Medical Fundraising Video Part 2
The first video and blog posts in our series about fundraising for medical bills touched on some of the basics that are necessary when you are preparing to launch a crowdfunding campaign. This post continues where the last one left off, so make sure that you take a moment to review the previously published information if you have not read it yet.
Section V: How to Set Up a Domain Name
15. Select a Relevant Domain Name – Creating your own domain name for your medical fundraising campaign will make it much easier for people to access your page. After all, it will be more difficult for people to remember an address such as www.donationto.com/sarahfightscancer. Instead, you should register a domain name that makes it clear exactly what your fundraiser is all about and does not include a sub domain.
For example, if you know someone named Sarah who is currently battling cancer, you could create a very memorable domain name such as sarah-fights-cancer.com. As you can see, a name like this one will be easier for people to remember, especially if they know Sarah personally. Getting people to memorize your URL will increase the total amount of contributions that you receive, so it makes perfect sense to set up your own relevant domain name.
16. Use a Short and Easy to Remember Domain Name – One of the major mistakes that people make when designing any type of website or page is selecting a name that is too long to easily remember. Additionally, it is critical to ensure that the domain name you choose can be spelled by all of your potential visitors. You can also use hyphens inside of your URL to increase legibility. For example, if you are building a medical crowdfunding page for a man named John Wells who has leukemia, it would be better to choose Support-John-Wells.com than to go with Help-John-Fight-Leukemia because leukemia is hard to spell for many people. As an added bonus, anyone who knows John should find it easier to remember your URL if it includes his first and last name.
As you can see from the examples listed above, hyphens make the entire domain name more legible. Without hyphens, Support-John-Wells.com would look like this: supportjohnwells.com. That does not stand out nearly as well, and using this format is also more likely to cause people to make mistakes when they enter the URL into their browser’s address bar.
17. Avoid Special Characters in Your Domain Name – There are some people who make the decision to utilize a special character such as an ampersand in their domain name, but this will end up causing a lot of problems because people will be less likely to remember it. You also want to avoid creating a domain name that is longer than three words. Putting together a descriptive short phrase such as Support-John-Wells.com is simple for people to remember, but any additional words that you add will only end up confusing people.
18. Avoid Sub Domains – Speaking of confusing people, you need to steer clear of sub domains such as donate.sarah-fights-cancer.com. Again, your primary purpose in setting up a domain name that is exclusively utilized to bounce people to the donation website for medical bills that you choose is to make it easy for people to remember and spell. Adding in a sub domain will make this process more difficult for your potential donors, and the total amount of contributions that you receive will suffer as a result.
Another important point about the domain name process is that it is easiest for people to remember a .com extension. You will have the opportunity to add-on other extensions such as .net that will all bounce to the same page, but it is essential to have .com as your primary extension.
If you are still unsure if the domain name that you are considering is appropriate for your medical fundraising campaign, you should run it by a couple of your friends and see if they are still able to remember it an hour later. If the domain name fails this test, it is probably too complicated and will be detrimental for your cause.
19. Set up an Alias – It is common for people to forget to add the www in front of a domain name when they type it into their browser’s address bar. Fortunately, this does not need to be an issue if you take the time to get an alias set up. With an alias in place, people will still be pointed to your crowdfunding page regardless of whether or not they include the www. This process does not need to be difficult, and most reputable domain name sellers can include it with your purchase.
Another good example of successful medical fundraising campaign: https://www.donationto.com/I-Heart-Team-Chad
If you are not certain if an alias is included, make sure that you inquire about how this can happen so that everyone who attempts to visit your crowdfunding for medical bills page will find what they are looking for. After all, if people type in sarah-fights-cancer.com and do not find your fundraiser, they will most likely be discouraged from trying to visit the page again. This could end up costing you a lot of online donations, so make sure that you avoid this by getting an alias set up.
20. Choose the Right Place for Your Domain Name and Fundraiser – We recommend that you purchase your domain name from iwantmyname.com because they have an extremely user-friendly site that will make it is simplistic as possible for you to register your chosen name. This particular domain registration company will also help you set up an alias. Keep in mind that you also need to select a proven donation website for medical bills so that your donors will feel comfortable enough to contribute. DonationTo has a strong history of assisting fundraisers from around the world, so choosing our platform will help provide donors with peace of mind.
Section VI – How To Prepare Your Fundraising Page Before Launch
21. Get Close Friends to Donate before You Launch Your Page – Most people who create a crowdfunding for medical bills campaign are extremely excited about launching it publicly, but this could make you end up inadvertently reducing the total amount of donations that you receive. The reason for this is basic psychology. No one likes to feel like they are the only person at a party, and this is the sensation that visitors will have if your page does not have any donations or comments already recorded.
To avoid this problem, you should get a few of your close friends or family members to get the ball rolling by making a donation and posting a comment before you publicly share the link to your page with other people. This one simple step will show others that there is already support for your cause, and this will make them feel encouraged to join in. In fact, this will be especially beneficial if the friends or family who you get to donate first are well-known to other people who you ask to contribute.
22. Upload a Lot of Photos – Relevant imagery is one of the best ways to capture attention and increase user engagement. We highly recommend posting photos that show the person who will benefit from the medical fundraiser, and you should also be sure to include friends and family members in some of the pictures because this will make them more likely to share the applicable images with their social media networks.
Another major perk of taking advantage of our photo uploads feature is that people have a much harder time saying no to a request for donations for medical expenses if they are looking at an image of the person in need. Even visitors who do not know the patient will feel more compelled to help out because the photographs will help humanize them. Due to this, it makes sense to upload pictures that feature the individual before they got sick and during their treatment. If they have a spouse or children, make sure that you include them in at least a few of the photos.
23. List Your Fundraising URL in All the Right Places – Your primary emphasis needs to be placed on getting your URL in front of as many people as possible so that you will have the best possible chance to meet or exceed your goal. With this in mind, you need to be ready to take advantage of every single opportunity to share your crowdfunding URL. For example, you can list the URL in your email signature, chat status area and in the about section of all of your social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus.
If you take a quick look at each of your social media profiles, you should find an area to list a URL. Additionally, you can place the URL again in the text area that allows you to tell people a little bit about yourself. Doing this will expose your crowdfunding page to a larger group of people, and it will also provide inbound links to your page that can make it easier to get a higher search engine ranking.
24. Tell People Who You Are – No matter how compelling your crowdfunding story is, some people will not feel confident making the decision to give an online donation unless they have a full understanding of who is behind the campaign. Therefore, you need to let people know if you are the person who needs the funding or if you have created the page for a friend in need. Fortunately, DonationTo makes it easy to be transparent about who you are without making you spend a lot of time focusing on it. This can be accomplished by using the “Created by” section of your fundraising for medical bills page.
You will have the opportunity to upload a photo to identify yourself, and you can list information about who you are and how you are connected to the fundraiser. This level of transparency will make people feel more comfortable, and this is yet another small piece of the crowdfunding puzzle that can help you meet or exceed your goal.
25. Double-Check All of Your URLs – You will receive a URL through DonationTo, and you should also have a domain name registered with at least the .com extension. Before you publicly announce your crowdfunding for medical bills page, you need to take a few moments to double-check each URL that will direct people to your chosen donation website. This is important because people might find out about the DonationTo URL in addition to your specialized domain name due to search engines such as Google. It could be catastrophic if any of these URLs is not working properly because most people will not take the time to try to visit your page again. Even if you checked the URLs a few days ago, double-checking will help ensure that you have a smooth launch.
26. Schedule Your Group Emails in Advance – Getting a schedule in place for each of your weekly group emails will help keep you organized and on target. For example, you can use an Excel document to track when each email should be sent out. It can also be beneficial to write the basics of these emails in advance, but do not forget to tweak them each week with relevant information such as how much money you have raised to date. Taking these steps will make it easier to keep pushing forward in a timely manner without accidentally dropping the ball. Always remember that staying in contact with your current and potential supporters is one of the most imperative aspects of hosting a fully funded campaign.
27. Establish a Time to Announce Your Fundraiser – You will want to send out notifications that announce your fundraiser on multiple platforms at the same time. For example, each member of your team should send out the initial group email at the same time that they post information on various social media sites. This will give you the best head start at collecting an impressive quantity of money during the first 24 hours. Carefully consider the date and time that you decide to launch your campaign so that it will have the maximum impact. In other words, it is best not to announce the fundraiser at an awkward time such as very early in the morning or late at night.
28. Gather an Extended Network to Make the Announcement – As previously mentioned, your team members should share information announcing the fundraiser on each of their social media pages at the same time. Additionally, each member should ask their extended network of close family members and friends to join them in posting the announcement. Getting this much support at one time will greatly enhance your odds of having your campaign go viral, and this is a fantastic way to capture the attention of people outside of your circle of family and friends.
Announcing Section VIII. Facebook Events: A Crowdfunding Secret
29. Set up an Event Page on Facebook – Utilizing a Facebook event page will make it much more simplistic for you to raise awareness of your crowdfunding for medical bills page. After all, you can share this easily with a large audience because each invited individual will receive a notification from Facebook. Make sure that you give the event a relevant name that will allow each person who sees it to instantly identify what is happening and what help is needed. For example, you could choose a name such as “Sarah is fighting cancer – Donate today.” This clearly gets the point across without anyone even needing to read the text of your invite. Of course, you should still provide in-depth description of your medical fundraising page, and make sure that you provide the URL where everyone can learn more and make an online donation.
30. Select a Location for the Event – Facebook gives you the opportunity to add a location to each event, and you can choose the hometown of the individual who needs medical treatment so that the event will be easier for people to find by location. However, the actual location of your fundraiser is online, and you will want to emphasize this multiple times within the event description. This will keep people from becoming confused and declining the invite because they erroneously believe that they have to visit a physical location to participate.
31. Select “Open Event” to Gain a Better Network – You will be given the option to make your event open or closed, and you absolutely want to choose open so that you can tap into a bigger network of potential supporters. The reason for this is that open events can be seen and joined by anyone, but closed events require an invitation. In other words, if your event is closed instead of open, it will be more difficult for your supporters to help you raise awareness by inviting others to join in. Make sure that you enable the event wall as well so that people can leave comments and ask questions.
It is also important to note that some people use Facebook’s search engine to look for events that they would like to support or join in their local area. With an open event, you have the possibility of attracting the attention of people who are not connected to your campaign in any way, and it is definitely possible that some of them will choose to contribute. This is especially true if people who stumble across your open event have lost a loved one in the past to the specific disease that you are raising money for.
32. Invite All of Your Friends – Spreading awareness requires you to reach out to as many people as possible. Facebook allows you to invite everyone on your friends list to join your event, but you will only be able to choose approximately 100 people at a time. This means that the process of inviting everyone will take some time, but it will also definitely be worthwhile. Another method for raising awareness of your event is to share the link to the event page on your timeline.
Make sure that you continuously monitor the event wall so that you can respond to comments in a timely manner. Even if a comment is left that does not seem to require a response, you should still take the time to like the comment and say something in return. For example, if someone simply says “I will be donating,” you should like this comment. Next, you need to respond by thanking the individual and sharing the URL to your crowdfunding page again just to make sure that they know how to donate online.
33. Maintain Engagement – It would be easy to create your event and then stop interacting with it, but this would be a major mistake. The most successful Facebook events continuously post new messages so that people who have joined the event receive regular reminders. Again, you need to like everyone’s comments and respond to them, and you should also ask questions throughout the process to increase your level of engagement.
Your Facebook event page is another great place to post relevant images on a regular basis. If you create a video, you should post it to the page. It could also be a good idea to ask people for feedback, especially if you are uncertain if you have truly gotten your message across in the video. Make sure that you response in a positive and grateful manner if someone provides you with constructive criticism about any aspect of your campaign. This will make your entire fundraising team look good, and it will make everyone else involved feel even more confident about their decision to donate.
Announcing Section IX – Announcing Your Fundraiser with Email and Social Media
34. Send an Email to Announce Your Fundraiser – Gather your entire email contact list so that you can quickly announce your fundraiser to everyone at one time by taking advantage of DonationTo’s one click email feature. Do not forget to include all of the basic information about your campaign during your announcement, especially the URL of your DonationTo webpage. It is a good idea to include this URL during the body of the email and again at the bottom underneath your signature. Taking this approach will make it easier for people to figure out how to donate, and this will increase the total amount of contributions that you receive.
35. Get Your Friends and Family Members to Make an Announcement – As previously mentioned, it is extremely beneficial for all of your close friends and family members to send out the exact same announcement to their entire email list at the same time. Fortunately, DonationTo makes it super easy for them as well due to our one click email feature. You will receive the best results if everyone does this on the same date at the same time, and you should give each person who is helping you a copy of the announcement email so that each recipient gets the same information.
36. Help Your Campaign Go Viral – We wanted to reiterate just how important it can be to get everyone to post information about your fundraiser at the same time on all of their social media pages. Doing this as a complement to the email announcement will ensure that a very large group of people find out about your campaign at the same time. This is the absolute best way to get your campaign to go viral, and it could even lead to unexpected attention from media sources and even celebrities. Many fundraisers choose to include a hashtag with their campaign for this specific purpose. For example, you could use the hashtag #sarahfightscancer to get all of the posts connected together. It is also vital to encourage each person who helps you spread awareness to make their posts viewable by the general public.
At this point, you should have a good idea how to start and launch a fundraiser for medical bills. In the next part of this video and blog series, we will provide you with invaluable information about what to do during and after the campaign so that you can maximize the total amount of online donations that you collect. Utilizing these proven techniques will greatly increase your likelihood of meeting or exceeding your goal.