Should you Use Fundraising Sites?

Understanding Crowdfunding Websites

If you’re planning to raise additional money, you must remember that not all crowdfunding resources are the same. Although all of them give you a chance to crowd-source funds, there are many differences between them that can affect the success of your efforts.  While some sites are generic fundraising sites that allow you to crowd fund money for any cause, some are more specific to causes like funding a business idea or a medical procedure or heath journey. Some offer additional features like making it easy for supporters to share your story and even get rewarded for bringing more people to your team.  

The fee structures can also vary wildly and since you need to keep as much of the money you raise as possible, you need to consider this as well.  Some request your donors pay a donation fee, some take a percentage of your earnings, while others allow you to keep the money you make once you reach the full 100% of your goal. Be careful to make sure you read all of the fine print for hidden fees including credit card processing fees and penalties for donations in certain amounts.  You need to be sure the goal you set will actually get you the money you need.  

Now you might be wondering, how do you identify which is the right fundraising website for you? And should you even use a fundraising site? Let’s dig into things to consider a little bit more so you can feel better prepared to make the right decision when trying to choose the best site for crowdfunding for your medical costs.

How Do You Choose a Crowdfunding Platform?

Here are the primary factors to consider when you’re trying to decide if you should use crowdfunding sites for your medical costs, and which one to use:

– Types of crowdfunding. Not all platforms provide you with all types of crowdfunding. Some only provide equity funding, some focus on debt crowdfunding, while others offer medical crowdfunding.  In most cases choosing a platform that is created for your specific cause will benefit you.  They will have more users interested in your type of cause that can discover you through their platform, and their site will typically be set up in a way to support your specific kind of fundraising.

– Fees involved. Different platforms utilize different structures when it comes to pricing their services. These may include commission fees, transaction fees, success fees, administration fees, setup fees or arrangement fees, etc. Deciding on your goal and how likely you are to reach it ahead of time can really help you decide which fee structure to utilize.  Some platforms penalize you for not reaching your goal, some take a straight cut of any donations, and some charge setup fees up front that can be prohibitive if you only end up raising a small amount of money.  Be specific and realistic about your goals up front an then weigh the potential fee structures accordingly for maximum profitability.

– Type of platform. Generally speaking, some platforms act purely as a landing page that brings together investors and businesses. Others, however, play a more active role  focused on your goal and with your goal being medical   crowdfunding, its important  to choose wisely . If you have a story to tell, make sure you choose a platform that helps you tell that story effectively, and that also helps you SHARE that story as easily as possible.  Crowdfunding is about the crowd, so make it easy for that crowd to grow.

– Types of donors Institutional, business and individual donors can all pledge funds to a particular project. However, some platforms choose one, or limit you to specific kinds of donor. For example, by registering with a medical crowdfunding platform, you can read the inquiries made by people willing to donate and the answers they’ve given. So this provides useful insight into what types of projects work on that specific platform, and why.  Also consider that corporate sponsors may pay outside of the platform via more traditional payment by check, so you might use the platform to appeal to them, but not necessarily process their support payment there.

– Security and Privacy. Security is another crucial factor that makes a lot of people ask themselves, “should you use fundraising sites?” If your family and friends feel uncomfortable, there is a high chance that the crowd will as well. Make sure that whatever platform you choose offers the privacy protection you need.  That might be in the form of allowing anonymous donors or limiting who can see comments and notes on the progress of the campaign.  Either way, you don’t want to go through all of the work of setting up your campaign on a platform just to find out it doesn’t offer everything you need

– Platform usability. In general, each site provides a unique set of resources for raising money for things like medical expenses, as well as a unique layout, fundraising model, and pledge process.  These differences attract specific types of supporters and donors so keep that in mind. . By understanding what’s important to your prospective supporters, it will help to determine which platform is most likely to result in your funding target being obtained.  Getting on a platform that’s used by many people that support causes like yours also opens the door to gaining exposure to new supporters you’ve never talked to before.

– General vs. niche site. As we’ve discussed, typically, different platforms specialize in supporting specific types of projects, or don’t specialize in anything at all besides crowd-sourcing money. You can find just about any themed platform to help your cause if you want to be specific, or join the masses if you don’t. There are platforms specifically for authors, mompreneurs, startups, and cancer research projects, just to name a few.

Some fundraising websites provide their participants with rewards, but much like credit card rewards the costs for these are typically being taken from your campaign somewhere so be aware.  While rewarding users for positive behavior can increase engagement and results, it can also dig into your bottom line.  Some on the other hand, are pure donation sites meaning they focus primarily on raising money for your cause. Regardless of the type of platform you think is suitable for you, you should remember that there are a multitude of options for you to choose from. So do your in-depth research, and focus on the big picture!

What Is Personal Fundraising?

Generally speaking, personal fundraising enables people to request their family members and friends assist them in raising money for practically any cause. So individuals in need of funds, can quickly come up with a personal fundraising campaign. They can share their page, and even accept donations online. 

Who is personal fundraising useful to? The good thing when it comes to personal fundraising, is that any person can create a fundraising page. They can make money for themselves or anyone in need. In fact, people throughout the world are coming up with fundraising pages to assist them in covering medical expenses, and much more. With personal fundraising, people are encouraged to share their unique stories and ask for assistance. Thanks to the social sharing feature, it helps in raising awareness and empowering communities to support a person in need. 

Getting Started with a Personal Fundraising Campaign

What is personal fundraising’s most intriguing thing? There are no limitations on what causes, life events or projects you can fundraise for. All you need is the skill to create a page, and then request people to donate; your possibilities will be endless! For those who still question if they should use fundraising websites, below you’ll find some tips that will help to ensure their trust with personal fundraising websites.

What Are the Benefits of Personal Fundraising Websites?

When you decide to set up a crowdfunding campaign, you’ll realize that it’s pretty straightforward and quick. You can start making and raising money as soon as you click “publish”. Your campaign can even go viral if properly promoted on social media. In fact, a majority of campaigns can attain their goals within four weeks. For those who are planning to raise money fast, the best way to get started is by coming up with a personal fundraising page. So, why should you use fundraising sites?

Once you come up with a personal fundraising campaign, you will have the chance to share your unique story. You can inform people about a critical situation or cause. You will more likely attain your goal and acquire the support you need, depending on the number of people that are aware of your purpose. The more people you reach, the better. What’s more, raising awareness can assist other people in understanding your particular situation, and connect them to your cause.

In general, people have full control over the amount they need to raise, and how frequently they share their campaigns. Based on the platform you use to begin your fundraiser, you may have the ability to customize your specific campaign page so that it matches your unique personality. Furthermore, users can narrate their stories through images, videos, descriptions, social media posts, and crowd-funding updates. As a result, it enables them to speak up concerning the situations that matter the most to them.

Undoubtedly, personal fundraising assists in bringing communities together so that they can unite and fight for a specific cause. Typically, family members and friends can support your personal fundraising campaign by either taking part, or sharing the cause with their various networks. Once a person meets a goal or reaches a milestone, the community of supporters can celebrate with the individual and feel accomplished, knowing that they contributed to that success. 

How Does Personal Fundraising Work?

For starters, hosting your personal fundraising campaign will require to pick a platform. Since there are lots of different online fundraising websites, you will need to pick one that satisfies your specific requirements. When searching for a website, price, social integrations, ease of use and customer support are all aspects that you have to keep in mind. At the end of this first step, you will have selected a personal fundraising website and opened your account. 

Before determining your fundraising goal, you need to consider all platform and payment processing fees that may be subtracted from your total funds. If you want to have an improved chance of attaining your goal, you’ll need to set a reasonable amount. A majority of personal fundraising campaigns often last for 1-2 months. So in case you set a shorter date, you’ll run the risk of not attaining your goal. You will know precisely the amount you need to raise and when your particular campaign should start and end, by the end of this step.

Generally speaking, the core of your campaign is the fundraising page. It is the place where prospective donors will discover more regarding you and your cause. Furthermore, it is also where they will make a contribution, and get updates on your progress. So to assist people in understanding your objective, upload images (and/or a video), and come up with a compelling description. At the end of this step, your page would be complete and ready for publishing. That means you can now launch your campaign.

By sharing your campaign, it lets individuals know that it exists and allows them to access your page to donate easily. Ensure that you post your page’s URL on every social media account, and request your peers to contribute (or if they can’t give, they should share your page with all their networks). 

Although your campaign is now officially launched, it doesn’t end there. You should keep updating your customers by posting, adding pictures, significant milestones and continuous sharing of your campaign on social media. Once you update your campaign it will remain relevant, and more and more supporters will get to know about your cause. 

Once you’ve attained your goal, you’ll need to thank all individuals that supported your campaign. There are many different ways you can show your gratitude, such as sending personalized thank-you letters or highlighting donors on social media. Showing your appreciation often occurs at the end of the campaign. However, you can thank your donors at any given time, just to show how much you truly care and appreciate them. Using both direct, and public acknowledgments will help. 

Medical Crowdfunding Sites

Generally speaking, every industry has undoubtedly harnessed crowd intelligence at a given time. Crowd-sourcing is an innovative means to solve both problems. In general, social media and the Internet do away with the middleman, which enables you to go to the core with ease. Crowd-sourcing might possibly be the future of industrial design, advertising, and marketing. However, what about its role when it comes to collecting healthcare data? 

If medical researchers can learn something from Wikipedia and make use of the crowd’s expertise, then better analytics, big data trends, more efficient practices and overall improved patient care could become a reality. 

Honestly speaking, it is impossible to bring up the connection between healthcare and big data without talking about crowd-sourcing. Crowd intelligence could be useful, and usually quite accurate, with all “rational bubbles” aside. Properly combining the two could do wonders for clinical data. 

It doesn’t matter if a lack of regulation scares you; the conclusion remains clear. The overall medical community can significantly gain from crowd-sourced data. Crowd-sourcing is not only a by-product of the introduction of medical technology, but also represents a new paradigm of investigation and medical research. Such techniques can help patients, researchers, physicians and even pharmaceutical companies. 

So, should you use fundraising sites? YES! In essence, crowdfunding is an ideal way for anyone to get the financing and exposure they require to verify, execute and assist their causes. Since the industry is still growing, there’s no better time than now to make use of the associated benefits.

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.