Is your family considering medical crowdfunding to help combat the financial strain of a long-term illness in your family? CoPatient recently discussed what crowdfunding is and how it might be able to help your family.
Let’s also look at several things you’ll need to consider in order to execute a successful medical crowdfunding campaign:
The number one rule of medical crowdfunding is not to mix business and pleasure. If the funding platform uses PayPal, you could receive a 1099 at the end of the year showing how much your campaign earned and, as this NBC News story illustrates, the IRS expects your earnings to match up.
While true donative gifts are not subject to taxation, be aware that crowdfunding where you receive a large chunk of unreported money, could still trigger the IRS to investigate your finances.
Keep careful records and, instead of just thinking of the proceeds as free money or gifts, run your donations like a business where you record transactions using a methodical accounting system (or spreadsheet.)
Crowdfunding platforms often report their most successful campaigns while leaving out those who fell short of acquiring the money they needed to fund medical needs. Medical crowdfunding isn’t a magical solution; it takes time, dedication & effort to receive donations from skeptical strangers.
Make sure you are very clear with readers about what the money is being used for. Tell the story honestly with the facts included about how your family is struggling to meet your financial obligations.
Be sure to review the medical crowdfunding account regularly. Say thank you to donors and acknowledge their participation. Regularly update your profiles with the status of the recipient’s medical condition. The more you share, the more real you’ll become to readers.
You may also consider developing a method to communicate with donors, such as collecting their email addresses or creating a Facebook group. This will encourage a community bond, as well.
The more people you’re able to reach, the more successful your medical crowdfunding campaign will be. Do you have connections with local media you can take advantage of? Can you reach out to news journalists for coverage? Are there any blogs that would be willing to write about your family?
Every person who shares your story will bring you one step closer to meeting your financial goal. Even on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or other social media, always ask viewers to share your status.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Plus it gets a lot more shares and likes than just your narrative stories will. Share your family’s journey, including before and after, using powerful photos as illustrations.
Create other fundraisers around the illness
Don’t feel obligated to only create a medical crowdfunding campaign. You can also create fundraisers around the illness you are trying to fight back against.
Reach out to everyone your sick family member had contact with, including the school, church or social clubs. See if their workplace will also support you with a charity event. You’d be surprised how willing others can be to help.
The key to receiving donations is also choosing the right site to launch your campaign. Make sure the website is well reviewed, has not been the target of any bad publicity or scams, and makes payment options easy.
For example, older donors will not want to give credit card information. See if you can opt for a mail-in option with a check service, etc. Third party payment services, like PayPal may also feel more safe to donors than paying directly to the website.