The Little Girl Who Stole Hearts Across the Country
Harper Warsow is a happy little girl of six, who was born with a complicated heart condition known as congenially corrected transposition of the arteries. This meant that without proper treatment and care, Harper would experience heart failure and risk her life. She was diagnosed in-utero at just 20 weeks with the rare heart abnormality in which the ventricles in her heart were on opposite sides.
Harper underwent her first open heart surgery to have a special pacemaker unit installed at just four months of age and also suffers from spinal abnormalities. Her condition makes it mandatory for her to wear a brace at all times to protect her heart as well as her spine. The brace is also an instrument to support her with healing after spinal surgery.
She then had her second open heart surgery at the age of four. Due to her condition, Harper is unable to play as freely as her other siblings or friends given the fragility in her neck and the risk of damaging her pacemaker.
In 2014, Harper Warsow was scheduled to undergo a complicated and high risk spinal surgery for which friends and the community had rallied together to support the family by organising a fundraising event “Ha Ha Ha for Harper” to collect funds for her care and related medical costs, including the purchase of a much needed wheelchair.
Once again Harper was in the Royals Children’s awaiting lifesaving surgery to correct her heart and replace her pace maker. Doctors noted that the little girl’s heart rate had dropped drastically placing Harper in an emergency situation. The sudden turn of unfortunate events put her parents under immeasurable strain and severe financial pressure for their foreseeable future.
To quickly access funds for the procedure as well as help the Warsow family with their medical related and other expenses, a close friend of the family, Keona Willemen, started a fundraising campaign on the free medical fundraising website PeoplePledge.
The campaign looked to collecting $10,000 for Harper’s surgery as well as other costs that the family would need to face during their trying times ahead. Possible heart failure meant that the family would most likely endure further medical expenses along the journey ahead. Funds were geared to help the family with medical related concerns like hospital expenses, hotels, and parking and also with everyday living such as bills and mortgage.
The fundraiser turned out to be a huge success for the Warsow family with the pledged amount collected quickly by 95 extremely generous pledgers donating to the cause, making it possible for the surgery to proceed as planned. Within 30 days, the family exceeded their goal.
How to Pitch a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
With medical expenses spiraling out of control such as in Harper Warsow’s case, many individuals have turned to different ways to crowdfund for their cause. As a result, crowdfunding has now become a popular option to deal with these excessive expenses and use it as an option to meet medical related bills and costs. It is a way not only to help people who need funds to treat their condition but equally purposeful for others who want to give their money to a meaningful cause.
To make sure that a fundraising campaign goes smoothly, here are a few ideas to raise the needed funds without a hitch:
1. Create a team
Way before a fundraising campaign can be launched it is important to plan it ahead. Often this means collaborating with friends and family to brainstorm the best possible options available. In order to reach a greater audience, individuals seeking to raise funds for a cause will need the help of those who are close to them and can expand the circle of potential backers.
The truth is that no single person can effectively run a fundraiser by themselves so it is advisable to get together a small team of individuals to help them through the process. This means getting together a group of people who are committed to the cause and know what the targets are.
The team can then work together to figure out all the associated costs for the medical procedure needed, any medications that may be part of the treatment or other costs such as care or assistive devices that may be required after the procedure. Getting a good estimate of these variable costs can help present a realistic figure to potential donors and give them a clearer idea of what they are contributing toward.
2. Give a timeframe
When planning the fundraiser, it is important to set a date by which the fundraiser hopes to accomplish its goals. This is important for a couple of reasons: firstly, potential donors and interested parties will want to be aware of details like scheduled dates of medical procedures, so that they know how much time there is to collect the funds. This feature may actually help them determine the amount they are willing to donate.
Secondly, having a deadline in mind also lends a sense of urgency to the cause, making it possible to collect funds faster. Making donors aware of the date of a procedure will give them a firm deadline to making their donation.
Finally, trying to meet a fixed deadline also gives fundraisers the time to plan their next moves. They can plan their post procedure strategies accordingly and then keep their donors well informed about how things are progressing after the proposed deadline.
3. Explain the purpose of the medical fundraiser
Since the fundraiser will be using others’ money to fund their treatment, procedure or other medical related issues, it always makes sense to explain the cause thoroughly. Specific issues like what the funds will be used for, the nature of the illness, the treatment process and its associated complications as well as the deadline all need to be discussed and explained to potential donors.
By clarifying these various specifics and goals, donors might become more inclined to get involved in the fundraiser. As a rule of the thumb, the greater the transparency, the more likely successful the fundraiser.
Often when a rarity or rare condition is the cause for the fundraiser, as was the case in Harper’s campaign, the response is likely to be more overwhelming.
People may feel emotionally more predisposed to contribute to such a cause since the risks involved are greater and it becomes really important to help the person overcome their medical obstacles. Similar to Harper’s story, her medical fundraiser had a clear goal and clear purpose. With a life hanging in the balance, and a possible heart failure, it drew supporters across the country to help this brave little girl.