Medical procedures can be pricey. That’s why many people are turning to online fundraising to help finance heavy health costs. This is often called crowdsourcing, a popular method of getting financial support from a large group of people who donate through an online platform. While crowdsourcing is commonly linked to funding businesses and creative projects, it also has the potential to help one person meet basic health needs.

In a matter of days (or even less time), these websites can help raise thousands of dollars. If you’re interested in online medical fundraising, take a look at the following crowdsourcing platforms.

GiveForward

GiveForward was originally founded in 2008 to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Now, this site allows people to donate money to many causes. GiveForward has helped raise over $150,000,000 in crowdfunded donations.

GiveForward is one of the few platforms that actually focuses on personal, individual support. This includes causes such as funeral expenses, veterinary care, and even meal-giving. Through GiveForward, cash isn’t the only form of donation. Backers can support fundraisers with money or provide items off of a wish list. A GiveForward campaign can even be linked to an Amazon wish list so that donors can help you buy specific things you need. Support can also come in the form of “thinking of you” messages.

The Fine Print

GiveForward takes about 8 percent of the total donations received. You may also have to pay state and federal taxes on donations. Money transfers on GiveForward is done through WePay, an online payment service.

GoFundMe

GoFundMe was founded in 2010 and has steadily become one of the largest crowdfunding platforms online. It also specializes in personal, individual support. Successful campaigns hosted on GoFundMe include cancer support, aid for pregnancy complications, and medical expenses for injured war veterans. GoFundMe has helped make over $1 billion in crowdfunding campaigns possible. Unlike other platforms, GoFundMe campaigns don’t have to set deadlines for a certain amount to be raised.

The Fine Print

Like GiveForward, GoFundMe takes about 8 percent of your total received donations. GoFundMe also uses WePay to store and give you your donations.

YouCaring

YouCaring was founded in 2011. It advertises itself as “compassionate crowdfunding.” YouCaring campaigns include sponsoring medical expenses, education, and even volunteer projects or trips. The platform has helped raise more than $335 million in fundraising. Additionally, YouCaring lets you keep more of your money compared to other sites.

The Fine Print

Although YouCaring doesn’t take the typical 5 to 10 percent, there is a fee for the donation processor. This costs 3 percent of your total donations. 

YouCaring is compatible with WePay, Stripe, or PayPal.

Fundrazr

Fundrazr launched in 2010. Since then, it has grown significantly. The organization has raised over $76 million dollars in donations. Fundrazr supports a variety of causes, including arts and education, medical care, legal defense, and memorials and funerals. Both individuals and families and organizations can raise money on Fundrazr.

The Fine Print

Using Fundrazr may allow your message to reach a much larger audience of potential donors than those of smaller crowdfunding sites or simply raising money on Facebook or Twitter. Like other crowdfunding sites, Fundrazr charges a 5 percent fee in addition to a 3 percent payment provider fee for using PayPal or WePay.

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is the largest website for crowdfunding. Founded in 2009, Kickstarter has helped fund many high-profile projects and services. Its 10 million users have raised over $2 billion dollars in total. Compared to other platforms on this list, Kickstarter is not specifically aimed at raising money for individual health care. However, its power as a brand can be a benefit when spreading the word about a medical project.

The Fine Print

Kickstarter does not support fundraising for individual medical needs. However, health-related projects are welcome. Kickstarter defines an acceptable project as something that “will eventually be completed, and something will be produced by it.” In this way, when it comes to medical fundraising, this platform is best used by groups of people looking to solve a medical problem with a product.

There is a 5 percent fee for successful projects. There is also a payment processor fee of 3 to 5 percent of total raised funds. If a project doesn’t meet its goal, there are no fees.

The Takeaway

Finding the right platform to host your campaign is the first step to fundraising online. Consider how much you need to raise, the type of people who would be interested in backing you, and the amount of time you have to fundraise. Would you benefit more from donated items or cash? These are the kinds of questions to ask before selecting the crowdsourcing platform for you. 

Whether you need an expensive surgery or are looking to build a new medical tool, it can be difficult to find resources to cover the costs. Online crowdfunding is an effective tool to connect you with people who care enough to sponsor your cause.