,000 in just two months.

2. Battle for Bryce Turner

When 15-year-old Bryce went to the doctor for a strange rash, he never imagined he would leave with a leukemia diagnosis. Because the leukemia was aggressive, doctors placed Bryce in the hospital for five months to undergo testing and treatment. His friends and family began using GoFundMe for medical expenses, raising over $50,000 in just 20 days to help cover the expensive medical costs.

3. Every Picture Tells A Story: Artist Mark Melnick

As a professional artist and muralist, Mark had spent his entire life honing his craft. That came to a screeching halt when he suffered a stroke at the age of 60. Suddenly, he couldn’t paint and his monthly expenses ballooned overnight: He needed extensive therapy sessions, in-home care, and adjustments to his house to accommodate his new mobility restrictions. Mark’s community launched a GoFundMe that raised almost $19,000 in two months to help him recover.

Focus more on your health and less on finances

Medical fundraising sites can remove financial stress from the picture so you can dedicate your time to getting the care you need. Our easy sharing tools make it simple to spread the word about your fundraiser, and our Customer Care Team is available to help you 24/7.

For more fundraising tips for medical expenses, take a look at our Medical crowdfunding guide. If you’re still struggling to get help with bills, then sign up for a fundraiser today.