how to raise money for a family in need

Families and households can experience hardships for different reasons. Life can present serious problems for people all across the globe. These people may be unable to resolve these issues on their own. These include frail economies, loss of a job,  losses from natural disasters and having to pay astronomical medical fees.

As unfortunate as it is to compare medical expenses with losses from natural disasters, the truth is-medical costs can be a financial burden for a lot of people. Expensive medical costs are a crisis for Americans. The United States alone has over 52 million people with medical debt. According to Healthcare.Gov the average cost of a three day hospital stay is approximately $30,000.  

A prime example is Erin Taylor, a mother of a 5-year old boy born with cystic fibrosis. The mother needed to raise over $50,000 to pay for a double lung transplant for her son, as he was taking over 30 pills each day. Even after she raised enough money for the surgery, she was left with about $10,000 in medical debt. 

With a few financial assistance solutions available, fundraising for medical bills has proven itself a very efficient method of alleviating the financial weight that medical bills can bring to  families. There are a lot of Americans with severe health concerns or physical injuries, whose stories never make it to the media. 

Crowdfunding to help a relative or friend, is a wonderful gesture that can help overcome the challenges they are facing. A fundraising campaign is a great show of love and support, and can change the lives of the people experiencing difficulties. 

A lot of families and people are not comfortable with the idea of receiving help from strangers, because they dislike feeling vulnerable and in need. The truth is, for them to conquer the financial burden they are struggling with, they have to be helped through crowd-funding. 

Crowdfunding can be an efficient and timely support system for people. You might find that the money raised during the fundraiser might be the only source of income for the family if the family member afflicted is the breadwinner. This makes crowdfunding an even more important method of making an immediate and positive impact on the lives of people and their health. 

Individually organizing a charity fund is different as compared to applying for funds for a charitable foundation. Requests or proposals asking for financial assistance, can take as many as 6 months or more before you receive feedback. The feedback you get might have come a bit too late, and the situation of the family may have become completely different by then.

The feedback might also not necessarily be the sort of news you were expecting. You might find that certain parameters have rendered you unqualified to receive grant funding. Some organizations only provide organizations with grants, and not individuals. 

In such a situation where no government agency, organization or company is going to provide support, then it would be suitable to take matters into your own hands. Planning a local fundraiser will help to ensure there is any progress made. But first, here’s a detailed guide of what you need to know before doing so, as well as how you should approach the situation altogether. 

Thoughtful Tips Useful in Helping A Family In Need

Naturally, before organizing a fundraiser for a family, you need to reach out to the family and let them know that you would like to be of assistance. Inquire as to how they are dealing with the situation at hand. If you find out they are undergoing serious and overwhelming challenges, ask if financial support can be beneficial to the family.

Let the family know you are able to crowd-fund in their stead, and that you can proceed if they are okay with it. If they give you an affirmative response, request vital information that you will need to communicate to possible donors. Inform them of the reasons they should help the particular family in need. This information could be for instance, the challenge they are experiencing and how the family has been affected. 

With this information, you can comprehensively provide in-depth insight, into how and why the funds donated will make a difference to the family. 


The fundraiser story you write, is your chance to shed light on the family’s plight. You can elaborate as to how the money donated to the family will help their situation. It’s advisable that first and foremost, you explain your association with the family. This helps donors completely understand why you are organizing the fundraiser on the family’s behalf.  

You could also explain other methods of how people can support the family; apart from the obvious necessity, financial assistance. For example, one could provide free items to the family. This could include items like laptops for the children to take online courses, or aid them in homework. Remember to outline how the funds donated will be used, as some people are only likely to make donations when they are aware of how their money will be used.  

Make sure your fundraiser story is brief, yet clear and concise. Remember to confer with the family for feedback, before publishing the story. The title you use to headline your story is very important, as it is likely to be the first thing that grabs the attention of potential donors. 

Make your title simple and interesting, so that it can influence action from people. For example, a title reading ‘Help the Hawking family save their dad from leukemia’, should draw interest from possible donors. 

If there are any images or videos, it would be best to leverage on their ability to appeal to the emotions of people. Everyone loves a success story, and photos or videos can have a sentimental impact on donors. They will easily relate to the complex and intimate relationships within a family and its needs.

The first few days of running a fundraiser, will determine how successful the campaign will turn out. It’s recommended that you share your plans about the fundraiser with several close family members and friends. Request their opinions, feedback or assistance in managing the fundraiser. You might find a good graphic designer among the family’s close networks, who can help create a powerful poster and artwork for sharing online, or for publishing in a newspaper.  

If you decide not to have health insurance, then you have to set money aside every month to cover your particular medical expenses. You should try to save a minimum of $100 per month, to cover the overall costs of doctor bills and medications. If you were to get seriously ill without medical insurance, you might be forced into declaring bankruptcy. What’s more, if you choose to go without insurance, then you will face extra fines under the ACA (Affordable Care Act). As a result, you will have to set some money aside to cover those fines as well. The fines will be due once you pay your taxes. Furthermore, the fines are for every person in your family.

Remember that your story is the most important selling point of your fundraising campaign, as far as crowd-funding for medical bills goes. Basically, it is the communication that you send out to potential donors. 

With access and efficient utilization of the right softwares and platforms, you can access all the things you need. You can find new donors, sustain previous donors and manage campaigns. Without sharing this story effectively on the right channels, it is unlikely that donors will feel inclined to offer their support.

Websites such as GoFundMe and Kickstarter, are popular tools used by people for crowd-funding purposes. They are easy to use and can prove the difference in your campaign’s failure or success. Fundly is another website that is used by people a lot, as it provides effective mobile integration solutions for donor managers. It helps them track the progress of their campaigns, as well as attract new donors with a bulk of campaigns; nowadays reaching people through their mobile phones. 

Digital media channels such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook currently play a big role in our daily lives in defining human interactions. They have the potential to further the development of your fundraising campaign, as they have hundreds of millions of users. These users all play a small part individually, but can help you achieve significant gains as a collective.    

It is worth noting that some people have a tendency of making donations, once they notice that other people have also donated. So, it would be a good move to not blast the fundraiser on social media channels before securing several solid donations. 

Cold emailing is also a good approach to use to reach a lot of people, especially family and friends who may not be available on social media. Try and personify your emails, so that you can establish a sort of personal connection with the donor community.  

Email services can help you structure the format of communication, as you send out newsletters for different audiences. Cluster your audience groups, and schedule when emails should be delivered out and to whom. 

With the availability of fundraising online, through software and websites, it can almost seem as if fundraising has become a lot more complex than it used to be. However, conventional methods of fundraising are still effective.

Traditional media avenues such as newspapers, TV and radio stations, can do a fantastic job of spreading the word about your social cause. Tapping into the audience whether it be readers or viewers, will potentially lead to growth in public donations almost overnight. 

Ideas That Are Applicable in Crowdfunding for Medical Expenses

Pledge challenges are a convenient method of grabbing the attention of donors. The thought process behind this idea, is people basically asking for donors to make pledges to help reach a certain financial objective. A good example of this is asking people to make pledges to reach a certain target. Once a challenge, such as a long-distance mile trek, is complete funds can be collected. 

Raffles are a fast and simple method of getting people to raise money. Most would probably do it, because of the incentive of winning something from their tickets. 50/50 raffles are very popular, and involve the winner getting 50% of the funds raised while you get the rest. However, in this case, it would be advisable to rework the mechanics of the raffle. You do not want it to seem like a profitable venture for the possible winner. It is actually the family in need that is intended to benefit from the fundraiser.

Planning a garage sale is an amazing way of raising money for your cause. It does not require much time to plan, and is almost perfect for doing a fundraiser last minute. Assemble all unnecessary items, and ask close friends and family members if they would like to chip in a some items as well. 

Make posters to place around your neighborhood to alert people that you are looking for potential buyers. Open shop right outside the home of the family in need. You could even post what you need the money for. In this case, raising medical fees should bring a large crowd who will turn up in the spirit of good neighborliness. 

Designing and printing t-shirts to raise money, is one of the most common methods of sourcing funds. Its popularity can probably be attributed to the fact that it is a win-win scenario for everybody involved. The family gets to raise some money to pay for their medical expenses, while promoting the social cause through the merchandise. The donors also receive a token in exchange for donating.

Final Thoughts

While raising money for someone else, be patient with donors as they are not exactly sure about where the money is going, or how it will be spent. Therefore it is important that you explain the scenario in detail to unburden them of such concerns. Also, make sure  you are providing emotional support as they grapple with their challenges.  The sooner you begin, the better.

MedGift Advocacy Services, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization, classified as a public charity and is registered in the State of Georgia under EIN 81-4017965.