Hospital fundraisers are some of the most impactful campaigns an individual or group can launch. They provide hospitals with the resources necessary to continue providing quality care and the research that leads to cures for some of society’s most devastating illnesses. By starting a hospital crowdfunding campaign, you can take responsibility for a fundraiser that will save and improve many lives. Check out our fundraising ideas to help you get started.
Facts on Funding Needs
- The American Hospital Association (AHA) recorded 5,686 accredited hospitals in the U.S. in 2013, 2,904 of which were community, not-for-profit hospitals. The total expenses for U.S. hospitals that year, which provides the AHA’s most recent available data, was $782,035,350,000.
- Data released by the MD Anderson Cancer Center provides an example of the breakdown of one hospital’s funding. In its totals for 2014, it revealed that 6% of its revenue came from patients or their insurance companies, with the remainder split up between various public and private grants, among other sources. But state appropriated funds went down 23 percent last year, making up just 4.2 percent of the hospital’s funding in 2014. This decrease in public money means that fundraising could take on an even more important role for hospitals in the coming years.
- Rural hospitals in particular could benefit from the money raised through an online crowdfunding campaign. The National Rural Health Organization reports that, “Only about 10 percent of physicians practice in rural America despite the fact that nearly one-fourth of the population lives in these areas.” Considering per capita income in these areas is an average of $7,417 less than in urban areas, these hospitals have a special need for help from fundraising volunteers.
Raise Money and Spirits for Hospitals Today
Whether you work for a hospital that wants to expand its fundraising operations or are simply a determined member of the community looking to help out, crowdfunding can help you meet your hospital fundraising goals. By combining traditional fundraising techniques with the unique opportunities crowdfunding provides, your campaign can raise more money than you thought possible.
We’ve compiled a list of ideas for hospital fundraisers to set your campaign apart and get people excited to participate.
- For fundraisers run by hospitals, seek out community members who are willing to become volunteers.
Groups or individuals who are active in your local community and want to take part in—or even lead—a fundraising campaign can help you reach a wider pool of potential donors through access to their social networks. Even if some of the people you talk to can’t take an active role in your campaign, ask them to share your page online and publicize it via word of mouth. In crowdfunding, the success of your campaign is in a large part dependent on the number of people who know about it, so a robust social media presence can make a world of difference.
- Look for corporations that will match donations to your crowdfunding campaign.
Companies may agree to match donations within a certain time frame (most commonly a 24-hour window) or up to a certain amount of money. If you secure this type of pledge, be sure to publicize it as much as possible because donation matching is an incredibly powerful incentive for potential donors. In addition, any major gift or corporate sponsorship can act as powerful social proof, indicating to individuals who come across your campaign that a major brand recognizes your campaign as legitimate.
- Hold a fun event in-person to complement online efforts and raise awareness of the campaign.
Some options include raffles, auctions, athletic events, a house party or a musical theme night, such as an ’80s dance party. For raffles and auctions, solicit donated items from local businesses to sell or give away, and with a party or dance, sell admissions tickets or ask for a suggested donation at the door. Athletic events can range anywhere from a 5k run or walk to a golf tournament to a day of field games. The options are endless, so feel free to get creative!
- Look into more elaborate fundraising event options.
Some may require more intricate planning and wider resources than a single person can offer, but either through the hospital itself or a group working on its behalf, a major fundraising event can be a huge win. Consider holding a black-tie dinner, a wine tasting or a cook-off. For a dinner (or “gala” if you’re feeling fancy), charge a set price per table and ask around to see if local restaurants and businesses will donate the wine and dishes. Local chefs may be willing to give their time or offer a discount if you talk to them about your cause. See if any musicians or bands in the area would consider playing for free.
A cook-off gives your family’s amateur chef an opportunity to show off his or her skills by creating a delicious, healthy dish that visitors can sample. At the end of the day, have a panel of judges vote on the winning dish and provide a donated prize to the lucky cook! Also see if businesses are willing to donate gift cards for a humble amount or gift baskets to thank the other participants.
- Set a record.
Check out the Guinness World Record website to see if there’s a record out there that you or a group could break, and collect pledges from your community. Those that require mass participation often work the best as fundraisers because they provide an opportunity for many people to collect pledges individually and thus engage with more donors. If the challenge does not require any grueling physical activity, some of the patients at the hospital may even be able to participate, providing a fun break from the stressful treatment. Publicize your event on your crowdfunding page, and include as much documentation through photos and videos as possible after the fact.
- Fundraise as a school!
Especially if a student, faculty member or staff member is undergoing treatment, fundraising for hospitals as a school community can be a rewarding experience. It allows students and employees to come together for the benefit the of others or to help a specific friend or loved one. If the administration allows it, consider setting up a “penny wars” station in which each grade level has a jar that they do not want filled. Students can place coins in other grades’ jars, and the grade with the jar that has the least amount of money in it by the end of the week wins a pizza party.
While these are six possible ways to invigorate your hospital fundraiser, you can modify almost any traditional fundraising activity to benefit a hospital. These types of fundraisers provide patients in need with the opportunity to seek treatment for a life-threatening disease, and they give hope to people with diseases that do not currently have cures, such as cancer, ALS, MS and AIDS. So don’t be afraid to call up some friends and get started! Through your creativity, online influence and desire to help, you can raise the money to keep more patients alive and well.
Start a free YouCaring fundraiser for a hospital today.