10 Tips for Medical Fundraising

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Medical expenses can cripple an individual’s finances, but there is an easy way to receive help. Hosting an online fundraiser to cover some of the cost has become a viable option. In order to get the most out of Medical Fundraising experience, utilize the following 10 tips.

1.) Create an Online Donation Page

It is important to partner with the right online fundraising website. DonationTo.com provides potential donors with a safe platform for making a donation, and they also allow you to keep 100 percent of the money that has been raised & avoid credit card fees! Credit card fees are avoided by enabling donors to add the credit card fee to their donation! Consider for a moment how you would feel if you were planning to make a donation, but then you found out that a portion of your donation was going to administrative costs. When using DonationTo it is easy to hit your fundraising goal faster by keeping 100% of all donations and avoiding annoying credit card fees! By partnering with DonationTo.com, you can assure each of your donors that 100 percent of their donation is actually going to a good cause. As an added perk, DonationTo.com enables you to accept donations globally, and they offer multiple payment options to help you raise money online.

DonationTo.com places a huge emphasis on helping people by hosting medical fundraisers. No technical experience is needed, and you will be able to get your fundraiser up and running within a few minutes. It is a good idea to inform your donors that DonationTo.com is a well-known platform for raising funds for medical expenses. This will make them feel more confident in their decision to donate online. You can also learn more about DonationTo.com’s commitment to raising funds for all types of causes including medical expenses- This shows how to design a successful page by visiting current fundraisers, including the following below links and examples below.

The-Ruel-Foundation-Orphanage - Scott Doyle Memorial - Craigs Fight

Vince Giorgi raised over $10,000 using DonationTo.com for medical his medical fundraiser.

Some of Vince’s words below about his experience.

“We had a beloved board member of our Little League baseball organization who suffered a brain aneurysm.  As you can imagine, medical bill started to pile up, along with requests for support (meals, transportation, etc), while the family spent a good deal of time in the hospital.  As a board we “passed around the hat” a few times, to scrape up a couple hundred dollars to assist the family.  We discussed as a board that this process was not very productive, and only scratched the surface of need.  I went on searching for sites that could help expedite our request for funds and found “Donation To”.  It was easy to set up, and a reasonable cost.  We set a lofty goal to raise $10,000 in less than 2 months.  We has a large e-mail distribution chain for the entire Little League, so with one crafted e-mail, we sent the link to the web-page, and in a matter of days we had a couple thousand dollars pledged.  Before the 2 month window we exceeded our $10,000 goal!  How spectacular it felt when the family came to our monthly board meeting and we were able to hand them over $10,000 to help in their financial hardship.”


2.) Ask for the Proper Amount

Medical expenses are typically very high, and for this reason, DonationTo.com believes that it is in your best interests to host several small fundraisers instead of one large online fundraising campaign. The psychology behind this is very simple, and it has been proven multiple times. For example, if you were told that the only way to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy was to donate $10,000 dollars, you would probably feel too discouraged to make a donation. On the other hand, if someone asks you to donate $50 to hurricane victims to build a new foundations to a home you will most likely be able to say yes. Your potential donors need to feel like they are able to make a specific difference. Therefore, it is best to set several small goals that are easily attainable. If someone has $20 to donate and you are still $50,000 away from your goal, they might feel that their donation is worthless. If you are only $500 away from your goal, though, they will feel much more inspired to go through with their donation and see the results mutually!

In order to determine how much to ask for, you should make a list of all of your medical expenses. Consider splitting your fundraiser up to cover each of the main components such as the examination, surgery, post-surgery, rehabilitation and medication. If the cost of any of these components is very high, you can even split that individual portion up into multiple fundraisers. For example, if the surgery is going to cost $25,000, you could consider hosting five fundraisers with a goal of $5,000 each. After all, no one likes the sensation of donating to a cause that fails to meet its goal. If each of your small fundraisers is successful, however, donors will feel compelled to make additional donations. You can learn more about this important step of learning how to fundraise by visiting our more detailed post here with great examples: How To Scale Fundraising For Success

3.) Effectively Explain Your Cause

The most important aspect of your fundraising page will be the bio section because that is where you can fully explain your cause to potential donors. For example, you can utilize that section to tell donors exactly what the medical issue is and how the money will be utilized. No one likes to commit their financial resources to a project without understanding how it works. If you give a comprehensive overview of your fundraising ideas and why their donations are necessary, however, most people will embrace your efforts and make an online donation. There are several questions that you should answer in the bio section to make donors understand why you need their help. Although the list might vary slightly depending on your specific needs, the following list provides a good template:

•Who are you hosting the fundraiser for?

Explain the basics. Remember too much information is better than not enough.

•What exactly are the medical expenses?

Don’t forget to be specific and detailed, donors will appreciate you being transparent.

•When is the money needed by?

Provide a date, this will provide a sense of urgency to donate now!

•Do you have any major donors?

By explaining who has already donated will help other additional donors to join in the support!

•Where is the medical treatment taking place?

Again provide dates, supporters will want to get involved outside the limits of monitory support

•Who is the doctor?

Get the community involved and help bring awareness to your cause.

•What are the risks to the patient if they are not treated?

This will again, bring a sense of urgency to your cause and give donors additional perspective of the outcome.

•How will the money be used if the goal is met?

Reiterate where is the money going, ultimately donors are always going to appreciate your honesty and being transparent.

The more information that you give to your potential donors, the more comfortable they are going to feel with the idea of making a donation. Keep in mind that some people are leery of supporting fundraisers because they are uncertain if their money will actually be used for a good cause. Because of this, you should consider posting pictures that help them see the very real need for them to donate online. You can learn more about the process of properly explaining your cause by visiting our post where we explain this specifically: Hit Goals Faster By Effectively Explaining Your Cause

4.) Set a Date and Goal

It is vital for you to set both an end date and a dollar goal for each phase of your fundraiser. After all, without this important information, most people will fail to make a donation. Consider for example how you react to a sales price on an item that you really want. If you are told that the sale will only last for one day, you are most likely going to make sure that you get to the store and make a purchase. On the other hand, if the sale is open-ended, it is highly likely that you will end up forgetting about it altogether and missing out. It is up to you to create a sense of urgency that will make your potential donors feel compelled to give a donation on the spot. Setting an end date provides that sense of urgency.

Although the end date is one of the most important aspects of your fundraiser, it is perhaps even more important to set a specific goal. DonationTo.com’s platform will allow you to have an open-ended financial goal, but it is has been proven that people are much more likely to give a good donation if they understand exactly how it will impact the total amount that has been raised. For example, if you only need another $200, a donor will probably feel comfortable giving you $20. On the other hand, if you still need $2,000, they might feel compelled to dig deeper and give you a $200 donation. If you fail to provide them with a specific goal, however, you virtually ensure that they will give the minimum amount that they can afford.

The other reason that it is important to set a specific date and goal is that it makes your fundraising ideas look more serious. If you fail to provide this information, a lot of people will get the impression that you are not taking your fundraiser seriously, and this will make it difficult to convince them to donate. Unlike most other online donation websites, DonationTo.com does provide you with the option to change your end date if necessary. Therefore, you can make adjustments if you feel like they would help you meet your goal. If you adjust the end date, however, you should provide an update that explains why the end date has changed. Want to learn additional tips on fundraising goals and deadlines visitor our 2 posts below that address this important aspect of medical fundraising.

Fundraising setting goals  - Fundraising setting goals part 2

5.) Contextual Communication

Communicating on a regular basis with your donors is the absolute best way to receive additional donations. For example, if you decide to make an annual donation to a specific cause but they fail to provide you with any updates or information about how they have used your donation, you might feel the urge to discontinue making donations. You can keep your donors interested in you efforts to raise money online by communicating throughout each stage of your fundraiser.

•Announce the Beginning of the Online Campaign

Send out a message that announces your efforts to raise money for medical expenses. You can send a quick blurb such as “Dear friends and family, we are raising funds to cover John’s medical expenses. Please make a donation to help pay for his examination.”

•Provide Updates throughout the Campaign

When you reach an important goal, make sure you send out an update. Something quick but inspirational such as “Friends and family, we are immensely pleased to announce that we have reached 50 percent of our goal. Please consider making another donation to help us cover all of John’s expenses. Our fundraiser will end on [date].”

•Thank Everyone

Regardless of how much money is raised, you should always thank everyone. A thank you message for a successful fundraiser should look similar to this: “It is my pleasure to announce that we have hit our goal for this fundraising phase. Thank you very much for your donation. We will be in touch soon to provide updates about John’s progress and to announce the next phase of our medical fundraiser to assist him with the cost of physical therapy.”

DonationTo.com has several useful tips in their blog to help you learn how to communicate effectively throughout the fundraiser. Want to learn more about effective communication for fundraising view these posts below.

Fundraising 4 communication tips to increase donations - Fundraising ideas 3 way to stay in contact with supporters - How to fundraise and follow up with supporters 

6.) Leverage Social Media

To properly leverage social media you must do more than simply post status updates or tweets. In fact, research indicates that only 12 to 16 percent of your Facebook friends or Twitter followers will actually see each of your updates- learn more here. This is not a very effective way to reach out to people, but you should definitely still utilize the social media platform to spread the word. Consider for instance how many new things you have discovered through social media. The very nature of social media makes it the perfect way to share information, and each person who you reach counts. In order to expand your reach to the largest group possible, you should utilize the following tips.

•Gather Supporters

Begin by creating a page specifically about your fundraiser on Facebook and Google Plus. This will allow people who are interested to interact directly with your fundraising efforts without forcing you to turn your personal page into a fundraising platform.

•Encourage People to Invite their Friends

Consider offering to donate $2 for each new person your page members refer who actually joins the group. If you are unable to make this financial commitment, you should look for a local business that is willing to participate in this way.

•Host a “Donate Your Status” Event

Ask everyone in your fundraising group to donate their status to the cause for a set period of time such as two days. Make sure that you create a compelling status that will encourage people to donate online. We created a post more about that here: Fundraising with Facebook events. 

•Provide Updates

After the donate your status event is over, you should provide an update that lets your supporters know how much money still needs to be raised. Next, you should create a Facebook event and invite everyone to donate. By creating an event, you will provide your potential donors with a constant reminder, and they will also be able to easily invite their friends and family to join the cause. Make sure that the URL to your fundraising page is listed as the event’s location. For example, the event location could be www.DonationTo.com/Medical-Cause.

DonationTo.com has created several blog posts to help you learn more about leveraging social media. Take a read below.

Fundraising with Google Plus  - Fundraising with Facebook Events - Fundraising using LinkedIn - Fundraising with Pinterest

7.) Leverage Email

Emails is always a viable resource for collecting donations and this should be known and executed often. Consider for example how often you scan your emails on a daily basis for new messages from your friends. If you receive an email from someone you know, you are going to open it and read it. That simple fact makes email a great way to spread the word about your fundraiser. In order to properly take advantage of the email format, you should utilize the following checklist.

•Organize Your Email List

Gather all of the applicable email addresses and paste them into a Word or Excel document to keep them organized.

•Make Two Separate Lists

In the Excel or Word document, you should separate family members from friends. It is very important to address these two groups differently to maximize your potential donations.

•Utilize Multiple Deployment Phases for Your Emails

The best way to capture attention is to send your emails out in phases. The following nine phases should be rolled out once per week to maximize your total amount of donations.

a.) Phase 1

Send out two email blasts, one to family members and the other to friends, to inform them about the fundraiser and ask them to make a donation.

b.) Phase 2

Email everyone and ask them to post information about your fundraiser on their social media pages and to click +1 to spread the word via Google Plus.

c.) Phase 3

Ask everyone to take a few moments to invite their friends to the fundraiser’s Facebook event.

d.) Phase 4

Send a message that asks everyone to sign into their Twitter accounts and retweet your posts about the fundraiser.

e.) Phase 5

Send out two email blasts during the fifth week to ask everyone to give the cause a upvote on Reddit. If you are unfamiliar with this process, we will introduce you to it in the tenth medical fundraising tip.

f.) Phase 6

Week six’s email should include all of the pertinent information about the fundraiser, and you should also include a blurb that encourages all family members and friends to forward the email to at least one other person.

g.) Phase 7

Send an update about the fundraiser’s progress during week seven. Sending updates is one of the most important aspects of learning how to fundraise. After all, everyone wants to know if their money has actually made a difference. If you have not hit the goal yet, you can encourage people to make additional donations to bridge the gap. Make sure that you also thank everyone for their participation in the fundraiser.

h.) Phase 8

Send images that showcase the progress of the fundraiser. For example, you can take photos of the fundraiser’s recipient to show donors how they are doing. Make sure that this update also informs everyone if the patient has been released and what the pace of their recovery has been.

i.) Phase 9

Ask everyone to participate in a group visit to visit the patient. This is especially important if the patient is still in the hospital. This phase will help raise the morale of the person who you are fundraising for, and it will also encourage people to make additional donations.

j.) Repeat Phases 1 – 9 

Until you have a fully funded campaign, you should continue sending out emails on a weekly basis. It is always a good idea to repeat each step every couple of months to help remind people of the importance of your fundraiser. Keep in mind that a major medical issue might require multiple fundraisers over several years.

•Creating the Perfect Email

It is very important to keep your emails short and to the point. Include the following points: why you are fundraising, the technology that you are using to collect donations, where they can donate and the deadline for your fundraiser. If you are unsure what to say, you can follow the basics of this sample message:

“Dear friends, John is very sick and needs medical attention. The estimated cost of his treatment is $10,000. Therefore, we are hosting a fundraiser to help him cover these expenses. We hope that you will join this cause by making a donation before [date]. We are collecting donations online via DonationTo.com, and they enable us to keep 100 percent of the money that is raised. Donations are accepted at DonationTo.com/johns-medical-cause.”

Keeping each email short and to the point is the best way to capture the attention of your readers.

For more tips on crafting the perfect fundraising email checkout our additional posts here:

Fundraising email tips hit your goals faster - Fundraising Email Tips Hit Your Goals Faster Part 2 - Fundraising Email Tips Part 3 - 5 Email Tips For Fundraising And Online Donations 

8.) Leverage Local Companies

Leveraging a company for donations is a great way to both get a big fundraising boost and to reach out to their employees and customers. You need to reach out to local companies instead of international businesses such as IBM or Apple, though. Consider for instance how much more likely you would be to make a donation to a local family than to a family in a different country. This in no way indicates a lack of caring on your part, but it does emphasize the fact that most people like to keep their charitable donations close to home.

You can leverage the power of local businesses by reaching out to the ones that are relevant such as those that you and your friends frequent. Most people can relate to medical issues, especially cancer, and that will help you capture the attention of potential business donors. To have the best chance of obtaining a business donor, you should utilize the following two steps:

•Reach out to all of the local businesses that you and the person who is sick frequent.

•Reach out to each of your co-workers at your job.

If you need additional assistance in putting together a plan to reach out to local businesses, you should read the following blog posts we created below:

Fundraising ideas ask businesses for help - Corporations Help Fundraising - Networking for better fundraising - Online charity networking for better fundraising 

9.) Contextually Update Everyone

Providing regular updates is a good way to thank people who have already donated, and it will also provide other people with the push they need to finally make a donation. Consider for example how it feels to be the last person in your group of friends to see the latest movie. No one wants to feel left out, regardless of the situation. By sending out updates, you can encourage everyone to donate. Make sure that you keep the following points in mind when you are creating your updates.

•Progress Reports are Important

Donors of all dollar amounts are all equally deserving of updates. Everyone wants to know what their money is being used for, and you should help them see how important their donation was by providing regular fundraising progress reports.

•Provide Status Updates about Donors

DonationTo.com allows you to see exactly who has updated and the amount of their donation. Although you should avoid sharing the dollar amount that was donated by each person, it is a good idea to publicly thank each of your donors by name.

•Encourage New Donations

When you provide a progress report and thank each of the people who have already donated, you will be building a sense of community. This process will make current donors feel appreciated, and it is also likely to encourage donations from new donors.

DonationTo.com has three blogs that you can review to learn more about providing effective updates- Review below!

Fundraising ideas 4 communication tips to increase donations - Three Ways to Stay in Contact with Supporters - How to Fundraise and Follow Up with Supporters

10.) Medical Fundraising with Reddit

Several online fundraisers have leveraged the power of Reddit to become successfully funded, and you should definitely take advantage of this easy to use platform for raising awareness. Consider for example how many memes and other things of interest your friends have found on Reddit and then posted to Facebook. This same level of cross posting can be achieved by following four simple tips to maximize the power of Reddit.

•Post Images and Links

Reddit is a simple, user-generated website that enables anyone with an account to post images and links. Other users who encounter this content will then either vote it up or down. The ultimate goal of all Reddit posts is to receive enough upvotes to land on the front page.

•Tips to Make it to the Front Page

To land on the main page, you should do at least one of the following three tips.

Step 1:

Creating a powerful image is the best way to capture attention. If the viewer feels impacted by what they have seen, they are much more likely to vote it up.

Step 2:

Reddit users love videos, and a lot of people have found even more success by using a powerful video instead of a photo. If you are unsure how to create a video, you can learn more by visiting our post entitled Creating a Fundraising Video

Step 3:

Creating campaigns to help get upvotes is essential. For example, you can create a Facebook event that directs people to your Reddit post and encourages them to vote for it. You should be able to convince your family and friends to participate by explaining that getting enough upvotes to land on the front page will get your cause in front of millions of people.

•Create an Ask Me Anything (AMA)

Reddit users often seek out a source of information for something that they are curious about. For example, you could create a post entitled “My Friend has Cancer, AMA.” This will both encourage people to learn more about cancer and to find out what you are doing to help your friend. By getting people involved, they will be much more likely to donate or spread the word.

•Create a Today I Learned (TIL)

You can create a post that begins

“Today I learned that my friend has a medical condition,”

and then explain exactly what you friend is dealing with. A lot of people do not realize how expensive medical care is, so when you explain it to them, they will feel compelled to help. You can also use the TIL format to share information about rare medical conditions.

The Reddit tips listed above are a great way to begin leveraging the Reddit format. To learn more, you can visit the following blog posts that provide additional step by step directions for fundraising with Reddit.com

Fundraising with Reddit Part One and Fundraising with Reddit Part Two


As you can see, there are multiple methods that you can utilize to ensure a successful medical fundraiser. Spreading the word and providing regular updates are definitely the main components of getting people to make a donation, but you have to make sure that you also reach out to them via every applicable platform. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are going to play a key role in obtaining donations, and you should also place an emphasis on getting your story upvoted on Reddit.

Once you have compiled a list of potential donors, it is important to contact them once a week via email. Keep in mind that your messages should be written differently for family members and friends, and therefore it is going to be necessary to send out two different email blasts per week. Make sure that you encourage donors to spread the word by forwarding your emails, inviting their friends to join the Facebook event and donating their status to the cause for 48 hours.

Be prepared to continue your fundraising efforts for an extended period of time if the medical bills are extremely high. By hosting a series of smaller fundraisers, you will enable each donor to become even more emotionally invested in the process. It is also a great idea for everyone’s morale to have 10 small fundraisers that are all successfully funded instead of one large fundraiser that falls short of the goal. By breaking your medical fundraising goals into smaller chunks, you can meet the overall goal of covering all of your friend’s medical expenses.

For an effective crowdfunding you will need to know our tips offered by the donation website DonationTo.com. You don’t need technical skills to crowd fund for your cause.

Looking for additional fundraising tips check out these other links: How to Plan Your Cause to Fundraise BetterHow to Do Medical FundraisingHow to Do Fundraising for Medical ExpenseHow to Ask for Help in FundraisingHow to Fundraise Despite Economic Recession

Thanks again! From the DonationTo Team!!

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