Getting Financial Support After A Loss
Editor’s note: This article was originally written in 2018 for Jesse Was Here. It may have been edited for length and clarity.
Dealing with the emotional toll of a loved one living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) or even losing a loved one to it is hard enough. Adding the financial troubles that sometimes go hand and hand can be overwhelming and almost unbearable. If you are going through this, you should consider using a fundraising page to cover medical or funeral bills.
Even in just the last decade, online fundraising or crowdfunding has become an incredibly popular way of raising money. Typically, crowdfunding is an individual asking other individuals for small donations.
When using crowdfunding for medical or funeral bills, it is important to tell your story in a cohesive and compelling way. But in order to actually raise any money, the first step is setting up a fundraising page. This is an excellent place to enlist a friend or family member’s help if available.
Since the world of crowdfunding can be difficult to navigate, we’ve created a list of tips that might help you get started.
1. Create your fundraising narrative
Why are you setting up this fundraiser and what will the funds be used for? Answer these questions, not only for yourself, but so you have a better grasp on how you are going to set up and market your page.
While you are dealing with a lot, remember that setting up this fundraiser will only help to alleviate some of the burden that you’re carrying. Telling your story and the story of your loved one in an honest and loving way can be difficult. However, it will be helpful for explaining to other people why they should be donating to your cause.
The story can include your loved one’s diagnosis story, their accomplishments and hobbies and even your favorite memories with them. It doesn’t have to be a sad story but rather a celebration of their lives if you so choose to.
Having visuals like family photos or recording an intro video to support your story can also be helpful to show people who their donation is impacting.
2. Choose a crowdfunding website
There are so many different sites for crowdfunding that you might be worried that you are going to make the ‘wrong’ choice. You are looking for donation-based funding, not investment crowdfunding, so keep that in mind.
The largest and most reputable crowdfunding platform that allows you to raise money for personal finance reasons is GoFundMe. The website is intuitive and pretty easy to use. You can even use your Facebook account to create your campaign, which makes it easier to get your cause out there to family and friends.
If you are going to use a different site, make sure that it works for your needs—not many of the crowdfunding websites out there will have what you are looking for. Always check to see if the platform keeps a percentage or charges a fee to use.
3. Set a goal amount
Before you publish your page, come up with a goal for how much money you want to raise. In order to do that, you might need to create a budget for the different things that you are raising money for.
This is helpful for coming up with a fundraising goal and will be helpful for you to publish on your fundraising page. Posting a budget will assure the people who are considering donating to you what their money will go towards. If you’re comfortable, you can share the amount of expenses in your story to give people an idea of how much the financial burden is.
4. Create the campaign page
After picking your site, setting your budget and coming up with how you want to construct your page, the next step is to create your fundraiser. Make the title of your page short and to the point but descriptive.
While it might be painful, telling your story and the story of your loved one will help other people understand why donating to your cause is so important, so keep that in mind when writing the description.
5. Share with your network
Depending on your network, you may need to share your fundraiser in different ways. Some prefer to email their message to friends and family and include a link to the fundraising page. If sharing on your social medias, especially Facebook, you can ask others to donate and/or to reshare and foward your fundraiser onto their pages.
While asking for money might feel uncomfortable, think about how you would feel if you saw one of your friends posting something similar. Most likely you would feel empathy and want to support them through their hard times. Some people may struggle with not knowing how to help you during this difficult time so donating is a tangible action they can take.
While setting up a fundraising page can be emotionally taxing when you are going through hard times, it has the potential to relieve some of the pressure. You can always ask a friend or family member who has done this before to help you create the page and share it. Know you’re not alone!