Using Text to Donate to Raise Funds for Medical ExpensesBy Eric Bryant,
When you think of raising money for personal medical expenses, you typically think of sites like GoFundMe or IndieGoGo. These sites are often used by individuals who have had a serious medical emergency and need funds right away. But what about text to give -- can it work for medical expenses fundraising?
Gaining Trust and Falling Short
The biggest challenges in raising funds on internet sites are legitimacy and credibility. When you're just an individual raising money for a familial or personal illness, no one really knows who you are. It's not like you're being endorsed by a nonprofit or media publication that gives third-party validation. How do you convince prospective donors you're trustworthy?
In fact, the chances you will raise much money on crowdfunding sites are slim to none. The sites don't do any of the promoting and brand-building for you. You, the individual, must convince and persuade total strangers that your plight is worthy of giving, and this can be a huge obstacle to overcome.
Nerdwallet reported that slightly more than one in 10 health-related online campaigns reached their goal. A study by Bothell found that 90 percent of the 200 GoFundMe campaigns it analyzed didn't reach their goal, and that, on average, fundraisers only got 40 percent of what they asked for.
"For a lucky few, these sites are a lifeline. For most people, they are worthless," wrote Gabriela Del Valle in "The Outline". "Crowdfunding doesn't help everyone," Del Valle wrote. "In fact, it doesn't help most people."
According to Daryl Hatton, CEO of Fundrazr, most campaigns are funded by family and friends. This makes sense. However, most people do not have enough "rich uncles" to cover hefty medical expenses. Pinning your hopes on the charity of strangers is not typically a good gamble.
A study published by the "Journal of Social Science & Medicine" found that upwards of 90 percent of GoFundMe campaigns never meet their fundraising goals. Another report found that more than a third of all Razoo campaigns received $0 in donations. Proving that you are deserving of the money is difficult.
Are You A Marketer?
Gonzalez argues that an individual has to have a knack for marketing in order to do well on these sites. This can be especially difficult for someone in crisis; who has time to put together a marketing plan when you're battling a serious illness?
With crowdfunding sites like YouCaring, the site admins themselves don't do anything to promote your nonprofit or charity.
Fraud Hurts The Legitimate Campaigns
Another challenge with crowdfunding sites is fraud. In fact, there are media sleuths out there whose primary focus is hunting down crowdfunding fraud. Sites like GoFraudMe.com, started by freelance reporter Adrienne Gonzalez, is a blog dedicated to finding and exposing GoFundMe scams. Gonzalez has written more than 400 posts about alleged fraud campaigns on GoFundMe.
Does Text to Donate Work Better Than Crowdfunding Sites?
We Market for You
Unlike crowdfunding sites, at GMG, we do help you with marketing. We promote you beyond just setting up a short code and keyword for you.
For example, our Pro Plan customers have always received promotions of their charities on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. and now we've started trying out the "Raise Funds for This Nonprofit" option to raise money directly for our customers through our Facebook company page.
Additionally, with our service you can send text blasts to those who have expressed interest. You can also collect recurring donations, which you cannot generally do on crowdfunding sites.
Speed and Versatility
A second advantage our platform has over crowdfunding sites is extensibility. Our service extends your fundraising power to live events and in fact works very well in this context. On the other hand, you cannot easily raise funds on GoFundMe or Fundrazr at a live event. Text to donate, with its simple call to action, easy-to-remember short code and mobile accessibility, expands the venues in which you can raise funds.
Texting is also fast. How fast is it to text a short word to a 5-digit number? There is no visiting a website, creating an account, or logging in required to donate via text. It's simple, fast and easy.
All things being equal, we think the average person with limited or no marketing knowledge would raise more money using text to donate than he would using a crowdfunding site.