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Why Medical Crowdfunding Isn’t What You Think It Is

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WHO (World Health Organization) has declared 2018 as the year for creating awareness about universal health coverage. The need for universal health coverage is especially acute in India with its heavy load of hospitalizations and low penetration of medical insurance.

The latest National Sample Survey Office’s report (2014) finds that 44 out of every 1,000 Indians end up getting hospitalized each year. India’s medical inflation rate is steep, yet majority Indians pay for their medical care from their own pocket.

In the recent past years, Indians have turned to crowdfunding sites in India like Impact Guru, Milaap and Ketto, to raise money for medical treatments. While these platforms have helped people get quality medical care, not everyone asking for funds is genuine. There have been a couple of instances where people create hoax fundraiser pages to get funds. This gives rise to innumerable myths about fundraising in India.

Myth #1 – It’s too risky

What if all of this is a con? After all, fake crowdfunding campaigns have happened in the past. Well, this is where a crowdfunding platform comes in. No platform worth its salt will host a campaign without fully verifying its legitimacy. Moreover, running crowdfunding sites in India is a lot of work, there’s plenty of awareness-building, networking, marketing, following up to do- that in itself takes away any possibility of running a con.

Myth #2- It’s only a one-time thing

Most crowdfunding campaigners feel that crowdfunding is a one-time affair, mainly because how much time and effort goes into making it, and because it seems a little pitiful to ask for monetary help from family and friends. But, crowdfunding a medical campaign isn’t so much about what people think as much as it’s about what the person needs and how we can help them. It works successfully as long as people are reminded of that.

Myth #3 – It’s extremely easy to raise funds

Don’t let the other successful campaigns fool you into believing that your campaign will work too. In reality, a campaign does not go viral or get online traction unless family and friends have funded it within the first week itself. Also, it takes some next level PR & marketing skills, a lot of hard work and patience to snowball into a giant of creativity and breaks the internet.

It takes about 30 to 90 days to simply prepare for a crowdfunding campaign- this includes creating a database, setting up a mailing list, creating a marketing and PR strategy and so on. It takes a lot to make people click that donate button on your medical fundraiser.

Myth #4 – Every campaign is a success

People who feel that every medical campaign is successful have a misconception about crowdfunding. Crowdfunding platforms are not magical cash machines. They’re simply a more efficient way for you to reach many potential backers than calling them on the phone or meeting them in person, one at a time. You still have to know some people you can pitch.

How to create successful campaigns

Every successful medical campaign almost always has a couple of potential donors who are sure to contribute to their fundraiser. That is how they get their ball rolling. If you have no built-in audience for your campaign, you are unlikely to raise the money to fund your medical campaign.

Moreover, social media and content marketing allows patients to put across useful information with the donors. This helps support preventative care initiatives and also makes it easier for donors to choose what kind of medical campaign they want to support.

 

Dorothy Latch

The author Dorothy Latch