Ovarian cancer accounts for about 3% of cancers among women, but it causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. Cancer is a costly illness. It can take a toll on your health, your emotions, your time, your relationships – and your wallet. There will be unforeseen and unexpected charges, and even the best health insurance won’t cover all your costs. In some cases, the cost is so high a person decides to stop cancer treatment, or not get it at all.
Many people in Australia turn to fundraising for medical expenses and a great amount of money are gathered and lives are being saved via successful fundraising crowdfunding campaigns. However, not all crowdfunding campaigns are successful and reach the pledged goal. These campaigns are only as successful as the buzz (i.e. marketing) created and maintained around them.
The internet is claiming its place as the greatest sharing and connecting platform, and with the rise of more and more fundraising platforms which are free of charge, the internet is one of the most common place for medical fundraising. The options which the cyber space is offering are limitless, so here are some tips that can help you boost your outreach on the internet when sharing your ovarian cancer story.
1) Choose your platform wisely
There are many platforms available on which you can share your story and create a fundraiser. More and more people are turning to crowdfunding sites such as PeoplePledge in order to fundraise for free online. Ask friends, and friends of friends, to consider making a donation. You should review these in detail and chose the one that match your needs the best.
2) Use high quality photos
The personal element can be very compelling, since people feel more comfortable donating to a real person that they can relate to, rather than to anonymous cause. Using pictures and videos can help you when sharing your story online, and make your fundraiser personal.
The pictures that you use to share your story need to be high quality and relevant to your campaign. This can easily be achieved with any smartphone, so it is not necessary to invest in expensive photography equipment.
3) Film your story
Photos are an inevitable part of every crowdfunding story, still, videos can provide you with even more energy and individualism. You do not need special equipment for creating a video, you can simply shoot one with a smartphone and use Youtube, Vimeo or other video channel to upload it, and then use the link for sharing. Eventually, the purpose of photos and videos is to let people get a visual representation of your story and by this help you get more in donations.
4) Facebook Events: A Sharing Essence
Facebook plays a great role in sharing stories online. There are various ways in which you can engage people via Facebook, and one of them is by creating a Facebook event. Even though Facebook events are usually used for promotion of offline events, you can use it to gather people to your cause and create a purely online event that won’t cost you anything. When creating such event indicate the start and end date, usually the date of the end of the fundraiser, and the Facebook event will be active until then. You should also note that the event is online only, provide description of the cause and goals and start inviting friends.
Here you can post status updates, photos and videos and Facebook can help you keep your followers informed.
5) Send Emails and Email Updates
Email has been proven to be one of the most beneficial resources for acquiring new donations. Therefore, you will need to make a schedule of e-mail updates, draft the content and start sending out mass emails at the same time in order to help your medical crowdfunding campaign achieve the best results. You can also choose from one of the free e-mail and newsletter clients such as MailChimp to help you make visually more compelling emails.
6) Create a Blog page
Creating a blog page for your story is a way for you to have a personal space online, nearly same as having your own webpage, just for free. You can choose from tons of free templates and start writing about your story. There are many benefits to using a blog format, including it gives you space to provide additional relevant details that will draw a deeper level of engagement from your donors. Here you can post articles about ovarian cancer in general, share similar stories to yours, and you can also communicate with other women facing the same situation you do. Additionally, blog posts will provide further validity for your cause.
7) Share your supporters
It can be very beneficial to include on your blog page or fundraising profile information that shows who is involved in your campaign and who has donated so far. This can make people familiar to those who have already supported you feel more confident about your efforts. Also do not forget that everyone who is helping is also giving up a significant portion of their personal time, so it is a good idea to mention them so they feel recognized for their efforts. By having others already participating will make it more willing for others to join. Once you have significant amount of supporters and donors you can ask them to also share your cause, and let people know that they have helped. This can motivate even more people to help.
8) Update, How far ahead or behind are you
Letting people know whether you are ahead or behind in your schedule can help you reach your goal more efficiently. If you are ahead of your goal you will make them feel encouraged to help you continue building your forward momentum. Alternatively, if you are behind your goal, people who believe in your campaign will feel the desire to help you make up lost time. It is truly beneficial to be open and honest when communicating with supporters and donors, even if things are not going well. By sharing as much details as possible will make readers more engaged into your story and create an urge to feel your story as theirs and by that do more to help in your campaign.
9) Be online
You can provide Gtalk, Skype, or other chat client details on your blog or fundraiser page so people can reach you when you are online. Also try to reply timely to peoples’ messages and comment left on your Facebook page, event or other platform that you are using. This shows that their engagement is important to you and that you care for them, and that you appreciate their efforts.
10) Send Thank You Emails to Your Online Donors
If possible, after someone makes a donation you should send a short, thank you note to them to show that you appreciate their donation, and make them feel that they have played important role in your battle with cancer. The timing of your thank you messages is also important. Some people wait until the end of their campaign and send out all of their emails at once, but this is actually not the best course of action to follow. It may be better to send e-mails once a week in order the ones who donated first do not need to wait several months for their thank you message.
1) 7 Crowdfunding Tips Proven To Raise Funding: http://www.forbes.com/sites/chancebarnett/2014/07/03/7-crowdfunding-tips-proven-to-raise-funding/
2) Learn About Cancer, Ovarian Cancer: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovariancancer/
3) ‘Crowdfunding’ sites pay medical bills, raise hopes: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/11/crowdfunding-medical-expenses-fundraising/1786039/
4) Medical Fundraising 104 Epic Tips: http://www.donationto.com/blog/medical-fundraising-104-epic-tips/