Even with insurance, medical treatments can throw your finances into chaos, and many people find themselves unable to deal with the crippling debt they accrue through expensive surgeries. Thankfully, with the help of the Internet, you can tackle your medical bills with crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding is a way of raising money on the web by accepting donations from a “crowd” for any number of things—movies, college, and yes, even medical expenses. Using this model, donors get to personally support projects they are passionate about and you receive the finances you need to accomplish those projects.
While crowdfunding money for medical treatments is still a relatively new phenomenon, there are some strategies for doing it well. By following these tips, you will increase your chances of having your project successfully funded so that you can receive the treatment you need.
- Break your expenses up.
Since the total expenses for medical care can be so high, it’s recommended that you break your costs up into different categories that will each get their own funding page. For example, separate your surgery expenses from your rehabilitation expenses and pharmaceutical expenses. The logic behind this strategy is that most people will be reluctant to donate if they feel that their donation won’t have a big impact—a $20 donation towards a $50,000 bill just doesn’t seem like a lot. However, $20 towards a $1000 or $5000 bill feels like it will make more of a difference.
- Explain your situation in detail.
Unfortunately, there are some projects hosted on crowdfunding sites that are nothing but a scam, and potential donors have gotten wise to the tricks of these scammers—people are not going to donate to someone they think is just trying to make a quick buck. Similarly, people who don’t fully understand why you are asking for money will be reluctant to give as well.
You want to provide enough information to your audience so that they feel confident they’re making a worthy investment. This can include things like a breakdown of how the money will be spent, the names of your doctors, an explanation of your condition being treated, and anything else that can show people why your need for funds is so pressing.
- Don’t spam your friends.
While you want to raise awareness for your campaign via social media sites, there is such a thing as too much publicity. If you’re constantly reposting links to your crowdfunding page, others may begin to see you as pushy and desperate, even if you are raising money for such an important reason.
- Extend your campaign into the real world.
While you may be raising money online, reaching out to people in the real world can also be an effective way to gather funds. Encourage friends and family to share your story (and crowdfunding URL!) with neighbors and co-workers, and you might also consider asking local businesses for donations as well. People are likely to give to causes close to home.
- Don’t forget to say, "thank you."
It should go without saying, but giving your donors a big thank you is a must at the end of any crowdfunding campaign. Even if you don’t end up reaching your fundraising goal, you want to acknowledge the people who helped you get as far as you got. A "thank you" doesn’t have to be extravagant or even extremely personalized, but omitting one entirely is unforgiveable.