fundraising for medical costs

Financial needs are one of the biggest sources of stress for caregivers. Professional caregiving services are often underfunded and personal, familial caregivers often find themselves reaching into their own pockets.

Money is a necessary evil to ensure the best care for your charge or loved one. Thankfully, in our increasingly interconnected, technological age, there are a multitude of fundraising opportunities available to help lift your financial strain.

Looking to raise funds for the care of a patient or loved one? Try one of the following:

Organize an Event

The first day of Thin Mint season is a wonderful day, but most people are too easily burnt out with product-based fundraisers. Just how many candles, lollipops, magnets, frozen pizzas and other useless items do people want or need?

Skip the oversaturated, cheap-goods market and offer something that will get people excited, like a local event.

Community events pull double duty, meeting your fundraising needs while also serving and strengthening your community. Host a movie-on-the-lawn, a concert, a barbeque or whatever strikes the interest of your neighborhood. Ask local businesses to donate food or goods (which in turn provides cheap advertising for their brand) and charge for admission.

Use Kid Power

Kids are enthusiastic and – due to their pint-size adorableness – it’s hard to say no to them. It may sound cynical, but adults are more likely to shell out money in support of their child than they are an acquaintance or stranger.

Use this to your advantage. Host a kids’ talent show or mini-carnival and fundraise via cost of admission. Parents, siblings, grandparents and extended family members will show up to support junior and – by extension – your cause.

Try Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

In peer-to-peer fundraising, you’re not limited to the size of your personal network, nor are you forced to go door-to-door to seek donations. Instead, you tap into your network and core base of supporters. You empower them to turn around and fundraise among their peers. Your supporters’ supporters can then tap into their networks and, before you know it, your support base has multiplied itself.

Never heard of peer-to-peer before today? Don’t worry, there are many fundraising resources available to help you get started. One of my favorites is FirstGiving.

Stick to Simple and Social Fundraising

Let’s face it: people can be quite lazy. That’s why it’s in your best interest to make it as easy as possible to a) learn about your need and b) donate.

Trusted crowdfunding sites and textable donations are two of the easiest, most user-friendly options available. Donors do not have to purchase useless junk, travel to a specific location, or complete a pointless task in order to get their money to you.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to harness the communicative powers of social media. Spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram. It’s highly effective as well as free.

Take Advantage of the Holidays

The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas marks one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year. More people shop during this time of year, so it’s the best time to get out there and work those crowds.

Gift wrapping services are always needed and pair well with the season. While you can raise money by charging for the wrapping service, make sure you also provide means for people to make larger donations. The end of the tax year also means many individuals are looking to rack up a few more deductions, so make it easy on them.


Caring for a loved one can be difficult, but raising funds for their care doesn’t have to be. Keep your process simple and accessible and you’ll do just fine.

Written by Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews writes about medical technologies and news developments for publications like The Week, BioMed Central and Kareo's Go Practice Blog. To read more posts by Kayla, visit her on Twitter @KaylaEMatthews or check out her website:

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  1. I agree with Tami. As a caregiver I don’t have the the time for anything else and my day starts at 8:00 and sometimes I’m still working at 2:00 am. And I also agree having to beg for money is pathetic.

    • And yet you found the time to tell other caregivers that they’re pathetic.

      • Im pretty sure she was trying to say that “having” to or needing to beg for money, rather than it just being a given that everyone should have adequate funds to care for their loved ones, is rediculous.

  2. Really? Something more to do? How about getting on the phone to Congress and telling them to make more funding available for disabilities? That would be a bettet use of time. Begging for money is pathetic.

    • We’re not in the business of telling caregivers what to do, we help them with things they’re already doing. We’re a supportive community, so please don’t tell other caregivers that the way they support their family is “pathetic.” We try to treat people the way we would like to be treated.

    • I agree with what Cori has said below; supporting those in need of care should never be labeled as pathetic. I respect that you feel adamantly about the need for higher-level change though and do believe your suggestion of contacting Congress or even a local representative is a good idea.

      I think that being able to take action on a personal level though (in this case, by raising money) can also lead to positive changes in someone’s life.


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