Medical Fundraising Tips: Financial support right when you need it

From trips to A&E to long-term care, medical expenses can empty out savings accounts and leave behind debts that last for years. Medical crowdfunding is a powerful tool that can help people conquer medical bankruptcy and focus on getting better. Countless people have found that using GoFundMe for medical expenses can help pay for prescriptions and doctors’ appointments – as well as procedures which are not typically covered by insurance like IVF treatment or gender reassignment surgery.

See below for some of our best medical fundraising tips to help you raise more money.

Start a medical fundraiser

Tips for fundraising for medical expenses

Make your title count

The title of your fundraiser is one of the first things people will read, so it’s important to make sure that it grabs their attention. GoFundMe titles for medical appeals need to be specific. For example, “Help Martha Fight Cancer” is much more direct than “Martha’s fundraiser”. For more examples and tips, read our blog post Six Smart Ways to Write a Powerful Fundraiser Title.

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 problems that you’re facing. 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 that you feel comfortable telling others about. If you need more help writing your story, read our blog post Writing Your Fundraiser Story: A Comprehensive Guide.

Add photos and videos

Photos and videos can draw others into your story and help them connect with you. As well as adding a visual element to your fundraiser, they also make it more genuine. Most people will feel more comfortable donating to a cause when they can see photos of the person who 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 doing so, include 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 to hit your fundraising target. We understand that asking for help can be difficult, but people usually respond well to vulnerability. Here are some tips to help you promote your fundraiser online:

  • Learn the best way to ask for donations before contacting anyone.
  • Start with a few close friends or relatives so that you can get more comfortable about asking for support.
  • Create a fundraiser hashtag to make it easier for people to drum up support for your cause.
  • Use these fundraising email templates if you need to get past writer’s block.

Get in touch offline

If you’ve exhausted your social media contacts, why not take your efforts offline? Fundraising without social media can open up new opportunities and help you to 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 your local area. Fundraising events are another opportunity to ask for donations and gain support locally.

Post updates to keep your supporters involved

Once people donate, they’ll be eager to know how your appeal is going and how the funds are being used. The best way to keep people in the loop is by writing regular fundraiser updates.

  • Updates with a positive spin are great but make sure that you let your supporters know if you need additional help.
  • If you’re running a fundraiser for someone else, it can be really helpful to ask them for quotes or short progress reports which you can then post as updates.
  • Don’t forget to post a final update once you’ve decided to close your fundraiser.

Don’t forget to tell people about other needs too

Using GoFundMe for medical bills can be a powerful way to raise money. But you may need other types of help too. Do your pets need to be cared for while you’re in hospital? Would a hot meal be a real help after a day of doctor’s appointments or while you’re in hospital?

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

Send thank-you messages to supporters

Make sure that you let your donors know how much you appreciate their support by sending thank-you messages. If you’re not 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 about how to show people how grateful you are, see our blog post 20 Affordable Ways to Say Thank You to Donors.

Medical fundraising helped these people

Save Yoel and Yael

Zohar and Gabi were over the moon when they welcomed their twins Yoel and Yael into the world. But about two and a half months after their birth, they found out that both of their children had a rare genetic disorder that causes brain degeneration. Realising they were in a fight against time, the couple turned to GoFundMe to raise money for expensive gene replacement therapy. They raised over $251,000 in just two months.

Battle for Bryce Turner

When 15-year-old Bryce went to the doctor with a strange rash, he never imagined that he would be diagnosed with leukaemia. Since the leukaemia was aggressive, Bryce ended up being hospitalised for five months to undergo tests and treatment. His friends and family rallied round him and raised over $50,000 in just 20 days to help cover the expensive medical costs.   


Every Picture Tells A Story: Artist Mark Melnick

As a professional artist and muralist, Mark had spent his entire life honing his craft. But that all 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 that you can dedicate your time to getting the care you need. GoFundMe offers fundraising so that you get to keep more of each donation and our Customer Support agents are available to help you round the clock, every day of the week.

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