The Ultimate Guide to Medical Fundraising

Fundraising for Medical Treatment

Finding out that you or a loved one is struggling with a medical crisis is one of the most stressful events of your life.  The emotional strain a bad diagnosis can take on your entire family can be devastating.  But many people find themselves facing a challenge that lasts long after the illness.  Medical costs are increasing at a rapid rate, and treatment for a serious illness can create serious financial problems.  It’s hard enough to go through treatments for a serious illness without worrying about the long term financial impact.  At MedGift we want to support you through these challenging times in every way we can.  That’s why we’ve developed The Ultimate Guide to Medical Fundraising as a comprehensive guide for anyone facing medical expenses they are not fully prepared for.

So you did your research, called various clinics, even consulted with past patients, friends and family who have recovered. Now you know more than you ever imagined you would know about cancer and both standard and alternative treatment methods. It’s at this point that most patients feel they’re prepared to make a choice and move forward, but one significant thing usually seems to be standing directly in their way. MONEY.

Unfortunately, we’re still in a day and age where many insurance companies will choose not to cover alternative treatments. And  in the U.S., your insurance company may even be prohibited from doing so by law. 

If you start diving into the sea of alternative and experimental treatments for any condition you’ll usually find one universal truth.  The options and treatments provided are not cheap. In fact, a stay at a clinic can easily accumulate to tens of thousands of dollars, and that may be only the beginning. When your initial stay at a clinic ends, you’ll soon realize there is much more to come.  Follow-up treatments, post-care protocols, returning for routine check-ups and keeping up with a healthy diet, all come with their price tag, and they all play critical parts in the recovery  process.

Studies show that as much as 40% 0f Americans are unprepared to handle a $400 surprise expense.  Most specialists charge this much just for a consult, if not more.  Many people don’t have anywhere near enough money to cover even their annual deductible of their insurance policy.  So after finding out they are facing a treatable yet life threatening illness, instead of focusing on recovery, they inevitably have to ask, how can I possibly afford this? If you find yourself in this situation right now, it is crucial to understand that people just like you have managed to raise the amount they required to seek alternative treatments. You can too. 

Your health is critical, but so is recovering medically without destroying yourself financially.  We have put this guide together to give you access to all of the best options when you need fundraising ideas to cover medical expenses successfully. 

Fundraising for Medical Treatment

Although lots of families across the U.S. have tried various fundraising ideas to cover medical expenses, not every medical fundraiser is created equally, or is successful in reaching its’ goal. Numerous factors and elements come together to make a successful fundraiser. However, the key is to be as proactive and creative as possible. Below are some traditional, and less traditional fundraising ideas for your medical expenses to get your ideas starting to flow.

Generally, bake sales are considered a “classic fundraiser” and for good reason.  They are very popular with everyone, everyone understands what they are, and it’s easy for anyone to participate. Not only are they fun to prep for, they’re also exciting and delicious to support. Since you will be holding a fundraiser for health reasons, you should make sure that your food sticks to the dietary requirements of your shoppers if your supporters are a group of people with similar health concerns. If not, go for the classics and make sure everything is appealing and tasty.  The emergence of social media has actually made bake sales more effective.  

You can now easily market your bake sale in advance to recruit bakers, promote the event, and even pre-sell items and take donations online. The convenience of not having to attend in person is a real bonus for some supporters so make supporting you as easy as possible.  You can also consider partnering with a local store or bakery to sell their items in larger quantities in exchange for a portion of the proceeds.  The more of your community you get involved, the more successful this classic fundraiser will be.  It’s not just about selling cookies for quarters anymore.  

Make sure to narrate the story of the individual whom you are raising money for. People will always be quicker to support people they can relate to and feel connected to, so don’t be afraid to open up.  And since you are fundraising for medical expenses and costs, make sure to place posters and signs around the venue that detail your particular cause.  Bake sales now offer the perfect blend of traditional fundraising and modern fundraising and marketing options to get your entire community involved.

Are you close to supporters and friends who love to cook? Do you know people that are well liked and up for a challenge even if they aren’t a good cook?  Are you a regular at popular restaurants in your area?  Then a cook-off fundraiser may just be your golden ticket to success. If you want to get a little creative you could even ask your chefs to prepare meals that are catered toward healthy eating as well as dietary requirements of the fund recipient. As long as they are still delicious people will appreciate being able to connect with the person they are supporting on a deeper level by sharing in their new diet.  But the most important thing is to make it fun.  

The more enjoyable the experience the more successful it will be from a fundraising perspective, so let participants enter their particular culinary creations into a contest that’s judged by event attendees. To raise extra money let people vote with their money.  When it comes to voting, ask attendees to deposit any donations in their preferred food donation box. When the competition ends, tally all donation collections and the chef that has the most money wins. In case the individual receiving the money is healthy enough to show up and participate, find out whether they would be ready to officiate the competition.

You could also as participating chefs to donate gift certificates or catering setups for auction if they work profesionally.  If all your chefs are amateurs, maybe their employers could offer items in support, but their main value will be in bringing a crowd that wants to see them win.  Good food is important, but popular chefs with generous friends will make your fundraiser.  So support your chefs and let everyone know they are participating, and need their support!  This is another great event to promote on social media.  You could even allow online voting or auction items online while the event is taking place!

If its summer, spring, or even early fall and you are thinking of hosting a classic fundraiser, then a car wash may be just what you require to raise enough money that can cover your medical expenses. As you might know, to host a car wash, you will have to gather the supplies, build up a shop in a busy parking lot, and provide car washes to passerby. To raise funds, you could either request for donations for your work or perhaps charge a certain fee per wash. Either way, ensure that you are early to set up and place promotional flyers around your community, illustrating your cause and medical needs. 

Generally, social media offers an ideal opportunity actually to spread the word regarding your cause and raise money. Due to this fact, you will need to leverage your online presence via a Facebook fundraiser. There is a high likelihood that you have already come across such fundraisers and perhaps even donated to one! The good thing about Facebook is that it is widely popular, which allows you to get to more customers than you could ever think about. Simply set up your page and motivate your family and friends to share it with their various social networks. Never underestimate how powerful social media is! Try out this Facebook fundraiser and discover all it can do for your cause.

Healthcare Crowdfunding

Medical fundraising is used to assist people with various conditions, such as M.S., cancer, medical tourism, and fertility treatments. Healthcare crowdfunding provides people with a platform to share their personal stories with their family, friends, community, and even strangers who might feel compelled to donate. If you’re facing mounting medical bills, it can help you in accessing the funds you need fast. You can start withdrawing funds immediately you begin receiving donations. Additionally, it can help in spreading awareness concerning medical conditions and the overall healthcare system. 

Below are some of the best practices to consider for successful healthcare crowdfunding:

The first thing before you launch a medical fundraising appeal is to ask some of your friends (or the beneficiary’s friends) whether they could be part of the fundraising team. It won’t just make the project itself more manageable, the fundraiser will also get to more people via the combined social networks of your team members. If you can’t gather a group of friends or people to team up, don’t worry! Some individuals succeed every day on crowdfunding platforms. 

You should write your story thoroughly and honestly to help people understand the reality of your situation. The crucial topics to cover, including who the fundraiser is for, the specific medical condition they’re experiencing, the related expenses, and how your particular crowdfunding fundraiser will make an impact. 

Upload videos and photos that give people a hint of what you’re experiencing and how you and your family members are coping at such a challenging time. Generally, photos are essential fundraising tools. They assist people in empathizing with the beneficiary, and empathy is a necessary ingredient in making your crowdfunding venture successful. In general, fundraisers that involve multiple photos raise considerably more than those that involve only one. Social media offers you the power to interact with your family and friends (and their family and friends.). You should encourage your family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors to share your fundraising appeal to various social media platforms.

You need as many people as you can to know about your healthcare fundraiser. So, you should contact the beneficiary’s local business or favorite restaurant and tell them about it. Ask whether they would consider matching donations to a given amount or whether they can donate space for your fundraising event. When you host an event, make sure to set up a donation station with a mobile device or laptop displaying your fundraiser. Get in touch with institutions, clubs, and local organizations that the beneficiary is associated with, including book clubs, schools, churches, and sports teams, and invite them to the fundraising event. You can also invite the local media to show up and cover your fundraising event.

One of the ideal ways of keeping your supporters connected and interested in your fundraiser is by giving updates of any progress and news that can occur. This is a critical element that most people overlook when considering medical fundraising. 

Giving thanks to your supporters, and celebrating is an integral part of the process. You could organize a post-fundraiser event, like a picnic at a local park, where you can show your gratitude for the emotional and financial support that they have given you. At that event, give updates on the beneficiary’s recovery. Alternatively, ask your beneficiary whether they can attend so they could also celebrate your fundraiser’s recovery and success.

DIY Fundraising

If someone registers as a peer-to-peer fundraiser, they express a passion for your work and dedication to your cause. They’re, in fact, so committed that they will reach out to their networks to appeal for donations, and then raise money on your behalf. But these already important people could have a substantial impact, and possibly raise more funds, if you provided them with creative control over their medical fundraising using a do-it-yourself (DIY) campaign. By doing this, you can allow supporters to fundraise at any given time for any personal occasion or reason – even if it is not associated with a current campaign. But what exactly is DIY fundraising?

Generally, the operation of DIY fundraising is similar to a traditional peer-to-peer campaign. Under a parent campaign, fundraisers can add personal fundraising pages and ask for donations that will fund the parent campaign. Typical peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns often have a hard stop and a specific designated program that the raised funding will be allocated toward. Every personal fundraising page under this campaign will end once the parent campaign ends, but the funding will go to the predetermined program. 

On the other hand, DIY fundraising campaigns are always “on,” and fundraisers can select which programs they prefer to fundraiser for. By doing this, you allow supporters to drive your mission forward. Although it can be a bit scary to give over this much power to your community, it can bring positive results where creativity and revenue are concerned. For instance, people can choose to leverage their weddings, birthdays, or athletic milestones to fundraise for your nonprofit. 

Another advantage of DIY is that individuals are often inspired to give to other people, and not always directly to your particular nonprofit. As a result, when someone begins a DIY fundraising initiative, you’ll have an opportunity to interact with their networks and encourage that audience to give. According to statistics, people choose to donate to a certain cause if a friend or family member asks them to. Also, when a friend or family member is personally affected by a cause, people are motivated to give. 

Here are some tips to achieve a successful DIY fundraising strategy:

Use a platform that takes only a few minutes to create a DIY page. The signup and the overall campaign creation process should be simple to have a better experience.

Show your fundraisers the impact of their support to your cause. Illustrate why your reason is vital and ensure ti share your beliefs, mission, and values with your potential fundraisers. Also, prepare videos and images they can utilize for their fundraising activities.

Offer your fundraisers some fundraising ideas like, “celebrate your summer party” or “give up your wedding for your cause.”

Start by inviting a small team of ambassadors to try out your DIY fundraising strategy. 

Usually, fundraising teams succeed more than individuals. Inspire your fundraisers to build the teams and come together.

You need to put in some effort into making an informative and actionable master campaign, which will be the foundation of your fundraisers’ campaigns. Also, pay special attention to the story and branding of your cause.

Consider resources with best practices and advice of successful fundraising. 

Regardless of your fundraisers end up raising money or nor, they’ll have already done much for your cause. Be in touch and stay engaged with each of your fundraisers, even if the campaign is over. 

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.