The rising healthcare cost is forcing consumers to delay medical treatment until they can afford it or sink them into massive debt. But now, there is an alternative option for the patient without insurance to help cover their medical expenses, through fundraising or crowdfunding.
Several websites allow individuals and organizations to raise money for a project or a cause by soliciting small amounts from large groups of people. Learn more to find the top 5 options to help your patients with medical fundraising.
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What is Medical Fundraising?
Medical fundraising is an alternative method to garner financial support from donors to support medical programs, initiatives, and innovations.
Since medical treatments are costly and deplete insurance and savings, individuals and organizations help generate funds required for expensive treatments. Crowdfunding is the easiest way to get support from friends, family, and numerous other people ready to donate funds generously.
You can fundraise for yourself, a loved one, or for an organization through online fundraising platforms.
Best Practices for Hospital Fundraising
Soliciting contributions with success can be challenging. However, a healthcare organization can benefit tremendously through well-executed fundraising programs.
Below are the tried best practices that you can follow to ensure your fundraising campaign gets the support you need:
1. Choose the Right Fundraising Team
Members of the team must be committed and accomplish fundraising goals. The team members should build and develop relationships with major donors while meeting the organization’s goals. Developing grateful patient programs and similar fundraising initiatives can prosper in hospitals by cultivating and maintaining donor relationships.
Hiring the right team can help accomplish the fundraising goals.
2. Develop Cases for Support
The objective of the fundraising campaign or initiative must be clear and align with the facility as a whole. Having a clear goal will help the team understand the tasks required to achieve the fundraising goals.
Generally, the vision for every healthcare fundraising campaign is potentially saving, transforming, and healing lives. The crucial aspect of support in healthcare fundraising is connecting the immediate need for funds to the broader picture.
For instance, an immediate need may be a new building on the hospital’s campus. It is up to the team to explain how the new building is connected with the broader picture of saving lives. Doing so will combine the campaign’s message and drive the audience to contribute.
3. Collaborate with Foundations and Corporations
Foundations and corporations generally show interest in making contributions since it can spark publicity for the organization. Partnering can help maximize donations and support the fundraising cause.
Identify businesses whose values match your hospital’s priorities. The partnership may help double sizable funds for your healthcare fundraising program easily and quickly.
You can also look for challenge grants from businesses to broaden your fundraising strategies and rally your fundraising team to secure rewarding funds.
4. Perform Prospect Research
Prospect research is the process where the information about donors’ financial situations and past philanthropic participation is collected and organized to judge how prospective the given donor is to make a sizable contribution to your campaign.
Prospect research can help you predict donors’ future behavior, channelizing your fundraising and outreach campaigns in the right direction.
5. Send Regular Fundraising Updates
It is important to send regular updates to your supporters and donors to keep them in the loop with your healthcare fundraising initiatives. Featuring the updates in your donor stewardship program can strengthen existing donor relationships while cultivating new ones.
Fundraising updates can include developments, campaigns, and program progress and can be accomplished through social media, e-newsletters, brochures, and personalized mail for donors. Personalized experiences can help retain donors, especially the larger ones.
6. Host Fundraising Events
Fundraising events can be a great way to generate public awareness and directly interact with volunteers, donors, and prospects about your healthcare fundraising cause.
There are endless possibilities to choose from – community concerts and picnics to museum galas and auctions – for healthcare fundraising events. You can use the following tips to promote fundraising events:
- Brand the event with visuals and merchandise
- Promote digital donation methods
- Use fundraising event software for detailing
- Follow up with the donors and prospects after the event
Adopting best practices will ensure your event gathers sizable donations and new donors for your healthcare organization.
7. Acknowledge Donors’ Contributions
Showing gratitude is crucial for the success of future fundraising initiatives. Recognizing the contributions made by people can make them feel appreciated and will likely inspire them to donate again in the future.
Healthcare organizations can express their gratitude in many ways:
- Online donations can be acknowledged with immediate e-mail confirmation and a “Thank You” message.
- Small personalized gifts.
- A “letter” thanking the donor and detailing the impact of their gift.
- A phone call or handwritten note for larger donors.
- Exclusive events or public recognition on a donor recognition wall for higher donation tiers.
- Announcements in the local newspaper.
Implementing a donor recognition program can help retain existing donors and steward them up the pyramid.
8. Manage Your Donor Database
Sending duplicate donation requests can be annoying to a potential donor, and sending a letter to the deceased donor can be upsetting to their family. Maintaining an updated donor database allows the healthcare facility to have current information that can be utilized to build a relationship and avoid mistakes that can be embarrassing.
9. Measure Fundraising Program Performance
Analyzing the key performance indicators may help assess the progress of your fundraising campaign. The indicators will assist you in determining which strategies are effective and which need improvement.
You can use this data to continuously learn and shape your future campaigns. If you find outreach events did not yield the expected results in certain parts of the community, you can take a new approach. If the donors respond positively to any particular event, you may conduct the event annually.
Fundraising is an essential component for the success and longevity of an organization. Generous contributions from loyal donors through strong fundraising programs can help create world-class healthcare facilities with state-of-the-art equipment that is attractive to healthcare providers and patients.
5 Options to Help Your Patients
Many people may face a sudden financial hardship due to unexpected healthcare expenses and take a toll on their finances. As such, physicians can help people use their fundraising programs for any medical-related expenses.
Another fundraising initiative is the grateful patient program that allows healthcare facilities and organizations to find more gift prospects among their former and present patients.
Some of the popular fundraising platforms are:
GoFundMe is one of the most popular social fundraising platforms. The platform offers a little more personalization in fundraising campaigns. There are three models for fundraising: Personal campaigns, charity fundraising, and all-or-nothing campaigns.
Under the personal campaign model, users can set up a personal fundraising campaign for themselves and request donations. It is a good option for those seeking to fund medical expenses, tuition fees, travel, and memorials.
Under the charity model, users can choose one of the non-profit organizations listed on the site and promote it through social networks.
The site charges a processing fee of 2.9% and 30 cents for each transaction. Since it is not an all-or-nothing fundraising site, you can keep everything that you raise. Zero personal campaign funding fees for users based in the United States.
Fundly is one of the best in class crowdfunding platforms. It is easy to get started, and the fees charged are low. It is designed specifically for individuals and not-for-profits. Fundly provides a variety of customized fundraising pages.
You can tell your story through images and videos that highlight your mission. Sharing your cause through multiple social media integrations will allow you to raise funds quickly. Fundly is not an all-or-nothing service; therefore, there is no specific goal to receive the donated funds.
GiveForward allows a patient, friends, or family members to start a fundraising campaign after replying to a few questions regarding the recipient, the type of fundraising, and the reason for the campaign.
Users can raise money online to pay medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses resulting from an illness or injury, expenses associated with a terminal illness, funeral or memorial funds.
FundRazr is a free online, multi-purpose fundraising platform that makes fundraising easy, fast and effective. The platform works with Facebook to help people raise money for medical expenses, including medical bills, medical equipment, accident recovery, and illness treatment.
Since it is integrated with Facebook, users and supporters can post and share messages that reach many people through popular social media sites. FundRazr allows patients to raise money for health travel and disaster and tragedy relief.
StartACure is a crowdfunding platform where people can donate to cancer research projects. They claim 92% of the donation goes to the chosen project. They host different campaigns focused on several tumors, including prostate cancer.
Crowdfunding is a rapidly growing online fundraising method where large pools of people contribute small amounts to fund a campaign. With this in mind, you need to adopt a solid implementation plan to develop the best fundraising program for your organization.
It is no doubt that healthcare fundraising is a group effort, but with the right fundraising strategies, it can also be fun and rewarding for both your organization and donors.