Medical Fundraising Tips: Financial support right when you need it

From trips to A&E to long-term care, medical expenses can empty out savings accounts and leave behind debts that last for years. Medical crowdfunding is a powerful tool. Countless people have found that using GoFundMe for medical expenses can help pay for prescriptions and doctors’ appointments – as well as procedures which are not typically covered by insurance like IVF treatment or gender reassignment surgery.

See below for some of our best medical fundraising tips to help you raise more money.

Start a medical fundraiser

Tips for fundraising for medical expenses

Man holding a baby with bandage on his head

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.

Doctor examining a young girl's hand

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, but people will be more willing to support your cause if they have a full understanding of the financial, physical, and emotional troubles you’re experiencing.

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

  • What happened?
  • How has this affected your life or your beneficiary’s life?
  • What is the recommended treatment?
  • 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.

Two women sitting outside by a bonfire

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 difficult to be vulnerable in this way, but this kind of vulnerability is also what can touch people and inspire them to support you during this difficult time.

A new mom holding her newborn with her partner

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 is another easy way to gain support.
Two people sitting on a bench outside in the snow

Reach out offline

If you’ve exhausted your online 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.

Young girl in a hospital bed holding a bald doll that matches her

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.

  • Let your supporters know if you need additional help.
  • If you’re running a fundraiser for someone else, it can be helpful to get quotes or updates from that person and post them as updates.
  • Don’t forget to post a final update once you’ve decided to end your fundraiser.
Two parents smiling with their daughter sitting in a hospital bed with her teddy bear

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? 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.

Hand writing with a blue pen in a notebook

Send thank-you messages to supporters

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.

Medical fundraising helped these people

young parents holding up their twins

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 turned to GoFundMe to raise money for expensive gene replacement therapy. They raised over $251,000 in just two months.

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 rallied around him, raising over $50,000 in just 20 days to help cover the expensive medical costs.

Man painting next to a lake

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 can remove financial stress from the picture so you can dedicate your time to getting the care you need. GoFundMe offers fundraising so you can keep more of your donations, 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.

Start a medical fundraiser