Whether you are financially prepared for it or not, an unexpected accident or sudden diagnosis can leave you with a long list of bills. Unfortunately, financial stress can distract you from focusing on recovery. Since medical expenses can start to add up quickly, you may start seeking support. Crowdfunding can unlock an entire community of people who want to assist your recovery. And it enables you to raise money with dignity in the event of hardship. Use these steps for successful medical fundraising and regain control of your finances so you can focus on getting better.
A medical fundraiser is different from any other type of fundraiser for one fundamental reason: It represents a person’s ability to care for his or her own physical well-being.
Illness is stressful, physically, and emotionally taxing, and finances are the last thing someone who is trying to heal should have to worry about. But unfortunately, medical care isn’t free – many people will face staggering medical bills due to prolonged illness. It can be hard for friends and family to show support for a loved one when they’re sick. They may not know how to help, or even if they can.
But starting an online medical fundraiser for a friend battling illness is one of the easiest ways to show support and help cover a chunk of their medical expenses. Online fundraising sites allow individuals to customize their fundraising pages and share them with friends and family from across the world, who can then donate money to help a loved one pay for medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses.
By personalizing your fundraising page and spreading it like wildfire through social media, you can raise thousands of dollars. Before starting, however, it is critically important to organize a medical fundraising plan.
At YouCaring, we’ve been specializing in medical fundraising for years and we know what works and what doesn’t. So let us give you some pointers on how to make sure your fundraiser is a success.
Step 1: Set Up a Crowdfunding Campaign
First, start by deciding which fundraising site is best for you. YouCaring offers free crowdfunding for personal and charitable causes, allowing you to direct all your donations to your cause. Next it is time to write your campaign story. Outline your cause in a compelling way with photos and a video. Explain what you will do with the donations and why you need them now. Come up with a title that includes the beneficiary’s name for easy searching.
Harness the Power in Numbers
Raising money can be a big investment for a single person – a good fundraiser will take some time and commitment. So to break up the work, build a fundraising team. In addition to sharing the leg work, fundraising with a team creates a larger network of potential donors. Each team member will share the fundraiser with their network, so the more team members you add, the more people your fundraiser will reach.
Step 2: Get By With a Little Help From Friends
One of the first things you should do when you create your medical fundraiser is to send a personal message to a handful of the beneficiary’s closest friends asking them to make some of the first donations. Even before you share your fundraiser on social media, this initial outreach will make a significant dent in your fundraising goal. And as mentioned above, getting a few large donations in the first few days will set the tone for the rest of your fundraiser, creating momentum and encouraging more friends to participate.
Step 3: Promote Your Fundraiser
Okay, so now you’re ready to blast your fundraiser over social media. Learn how to use social media tools to build your community across different platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. You can also reach out to local media to gain more exposure. Social media can be an important resource in garnering more attention to your fundraising campaign. Encourage others to spread the word by posting the link to your fundraiser on their page. But don’t neglect your fundraiser after you’ve initially made it – make sure you keep posting fundraising updates, photo, and video periodically to keep people engaged and interested.
Step 4: Be persistent
Not everyone will be able to (or remember to) donate the first time you ask them to. But don’t be discouraged – instead, be persistent and keep asking. If Facebook and Twitter aren’t working for you, try to revert to personal emails, which can often be the most effective way to get donations, especially if you include fundraiser milestones or updates on the beneficiary.
Step 5: Thanks Your Donors
Always thank all of your donors, online and individually, or even with a thank you letter. Saying thank you to your supporters cannot be overlooked. Showing gratitude will help inspire other people to support you in the future. Tag these donors on Facebook when you thank them online, which lets your community know your fundraiser is still active and you appreciate all donations.