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You never know when tragedy will strike and someone close to you will need some help paying medical bills. The good news is that there are ways you can assist and opportunities to step in and make a difference in the lives of the people you love the most.

Healthcare costs can add up quickly. You may be wondering how to fundraise for a family or friend in need, especially when it comes to raising funds for medical costs. Learn the best way to proceed and how to help those in need.

Choose Your Platform

Medical crowdfunding is a powerful tool in helping people in need overcome medical bankruptcy and concentrate on getting better. Your first step is to choose which platform you’ll use to get the word out so you can begin raising the funds the family or friend needs.

Verve offers benefit accounts, which are savings accounts used for a short period of time and designated for the purpose of accepting donations for a charitable cause, memorial or benefit. There is no monthly fee or fees per donation accepted and the only requirements are a minimum deposit of $5 to open the account and that the individual who opens the account is a Verve member. If you are interested in opening a benefit account with Verve, please reach out at [email protected] or 800.448.9228.

There are variety of other options, such as GoFundMe, YouCaring, MightyCause, MedGift, or Facebook. Be sure to do your homework and find an option that fits your needs, as minimum raise amounts and fees vary by platform. Choose which one you feel most comfortable with and get ready to set up your page.

Create Your Content

When you’re fundraising for someone with medical needs, it’s important to share their story (with your loved ones approval, of course) and the reasons you want to help them. People want the emotional connection and to know why this cause is so important to you and your loved one. Some questions you may want to address include:

  • What happened and the reason for the fundraiser?
  • How has this affected your life or your family member or friend’s life?
  • What is the treatment plan?
  • How will these funds help your loved one (be as specific as possible)?

When setting up your content, make your title count and add videos and photos if you feel comfortable doing so.

Spread the Word

Once you add your content, your next step is to spread the word that you’re raising medical funds for a family member or friend in need. Share it with your social networks and don’t forget about email and text to let people know what you’re doing to help.

There are fundraising email templates available you can use to draft and send out your message, or simply bring it up when in conversation with people who you want to make aware of it. Technology and social media make it easy to reach your network efficiently but also don’t be afraid to speak about it in person. Be mindful about how often you’re sharing the fundraiser and respect people’s choice not to donate.

Post and Share Updates

People who are interested in your fundraiser will want to know how it’s going. Get in the habit of posting and sharing updates about the family or friend and how much money you’ve raised so far. In addition, regular updates regarding the health of the family or your friend in need are one of the best ways to keep your supporters engaged and involved in the cause.

Include Any Other Needs

Don’t forget to share other needs the family or your friend may require. While using an online fundraising platform for medical bills is a useful tool for raising money, the person or family may have other needs to be met.

For example, you can include other ways to help in your message such as caring for a pet that’s at home or providing hot meals to enjoy after a long day at the hospital. It’s a great way to involve people in the cause who may not be able to give financially.

Keep Good Records

Be sure to keep good records of the donations, either through the account’s transaction history or a separate document you maintain. Documentation is important for the organizer as proof the funds were not misappropriated. As a reminder, if the funds are given as a gift for something like medical expenses, the recipient does not need to pay taxes on the funds. There are times when recipients of fundraisers do need to pay taxes, so be sure to do your research before starting a fundraiser.

Remember To Say Thank You

Most importantly, always remember to thank your donors and anyone who gives any assistance or support. Sending out thank you messages and telling people in person when you see them is an excellent way to show how much you appreciate their kind gestures.

If you know someone who is struggling financially, it can be tough to know how to help. If you’re interested in learning more money etiquette tips and advice when it comes to giving, following these dos and don’ts can help you help others.