Crowdfunding websites have become a popular option for cash-strapped families who are in need of immediate financial support to limit the progression of cancer in themselves or a loved one. In fact, the combined volume of cancer patients using crowdfunding to afford private treatment in England, Europe and Wales has reached record numbers.
With cancer treatments ranging in cost from $4,000 in the first year and up to $115,000+ annually for extreme cases, families and friends of the patient often go into debt to afford the required treatments.
While Federal and state programs are in place to provide cancer financial assistance to struggling families, it isn’t uncommon for some people to be turned away or to have only a fraction of their medical expenses covered. While there are other ways to finance cancer treatments, like Viatical Settlements (where you sell your life insurance policy for cash) and various grants and non-profit programs. (Check out The Internets Biggest List of Cancer Financial Resources Here,) Crowdfunding is probably the quickest growing option.
Through crowdfunding, the family of the patient can relieve some of the financial strain of cancer by asking for the generous and compassionate support of the community.
How Crowdfunding For Cancer Treatment Works
Crowdfunding combines the human element of compassion with the internet to amass donations from people who are all willing to invest in the advancement of a specific cause. When you commit to crowdfunding cancer treatment for yourself or a loved one, you must actively take steps to understand how crowdfunding works and what factors contribute primarily to a successful crowdfunding campaign. Creating an effective crowdfunding campaign is not quite simple, nor is it complex. Still, by following these tested guidelines, you can develop a crowdfunding campaign that gains traction and gives you a chance to recoup some of the devastating losses caused by a cancer diagnosis.
Before launching your crowdfunding campaign, you will need to compile the appropriate tools and resources to make the process as smooth as possible. Determine the total amount of financial contribution you will need from patrons, as crowdfunding sites generally expect users to state a specific goal for donations. The next step is to reach out to the people who you think will be able to make a real difference in your upcoming campaign. In order to build momentum, you will need to build a foundation of supporters who will share your message and hopefully drive attention to your campaign.
A particular rule of thumb is to identify patrons who are willing to contribute the first 30% of your goal amount.
Seeing such a bold sign of generosity will encourage potential patrons to contribute their own donations, gradually moving your campaign forward as it gains support from different avenues.
Choose The Right Platform
When you have a basic support network assembled, you will need to build and launch your campaign. Crowdfunding can be performed through a number of different websites and services, but which platform(s) you decide to use is critical in determining the outcome of your campaign.
- GoFundMe – As the largest and most well-known platform for crowdfunding medical treatments and other personal causes, GoFundMe is a strong starting point for collecting donations to treat cancer. GoFundMe charges a 5% fee for every donation received, but there is no cost if the use doesn’t receive any donations.
- GiveForward – GiveForward is another popular option for crowdsourcing the payments for a loved one’s medical bills. GiveForward does charge a 5% fee to campaign creators and additional fees per transaction.
- YouCaring – YouCaring takes a rather generous approach to helping charitable causes crowdfund the resources they need to make progress. Rather than charging fees directly, YouCaring runs entirely on donations, never charging users directly to use their platform.
Choosing the most popular platform may seem like a certain way to boost the odds of success in your campaign, but as more popular sites have more competition, utilizing a less common crowdfunding service has perks as well.
- FreeFunder – Though this small crowdfunding service relies solely on donations to stay afloat, they also offer a unique program in which they make donations to campaign creators who use the site, based on meeting certain criteria.
- FundRazr – With nearly $100 million raised for causes so far, FundRazr is another up and coming crowdfunding platform. Success on this platform ties closely into the simplicity of using FundRazr in tandem with Facebook, as this platform was designed specifically for fundraising on Facebook.
What About Taxes?
Another question asked by many people who hope to pay medical bills through fundraising, is whether funds raised through crowdsourcing are a part of a U.S. citizens taxable income. Tax law is currently rather unclear in regards to crowdfunding, but the consensus is that crowdfunding ventures that promote “live event fundraising” are non-taxable because under § 102(a), gross income does not include the value of property acquired by gift. (We are not accountants or tax attorneys and we encourage you to do your own research)
Optimize Your Story For Shareability
With crowdfunding now being done almost entirely online, it is vitally important that you provide direct, detailed information that will compel others to connect with your cause and support it. Cancer treatment is an emotionally devastating process that people are often already familiar with. There are several key actions you can take to structure a crowdfunding campaign that is centered around this principle, effectively connecting your message with the experiences and humanity of people in the communities that you reach out to.
- Be Honest – Through context and tone, many people can recognize when a statement is genuine. By presenting your experiences and needs without withholding the truth, you will earn the trust of people who engage with your campaign, increasing the likelihood of a donation.
- Show Real Emotion – It may seem like an uncomfortable thought, but drawing from the emotional aspect of your circumstances is a powerful way to generate support from patrons throughout your community. People love to come together and uplift each other in times of crisis, so expressing that you are truly in need of help is incredibly important when developing content to include in your campaign.
- Be Understanding & Realistic – Cancer treatment is always devastating to the friends and family of the patient, but people who are less involved in the life of the afflicted are not always going to be concerned with helping. Before sharing your campaign with potential backers, tailor your message for amiability, expressing your understanding that most people have problems that they may need to prioritize, but any support they can offer your cause would be quite appreciated.
- Show Gratitude – The nature of crowdfunding is to allow people who would otherwise be overwhelmed, the opportunity to fight a disease, create an innovative product, or otherwise change the world. Needless to say, the option to draw on the resources of tens, hundreds—even thousands of people is something to be grateful for. By expressing gratitude throughout your campaign, you improve the odds of invoking generosity from potential patrons who recognize the authenticity of your appreciation.
How To Promote Your Crowdfunding Campaign
There is another hurdle standing in the way of achieving a successful cancer treatment crowdfunding campaign. One that has little to do with the human aspects of building relationships and asking for support, rather it is in putting forth consistent effort toward promoting the campaign through as many channels as possible. Most people who will be using these crowdfunding resources won’t have any idea how to perform basic marketing and promotion activities, so becoming knowledgeable of effective tactics is key to lessening the financial burden being placed upon you and your loved ones by expensive cancer treatments.
- Engage With Existing Communities – People will generally express concern that their peers will be unaccepting of them asking for financial assistance, limiting the options they have available for affording medical care. Over your lifetime, you have likely developed relationships with a number of communities that care for your interests and may consider donating to your campaign. Explore opportunities to garner support from distant family members, local community groups, churches, former schools, and other communities that you may be a member of. Of course, this level of outreach is almost certain to cause discomfort, but people who have the resources available are often more than happy to help someone in need. So when you actively seek support from these communities, the possibility does exist that you will may see the results they need .
- Use Social Media To Form Community – The social webs that we create have become more dense than ever, thanks to the constant digital connection we have with each other. The connections that you and your loved ones have made through social media could lead to life-changing donations. Over social media, people frequently share things of little consequence that get little, if any response. But, when social media is combined with crowdsourcing, you open an entirely new way to connect with people who are in support of helping you or your loved one afford treatment.
Can You Commit To Crowdfunding Your Loved One’s Cancer Treatment?
Drawing attention to your crowdfunding campaign may take time, but as you continually promote your cause, a well planned campaign will create a community of individuals, all coming together to help you or your loved one get their health back. This process is time-consuming and stressful, so in the instance that you do not have the time or resources to develop and promote your own cancer treatment crowdfunding campaign, you do have the option of outsourcing the work to a professional. Writers, promoters, and other specialists are available locally and offer public relations and marketing packages that are suitable for people who are not equipped to handle the pressure of a crowdfunding campaign alone. You can find a professional who suits your need by performing an online search for digital marketing & public relations professionals in your area.
Cancer is an expensive diagnosis to contend with, so projecting your call for help into every available sphere of assistance is a highly beneficial choice.
Regardless of your experience with using the internet and social media, you have the option to tap into crowdsourcing platforms to fund your loved one’s cancer treatment.
Don’t let cancer bully your bank account without putting up a fight, share this article with a group of your closest supporters when you convene for the purpose of strategizing the most appropriate ways to leverage crowdfunding in solving your dire need for financial assistance.