Running a medical fundraiser is a great way to help individuals and their families overcome medical debt that has been accumulated due to high medical costs. Medical fundraisers can not only give financial aid to the individual directly, but it can also be a great way to gain emotional and social support from friends and family.
There are examples of successful medical fundraisers from families across the United States. What makes a successful fundraiser requires a number of steps and actions to be taken. To get started, there are five crucial steps in making any medical fundraiser successful.
5 Steps In Running A Successful Medical Fundraiser
Step 1: Creating Your Medical Fundraiser
To begin, individuals will have to create their medical fundraiser. This process can sometimes be overwhelming to complete, but with the right guidance, families can expect to start fundraising within minutes!
Select The Right Medical Fundraising Website
Part of making a successful medical fundraiser is choosing the right medical fundraising website to host your fundraiser on.
Individuals should research the costs and fees involved when running a fundraiser. Often medical fundraising websites will charge an administration fee on top of a mandatory transaction fee. This can range from 5 percent up to 10 percent. A free option that many families in the US have used is called PeoplePledge. This is a free medical fundraising website allows you to create a fundraiser for free and accept donations from family and friends with only the mandatory PayPal transaction fee.
Selecting a website that specializes in medical fundraising can also help you get better support that is specific to your fundraising needs.
Sharing Your Story
One the most important parts of a fundraising page is the section where you can share your story. Sharing your story can be a profound way to connect with supporters. Making sure you explain your story correctly can help supporters understand why you need the funds.
Fundraisers should remember to include a paragraph about how the funds will be used. This helps potential supporters to understand where their money is going.
You should also talk about the impact the illness has placed on not only you, but the entire family. Highlighting the pain and problem can allow donors to really understand what you and your family have been going through.
Choosing A Goal
Each fundraiser will require a goal amount that you are aiming to raise. Although it can be good to put a small amount, this can limit the total amount you are able to raise.
The best way of figuring out what is a reasonable and reachable goal is to look at what the money will be used for and how much you really need. If your intention of creating a fundraiser is to help with medical bills, then finding out the estimated cost of all your medical treatment can be a great way to determine the right goal amount. You can round off the number to make it easier and more appealing on your fundraising page.
Families can also set a buffer above their expected costs. This can help individuals who may have unforeseen medical expenses.
Personalize Your Medical Fundraiser Page
Making the fundraising page more personalized can help you connect with supporters. Photos, videos and text are great ways to make the fundraising page more unique and personal.
Step 2: Sharing Your Medical Fundraiser
Once your medical fundraiser is setup and ready to go, the next step is to start sharing your fundraiser to family members, friends and social networks.
The most effective way of sharing your fundraiser is to encourage your friends and family to also share the URL link of your fundraiser to their networks as well. This way you start to create a viral and wave effect to reach more supporters across the world.
The more people who share the fundraiser, the more attraction you can create and as a result, the more donations you can potentially receive. There are many ways the lead fundraiser can share their fundraising page. We recommend sharing your fundraiser in all the methods given below to maximum your success.
One of the easiest and quickest ways to share your medical fundraiser is by putting an update on social media. Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram are widely used to connect with family, friends and like-minded individuals. On average, a person can have 300 facebook friends. This alone can give you a large number of donors and is a great start to kick off your fundraiser.
Word of Mouth
Another effective method to share your fundraiser is word of mouth. Word of mouth can sometimes be more effective to really connect with supporters like friends and family. You will be able to take the time to share your story and give reasons why you have started the fundraiser. It can also give opportunities for supporters to give words of encouragement.
Sending an email to everyone you know is another effective way of reaching to supporters. You never know who would want to support. Sometimes supporters are individuals who are generally not close to you in your everyday life but who will help during a medical emergency. A lot of people who are inactive on social media will also appreciate receiving an email as well.
Phone Calls and text messages
With a large range of apps and software that exist today, making phone calls and sending text messages can be another free way to reach more supporters. Setting up facetime chats, skype chats or even a message on Whatsapp, are all great ways to connect with people and mention your fundraiser in passing.
Step 3: Leveraging Networks
Every person has a range of networks that they can potentially tap into when they are fundraising for medical expenses. It is about leveraging the networks that you already have and making new connections with people that will can propel your fundraiser to the next level. Here are a few ideas of the types of networks you may have or can connect with.
Charities and Non-Profit Organizations
If you already associate yourself with a charity, spend your spare time volunteering or are already seeking non-monetary support from a non-profit organization, you can also mention to them that you are currently fundraising to pay for medical expenses. Putting up flyers and posters up may be a good way to share your fundraiser to individuals who are interested in supporting you.
Hospitals and Medical Providers
Often other families that are going through a similar situation or have in the past are more than happy to help out. This could be by helping you spread the word about your fundraiser or by making a donation. Social workers and hospital staff can also help point you in the right direction with how to go about putting up flyers and posters about your fundraiser.
Schools, Community Groups and Local Clubs
Local clubs such as the Rotary Club can be of great assistance. In fact, often you can get many individuals to volunteer and help you set events and fundraisers on your behalf.
If you are fundraising for a child, approach their school directly to let them know you are fundraising for a student. Often schools are more than happy to have a fundraiser or leave information for parents who want to donate in the school newsletter.
Collaborating with companies particularly local businesses are ways to help boost your medical fundraiser. By helping a local member of the community, local businesses can create a more socially-conscious reputation but also can assist you in reaching your fundraising goals.
How you get a business to get involved depends on what they could potentially offer. For example, a small bakery may be able to offer baked goods which you can then sell in exchange for donations for your fundraiser. Merchandise stores could provide products or vouchers that can be auctioned off or given as an incentive for donations over $100 for a limited time.
Local newspapers, radio stations and bloggers may also want to help. These media outlets are always looking for new stories to write about as they need to produce new content daily. It can help you spread the word about your fundraiser but also an underlining problem of the out of pocket costs of accessing medical treatment.
Step 4: Give Value
Asking for money doesn’t come for free. Your supporters need to feel you are deserving of support and are genuinely in need of financial support.
In fact, fundraisers who are able to demonstrate some form of value in exchange of a donation are often more successful in their medical fundraiser. Giving value can be done in many ways.
One of the biggest and easiest ways to giving value is through acknowledging your donor’s support. Public acknowledgments through your social media accounts for example, are great gestures to show that you truly appreicate their support and help.
Some families have extended their thanks with a private message in the form of an email or letter. To what extent you say thanks is up to you. If cost and time contains are a main concern, opting for free ways to show your appreciation are still effective.
Hosting Fundraising Events
Running an online medical fundraiser doesn’t mean you have to restrict your fundraising efforts only online. For many families, it can be beneficial to have fundraising events running at the same time as your online fundraiser. By doing so, you can let everyone know more easily of any fundraising events but also allow supporters to donate online instead. This is a great way if you are looking to give more value in exchange of donations.
One example of a fundraising event that is commonly used to attract more donations online is an auction. You can host this simply by posting photos on your Facebook of the prizes. Individuals can them make a set bid, and pay via your online medical fundraiser.
Gifts With Donations
Giveaways can also create traction to your medical fundraiser. You can arrange small gifts for every donation or set a limit to have many gifts are available. This can add scarcity and time limits, making supporters more willing to donate now rather than later. Individuals can also consider having a minimum donation of $100 and over, to ensure that the overhead costs for the gifts are covered. Sourcing free gifts from businesses can also be a great way to cut any costs.
Step 5: Follow Up
Many individuals who fundraise can often forget the last but very important step in making a medical fundraiser successful. The follow up process is important as it allows supporters to feel involved and included in your journey. It is a way to connect with your supporters that is personal and meaningful.
During Your Medical Fundraiser
It’s important to keep the communication flowing between you, supporters and potential donors with regular updates during your medical fundraiser. You can do this by allocating time for yourself to make updates on your fundraising page each week.
You can update your supporters on how you are feeling. For example, if you have received donations, you can write about how thankful you are to have such great support networks.
You can also update any changes or news that you want to share. Perhaps you have booked your surgery and are counting down to it, or have received good news about your latest blood test. Whatever the update is, no matter how big or small, supporters will appreciate it.
After Your Medical Fundraiser
One of the biggest mistakes fundraisers miss out on is the follow up process after the fundraiser ends. Many supporters want to know what happened after the medical fundraiser has ended. This can create a sense of conclusion to your story.
Updating friends and family on how the funds were used is a great way to show the impact that supporters have made. This step is not only important for supporters to know about what happened, but can help you in the future if you require further financial assistance due to complications.
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