Medical fundraising video part 3
Welcome to the third part of our video and blog series that is dedicated to teaching you how to more effectively raise money for medical bills. If you are just joining us, make sure that you watch parts one and part two and watch the video summaries so that you will be caught up. Once you reach the end of these posts, you will be prepared to get the most out of our donation website, and this will greatly increase your ability to meet or exceed your goal.
Announcing Section IX – Weekly Fundraising Communication with Email and Social Media
37. Send out a Weekly Email Update – Keeping everyone informed about your cause is an imperative aspect of your crowdfunding for medical bills campaign. After all, it will be very difficult to raise money online if you do not reach out to your potential supporters on a regular basis. This is due to the reality that people quite simply forget about things when they only hear about them once. To avoid this problem and build momentum, we highly recommend setting up a weekly email schedule so that each of your messages goes out in a timely manner.
It is also critical to touch on a specific topic in each message because this will help keep people engaged throughout the process. Regardless of which topic you discuss each week, make sure that you include the URL for your page so that people know how to make donations for medical bills. It is best to place this URL in the body of the message and again in the signature line. To help you get started, we will give you some suggestions for topics that have been proven to help increase donations.
38. Week One: Announce Your Fundraiser – Your initial email needs to provide everyone with all of the basic information about your efforts to use a donation website for medical bills. This should include providing an outline of what the medical issue is and how each person’s online donation can make a difference. You can utilize some of the text from your DonationTo page, but you will probably need to condense it quite a bit to avoid losing attention. Encourage people to visit your URL to learn more, and make sure that they know that they can make donations for medical bills directly from your page.
39. Week Two: Ask Supporters to Share Your URL via Their Social Networks – One of the best ways to gather enough momentum and support to reach your goal is to get your current supporters to help spread awareness via their social networks. This is also a viable option for people who really want to help but are unable to offer financial assistance. If you focus on specifically asking people to show support for your cause in this way during your second email, you are likely to receive very positive results.
You have probably seen several people share fundraisers on their Facebook timeline for individuals who they care about, and this is usually a more enticing charitable opportunity than making a donation to someone who you have absolutely no connection with. You can take advantage of this same basic psychology by getting your supporters to share your URL with their extended network of family and friends.
40. Week Three: Give an Update on the Progress of Your Goal – People want to be kept in the loop about how close you are getting to meeting your goal, so you need to make this the main focus of your third week update. Whether you have collected less than you expected or more by this point, you can utilize this weekly email to create a sense of urgency for additional contributions to come in. For example, if you are already halfway to your goal, you can thank everyone for their support and ask them to push you over the finish line. Do not forget to reiterate the importance of each online donation as a way of assisting the person who is dealing with a serious medical situation.
41. Week Four: Provide a Visual Update on Who or What You Are Fundraising for – Relevant imagery is a very powerful tool that you can use to increase donations. After all, it is harder for people to say no if they are looking at a picture of the person in need. Additionally, showing photos that highlight what the person looked like before they got sick and what they look like now can really bring the point home that your crowdfunding for medical bills campaign is extremely necessary.
You can also include photographs in other updates throughout your fundraiser to help people see the progress of each treatment that they are helping to fund. This will make each donor feel more personally involved in the process, and they will be more likely to contribute again and encourage their friends to help out.
42. Week Five: Ask Specifically for Donations and Give an Approximate Percentage to Your Goal – Each of your previous updates has made it clear that donations are necessary, but some people will not take action until they are directly asked to do so. Due to this, it is important to take the time to directly ask each of your supporters to make a donation during the fifth week.
Another focal point of your fifth email update is the percentage that you have left to hit your goal. In other words, if you have raised $3,000 of a $5,000 goal, you will let people know during this update that their support has helped your campaign get past the midway point. Make sure that you emphasize how much is left instead of what you have already hit. In the previously listed example, this would mean stating that you only need to get another 40 percent to have raised enough money.
43. Week Six: Share a Story About Your Fundraiser – It is critical to continuously find ways to engage your supporters, so you should dedicate the sixth week to providing additional information about your campaign. Because you are trying to raise money for medical bills, it would make solid sense to tell a story about one of the patient’s most recent medical treatments. Alternatively, you could give more details about the initial diagnosis or focus on the impact that the medical condition is having on the individual’s life. Regardless of which option you choose, the point is to make the story compelling enough that people will read it all the way through and feel the urge to donate after.
44. Week Seven: Give Specific Examples of People Who Have Donated – As previously mentioned during this blog series, there is a lot of psychology behind fundraising. For example, people are much less likely to make a donation if they will be the first person to do so. Additionally, most potential supporters will feel more encouraged to contribute if someone they know has already gotten involved. Because of this, you should spend the seventh week providing specific examples of people who have already made an online donation. It is not necessary to indicate exactly how much each person contributed, but you could choose to focus exclusively on your top donors. Another method is to randomly select five or 10 names from your donor list.
Another benefit of giving these examples is that the people who are mentioned by name will feel appreciated, and this could easily lead to them being more active in your efforts to raise awareness. If any companies have made a big donation, make sure that you also give them credit during the seventh week.
45. Week Eight: Have You Hit Your Goal? – At this point in your medical crowdfunding campaign, you need to let everyone know if you have hit your goal. If you have not, providing this information will help give people the extra push that they need to help you cross the finish line. On the other hand, if you have been successful in raising enough money online to cover your initial goal, the eighth week will be the perfect opportunity to set up a stretch goal.
Stretch goals make it possible to take care of more than just the patient’s minimal needs. As an example, some previous successful fundraisers have used a stretch goal to help the individual take care of non-medical bills so that they would not have to deal with a lot of stress during the recovery process. Stretch goals can also be utilized to help someone receive a more in-depth type of treatment.
46. Week Nine: Repeat Steps Two through Six – If your campaign runs past the eight week mark, you can begin repeating steps two through six as many times as necessary to keep everyone in the loop without losing your forward momentum. After all, it is always a good idea to keep people up to date on the progress of your goal and share new stories about the fundraiser, and your supporters will want to receive regular text and visual updates about the person in need. Getting people to share the URL of your fundraiser on their social media profiles every few weeks is yet another proven method for increasing online donations, so it would be very wise of you to ask for this on a regular basis.
Some people are hesitant to send similar content, but the reality is that it will change slightly each time you send your weekly message. Therefore, most of your supporters will not even notice the similarities, but they will be responsive to your continual outreach.
Middle Section XI – Reach out to Your Local Press
47. Keep It Short – Contacting your local press is a fantastic way to gather additional donations, but you need to be careful that you do not make your message so long that no one reads it. Brett Nelson has 14 years of media experience, and he says that one of the most vital things for you to remember is that it is essential to keep your message as short as possible if you want to receive positive results. In fact, Nelson says that there is one big rule you need to follow: “If they have to scroll, your email is too long.”
It is understandable that you might be concerned about not being able to provide enough information to capture the media’s attention in a short email, but this simply means that you need to be as concise as possible while still getting your point across. This approach is equally important for social media posts, so it is definitely a good skill to hone.
48. Tug at the Heartstrings – Capturing media attention with a short blurb does not need to be very difficult. The reality is that any local story that has emotion behind it can be viewed as a solid human interest piece. Journalists Diana Spechler and Jim O’Grady have stated that it is essential to “tug at our heartstrings” if you want a member of the media to be much more likely to respond. However, they also caution against overly embellishing the story for the sole purpose of getting attention.
Journalists are trained to detect fallacies, and this is the quickest way to turn them off of your story. As long as you are honest, to the point and include information that will tug at the heartstrings, you should receive a response from at least some of your local media. Make sure that you point out any emotional interest factors such as the patient having children or being a veteran.
Middle Section XII – You Are a Walking Billboard
49. Design and Print T-Shirts to Promote Your Cause – Turning yourself into a walking billboard is an easy and cost-effective method for raising awareness wherever you go. These shirts serve as a great conversation starter for any public event, and you can also get your entire fundraising team to wear them each time they go out in public. Another good option is to create custom hats, and this would be a great thing for someone to wear during or after a charity marathon. Make sure that you keep business cards on you as well that include the URL of your online fundraiser so that you can pass them out to anyone who expresses interest in contributing.
Ending Section – XIII. Send Thank You Emails to Your Online Donors
50. Send out Thank You Emails Immediately – You should send out a personalized thank you to each donor as soon as possible after receiving their contribution. It would be best to send these emails on a daily basis so that they do not pile upon you. There are many perks associated with taking this approach, including being able to build momentum and keep your current donors engaged. If you think about previous fundraisers that you have donated to, you were probably much more willing to raise awareness within your personal network of family and friends after you received a thank you. Your contributors will be the same way, so make sure that you do not forget about the importance of letting people know how much you appreciate their financial assistance.
51. Do Not Wait until the Fundraiser Ends to Send out Emails – It would be easy to put off your thank you emails until the end of the campaign, but this would be a huge mistake. Instead, you want to send out a thank you message right away to each donor because taking this can provide you with so many positive benefits. For example, every contributor who receives a thank you will feel appreciated, and this could lead to additional donations later on.
52. Announce the End of Your Fundraiser but Keep Your URL Live – DonationTo gives you the opportunity to keep your crowdfunding page up indefinitely, and we highly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity. Let everyone know that your fundraiser has come to an end but that they can still read all the comments and see all of the photos that were posted by visiting your URL. This is a great way to keep people updated after the campaign ends, and it is a fantastic reminder if you end up needing to raise money again. Having your URL stay live will also give people the opportunity to see just how successful your campaign was, and you can utilize this in the future to showcase your fundraising skills.
You have officially reached the end of our three-part blog and video series about utilizing our donation website to raise money online for medical bills! You should now be in a great position to launch and host a successful campaign, and you will also have access to a wide variety of useful tools to assist you such as our one click email feature. Additionally, you can peruse our previous blog posts to help you gain additional insight into the world of fundraising. Be sure to follow our blog to stay up to date on the latest insightful tips and tricks!