How To Crowdfund For Medical Causes
Many Americans struggle with medical debt, so much so that 67% of all Chapter 7 bankruptcies occur as a result of unpaid medical expenses. Anyone who has gone through some kind of health crisis knows how difficult it can be to pay for all the different expenses.
While many options exist, such as medical credit cards, lines of credit, and personal loans, not many people consider crowdfunding as an option.
Why Crowdfunding Is A Powerful Option
Crowdfunding involves raising small amounts of money via donations to support a cause or venture. While it was first used primarily by startups to access capital, it has recently become a common tool for those facing high medical expenditures. Crowdfunding for medical procedures features several benefits that traditional debt-based solutions do not.
- No Debt: With crowdfunding, money is raised through donations, not through loans. Because of this, recipients are not required to pay back whatever funds they do raise.
- Fast Access To Cash: Crowdfunding campaigns can be conducted in as little as a couple of weeks, with the funds made available as soon as the campaign concludes.
- Inexpensive: Most crowdfunding platforms will take a percentage of all funds raised, usually around 5%. Setting up a crowdfunding campaign is free and can be done in a few hours.
Some campaigns are more successful than others. When it comes to raising funds for one’s medical expenses, there are several ways to improve the chances of a successful crowdfunding endeavor.
When a potential donor comes across a medical expenses crowdfunding campaign, they are much more likely to donate if they can see who is the person in need of help. Campaigns that do not use photos are much less likely to raise the desired funds than those that do.
The photos do not have to be overly personal, they just need to offer a visual connection to the campaign's story. Including photos of one’s medical bills may also be a good way to foster transparency and establish an emotional connection with the potential contributor.
Share On Social Media
The best way one can raise awareness of their crowdfunding campaign is through social media. Social media empowers people to share their campaign with friends, family, and coworkers. It also enables others who want to raise awareness of the campaign to share it within their own networks.
In the past, we have seen several cases of people's crowdfunding campaigns go viral, at times raising significantly more money for a medical procedure than they had initially set out to raise. Any post linking to a crowdfunding page should be kept short and to the point. There is no use in overloading a viewer with information before they have even visited the page.
As donations begin to arrive, it is important to keep past donors updated as to the status of the campaign as well as the well-being of the recipient. It is also important to continually share the page as more funds are raised since people are much more likely to donate to a campaign that already has some donors behind it.
Once the crowdfunding effort has been completed, and the medical procedure is underway, further updates should be shared on social media. People want to see that their donations made a difference in someone else's life.
How GoFundMe Can Help
Imagine a scenario where a person faces a medical emergency they cannot cover through insurance and savings. Traditionally, anyone in this situation would be getting ready to apply for medical loans. They may look at several different debt-based options before deciding upon the one that suits their needs. Another option is setting up a crowdfunding campaign on a platform like GoFundMe.
Over half of all crowdfunding campaigns on GoFundMe and YouCaring are concerned with medical expenses. Of the $2 billion GoFundsMe raised last year, $930 million of that was for people's medical bills. Needless to say, this platform has become the go-to place for those seeking some extra help covering their medical bills.
Setting up an account and campaign is simple and can be done in just a few minutes. Once the campaign has ended, the funds are deposited into the applicants account. Before 2017, GoFundMe took 5% of all donations, and the payment processor took their cut as well.
Since then, GoFundMe has switched to a donation-based system, whereby users can choose to make donations to GoFundMe so that the platform can pay for its expenses. This is in sharp contrast to most funding platforms which take around 5% of the total donated amount.
While GoFundMe does not charge a set fee, users need to understand that the payment processor does. They charge a 2.9% fee plus $0.30 per donation. Even with this charge, GoFundMe is one of the better options for those individuals seeking help alleviating their medical expenses.
Medical emergencies can be a trying time both emotionally and financially for everyone involved. With the rise of crowdfunding, people now have options outside of the traditional debt vehicles to pay for their medical expenses.
More so, some people who have had chronic health issues may no longer have access to credit. In this situation, crowdfunding is even more important and may function as a last resort option for many individuals.