Medical Fundraising Tips: Financial Support When You Need It

From ER visits to long-term care, medical expenses can wipe out savings accounts and leave behind debt that lasts for years. Medical crowdfunding is a powerful tool that can help people conquer medical bankruptcy and focus on healing. Countless people have found that using GoFundMe for medical expenses can help pay for prescriptions and doctors visits—as well as procedures not typically covered by insurance, like IVF treatments or gender confirmation surgery.

Below, we’ve gathered some of our best medical fundraising tips to help you raise more money.

Start a medical fundraiser

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Tips for fundraising for medical expenses

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Make your title count

Your fundraiser title is one of the first things people will read, so it’s important to make sure it’s compelling. GoFundMe titles for medical fundraisers should be specific. For example, “Help Martha Fight Cancer” is more engaging than “Martha’s fundraiser.” For more examples and specific tips, read our blog post Six Smart Ways to Write a Powerful Fundraiser Title.

little girl with smiling doctor

Use your fundraiser page to tell your story

Your fundraiser story is the place to let readers know what you or your beneficiary is going through. You may be tempted to keep your story as short as possible, but people will be more willing to support your cause if they have a full understanding of the financial, physical, and emotional trouble you’re experiencing. Your fundraiser description length can also influence donations.

When writing your fundraiser story, try to answer these questions:

  • What happened?
  • How has this affected your life or your beneficiary’s life?
  • What is the recommended treatment?
  • How will these funds help you or your beneficiary?

Medical issues can be personal, so only share the details you’re comfortable with. If you need more help writing your story, read our blog post Writing Your Fundraiser Story: A Comprehensive Guide.

two women talking next to a campfire

Add photos and videos

Photos and videos can draw others into your story and help them connect with you. Aside from adding a nice visual element to your fundraiser, they also add legitimacy. Most people will feel more comfortable donating to a cause when they can see photos of the person their funds will be going to. Here are some other tips:

  • Use high-quality images
  • Use one photo that shows you or your beneficiary happy and smiling
  • If you feel comfortable, use one photo that shows how medical issues or costs have affected you or your beneficiary

Share your fundraiser with friends and family

Sharing your fundraiser with everyone you know is one of the most important actions you can take in reaching your fundraising goals. We understand that asking for help can be difficult, but people usually respond well to vulnerability. These are some tips to help you promote your fundraiser online:

  • Learn the best way to ask for donations before reaching out to anyone.
  • Reach out to a few close friends or family members first to become more comfortable with asking for support.
  • Create a fundraiser hashtag to make it easier for people to rally support for your cause.
  • Use these fundraising email templates if you need to get past writer’s block.
  • Use social media to promote your fundraiser, or try sending emails.
  • Have you reached your limit on asking for money? Simply ask people if they can share your fundraiser with their contacts instead.
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Reach out offline

If you’ve exhausted your social media outreaches, why not take your efforts offline? Fundraising without social media can open up new opportunities and help you connect with potential donors in a more personal way.

Asking for support offline can mean anything from making phone calls to posting flyers with your fundraiser details around town. Fundraising events are another opportunity to ask for donations and gain support locally.

young girl with cancer posing with doll

Post updates to keep your supporters involved

Once people donate, they’ll be eager to know how you’re doing and how the funds are being used. The best way to keep people in the loop is by regularly writing fundraiser updates.

  • Updates with a positive spin are wonderful, but be sure to let your supporters know if you need additional help.
  • If you’re running a fundraiser for someone else, it can be really helpful to get quotes or updates from that person and post them as updates.
  • Don’t forget to post a final update once you’ve decided to end your fundraiser.
two parents posing with their daughter in the hospital

Don’t forget to share other needs

Using GoFundMe for medical bills can be a powerful way to raise money. Still, you might have other needs that need to be met. Do your pets need to be cared for while you’re in the hospital? Would a hot meal be a relief after a day of doctor’s appointments or while you’re in the hospital?

List these needs under a title that says, “Other ways you can help.” This is a great way for people who may not be able to contribute financially to lend a hand.

hand writing with pen on paper

Send thank-you messages to supporters

Be sure to let your donors know how much you appreciate their support by sending thank-you messages. If you aren’t sure how to tell them what a difference their donation has made, take a look at our blog post How to Write a Donation Thank-You Letter: Templates. For other ideas on how to show gratitude, see our blog post 20 Affordable Ways to Say Thank You to Donors.

Medical fundraising helped these people

Cure Michael

An Ontario family was devastated to find out that their baby had been diagnosed with SPG50, an ultra-rare neurodegenerative disease. There is currently no cure, so the family took it into their own hands and turned to GoFundMe to fundraise the multi-million dollar project to find a cure. They raised over $750,000 in just a few months.

Firefighter/Mom Answers Call

A GTA firefighter went beyond the call to give the gift of life to a fellow firefighter’s son who was suffering from rare liver cancer. A GoFundMe campaign was started to support both the donor and donee in their time of recovery and raised over $20,000.

a man paints a nature scene near a lake

Every Picture Tells A Story: Artist Mark Melnick

As a professional artist and muralist, Mark had spent his entire life honing his craft. That came to a screeching halt when he suffered a stroke at the age of 60. Suddenly, he couldn’t paint and his monthly expenses ballooned overnight: He needed extensive therapy sessions, in-home care, and adjustments to his house to accommodate his new mobility restrictions. Mark’s community launched a GoFundMe that raised almost $19,000 in two months to help him recover.

Focus more on your health and less on finances

Medical fundraising can remove financial stress from the picture so you can dedicate your time to getting the care you need. GoFundMe offers fundraising so you can keep more of your donations, and our Customer Happiness Team is available to help you 24/7.

For more fundraising tips for medical expenses, take a look at our medical crowdfunding guide. If you’re still struggling to get help with bills, then sign up for a fundraiser today.

Start a medical fundraiser