IVF Fundraising: Guide to Costs, Funding and Treatments

| 6 min read Fundraising Strategy

Many don’t think they’ll have to go down the IVF fundraising route when starting a family. It can be a thrilling time, but it’s not uncommon for the process to be harder or more costly than you originally imagined.

It’s estimated that one in 9 Australian couples of reproductive age are diagnosed with infertility according to Health Direct. If you or someone you know has been hit with this disheartening news, it’s important to be informed about what lies ahead and what you can do to help.

Which fertility treatment option is best for you?

After researching possible causes and working with your doctor, you may have determined that natural conception is probably not on the cards. Now, it’s time to weigh your options and forge ahead with a new plan for the type of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) that’s right for you.

1. Fertility medications  

The main drug used to treat female infertility in Australia is called clomiphene citrate, which often serves as the first step along the path to conception. Another two are the follicle stimulating hormone, and hCG. These medications are designed to help stimulate your hormones and encourage ovulation.

2. Artificial Insemination (IUI)

This method is a common choice for male-factor infertility and proves less expensive and less invasive than IVF or In Vitro Fertilisation. That said, many studies show that it can take multiple attempts before conception is achieved and with each cycle costing couples $2,037 even after the Medicare rebate, what seems like a more affordable option can add up quickly.

3. In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

More than three million babies have been born as a result of this incredible procedure, according to WebMD. Together with an outstanding success rate for women under 35, this is one of the most sought-after treatments available. With the high price tag of almost $10,000 for one cycle of treatment, however, many couples prefer to explore other options first.

Three ways to supplement the costs of IVF treatments

In Australia, many fertility treatments attract a rebate from Medicare, provided the patient has been diagnosed as “medically infertile”. However, multiple cycles of fertility treatment can come with considerable out-of-pocket expenses. The following options can help Australians supplement these costs on their conceiving journey.

1. Grants for IVF

Many organisations offer financial assistance through the use of scholarships or grants. Each site specifies what requirements are needed so that it’s easy to determine if you or the couple you know are able to apply.

  • The Forward Grant offers reproductive research institutions and IVF centres grant money to fund research, with Melbourne IVF being recognised as the 2020 winners. Contact the clinic to see how you might be able to be involved.

2. IVF early release of superannuation

In Australia, early access of superannuation funds can ease the burden of financing fertility treatment. According to the Australian Taxation Office, between July and December 2019 there were more than 34,400 applications for early release based off of “compassionate medical grounds”, with over 60% of applications being approved. Learn more about this via the ATO website, or contact an advocate like Access My Super.

3. Crowdfunding as a way of IVF fundraising

This method of fundraising is gaining popularity in recent years as people everywhere are getting more comfortable with using their social networks to raise the funds they need to cover these treatments. Organisers have started thousands of IVF fundraisers on GoFundMe since 2010.

IVF fundraising tips

Set your fundraising goal

Behind every successful fundraising effort is a basic plan of action — and we’re here to help you choose your goals for your fundraiser. It begins with setting a goal amount. As with any medical procedure, it’s important to factor in the price tag of the procedure itself and all the smaller expenses that can really add up — including any unpaid time off work, expensive medications and transportation etc.

Tell your story honestly and clearly

You might think your friends and family already know your IVF fundraising story, but telling your story well can make a huge difference in your fundraising efforts. On your fundraiser page, tell your story honestly and clearly — share your personal experiences and add photos and videos. This is the story that you’re inviting your supporters to become part of. See our post for more tips on fundraiser storytelling.

Get social

Through the power of social networks, your IVF story can reach family, friends, friends of friends and even sympathetic strangers around the world. When posting a link to your fundraising fundraiser on social media, ask friends and family to share it. To add your own spin to your fundraiser, come up with a fundraiser hashtag that allows people to more easily follow your journey. You might even consider creating a blog to tell the story of your journey. For more tips on how to use social media with crowdfunding, see our social media tips.

Bring people into the story with updates

Posting frequent updates is essential. It helps keep supporters in-the-loop and shows potential donors how much their donation could help. Showcase your gratitude. Share messages of hope. If you keep supporters engaged, they’ll be more likely to donate again or repeatedly share your story with their social networks. For more guidance on posting updates, see How to Write a FundraiserUpdate.

Thank your supporters

In the world of fundraising, there’s a whole set of best practices and guidelines around thanking people who donate to a cause — and it isn’t just about showing good manners. In this case, the cause is yours — take a moment to familiarise yourself with our essential guide to thanking donors.

Successful IVF fundraisers on GoFundMe

Successful in vitro fertilisations fundraisers can serve as a model for your own. Take a look at how these families told their story, post updates and more:

1. Believing for a Baby for The Rogers

Rachael Rogers and her husband, Matthew, had been trying everything under the sun to get pregnant. After months of experimenting with everything from vitamins and holidays to acupuncture and faith, they decided they were ready to call in the experts. After a disheartening diagnosis of endometriosis, they knew it was time to try IVF, but were wary of the $20,000 price tag placed on their dream. Rachael started a GoFundMe fundraiser where she could share their story with the community. In just three short months, the couple reached their goal and used the $20,225 in donations to fund their medical costs. Today, they are joyfully expecting a little baby girl and couldn’t be any more grateful.

Start your IVF fundraising journey today

In vitro fertilisation fundraising is a natural fit with GoFundMe’s crowdfunding platform and giving the community. Start your fundraiser today. 

Start your IVF fundraiser

Written by nicola