Being injured in an accident can be expensive, especially if you don't have health insurance. The medical bills alone can be staggering. But with crowdsourcing sites like GoFundMe, there may be a way out. You could get all or part of your or your loved one's expenses covered by total strangers.
First, seek the advice of an accident attorney, sem-truck accident lawyer, or personal injury attorney. Then, set up a GoFundMe page using some simple account options. You can also start one for a loved one who has been hurt in an accident.
In the following sections, you will discover how simple it is to start a GoFund Me page. Next, you will get step-by-step instructions on how to set it up. You will also receive tips for managing your campaign to get the most out of the platform and its many features.
How to create your own GoFundMe page if you were hurt in an accident.
You can either start a GoFundMe page for yourself or someone else. Be sure to have some documentation ready like social security numbers, driver's license, and phone numbers. With all that in place, it only takes a few minutes to get started.
You have to first create an account using the GoFundMe signup form. It's pretty straightforward. Just type in your name, country of origin, email, and phone number. The form will then prompt you to verify your identity with either a text message or a phone call.
Purpose or intent
Next, you will have to supply information about the purpose of why you are opening an account. You may want to consider the first category, which is accidents and emergencies. However, if it has been a while since the incident, and you are struggling to pay your medical bills, you may want to opt for medical, illness, and healing instead.
Explain your role in the process
In this step, you will now need to explain what part you will take in the process. Are you the beneficiary? Or, are you setting this account up on behalf of someone else? You will have to be specific about the role you will play in the process.
Establish your accounting
To receive money directly into a bank account, the recipient will need to supply the following information:
• Social security number
• US bank account
• US mailing address
GoFundMe does not collect the money sent in by donors. Instead, they rely on third-party financial institutions to collect and distribute those funds.
What about pricing and fees?
There is no cost to join GoFundMe. However, each donation has a transaction fee of 2.9% + $.30. GoFundMe does not usually collect any other fees. However, it is good to read the entire terms and conditions in their entirety, just so there are no surprises later.
GoFundMe does not report the money you receive to the IRS as income. Donations you receive are considered personal gifts and won't be taxed under current IRS rules.
However, there are some exceptions, depending on how much you receive and what the donations are used for. So, with those considerations in mind, it is best to consult with a tax advisor before setting up your fundraiser on GoFundMe.
How to create a GoFundMe page for someone who was hurt in an accident
Setting up a crowdfunding account for someone else is just as easy as getting one started for yourself. But there are some differences to consider. Here are the main points:
Communicate with the person who needs help.
Surprises are pleasant, but not when it comes to the sensitive issues centered around money and need. It's best not to charge ahead without at least talking to the recipient first. This one step can spare a lot of ill-feelings along the way. After all, it is about them, not you.
Your role is more of a facilitator, one who can do the heavy lifting while they recover. It's a good idea to let your loved one make most of the decisions, especially regarding how much to ask the community to pitch in.
Set up the account in their name
The easiest way to ensure that your loved one receives their money directly is to set everything up in their name. The process is the same for the initial signup as when setting it up for yourself.
Linking to a bank account will require some more information. Here is the documentation typically required:
• Social security number
• Driver's license
• Bank ACH number
• Voided check showing account and routing numbers
The other option is to set up the account in your name and make your loved one the beneficiary. The money will go directly to them, and everyone involved, including donors, will be grateful for the transparency within the process.
How to run a successful GoFundMe campaign if you were injured in an accident
Starting and running a GoFundMe campaign takes time and effort. There are a lot of moving parts, like:
• Account setup
• Writing your story
• Photo management
• Money management
• Marketing (getting the word out
Here are a few tips to get you started on your way. These are tried and true strategies for giving your campaign the best chance for success.
Establish the cause
What is the reason you are trying to raise money? This may be a simple question, but you must convey to your audience precisely what you are trying to do. This one thing alone can make or break your campaign.
Here are some of the most attention-getting causes found on the GoFundMe site:
• Medical bills
• Travel costs to visit long-lost relatives
• Starting a new business
So, by establishing that you or a loved one is in need due to medical problems and the costs associated with them, compassionate people will listen. There will undoubtedly be those who will empathize with your current situation.
What's in it for your donors?
Too often, a GoFundMe campaign will focus solely on the beneficiary without regard to what the donor may get out of sending money. In other words, it's always best to explain what's in it for them.
The best place to start is to consider the greater good. For example, suppose your adult brother was in an auto accident and cannot pay his medical costs. In that case, you could remind potential donors of how unpaid medical bills contribute to overall healthcare costs.
Also, being saddled with debt and possible bankruptcy means that his kids have less chance of going to college. And that would be tragic since we want all of our kids to get the best possible education, regardless of cost.
Don't be afraid to tell others what the costs of those medical bills are. Most people who have never had a catastrophic medical event, such as major surgery or long-term injury, don't understand how financially devastating it can be. By showing the cost in actual numbers, you can convey a real need, candidly and succinctly.
Tell your story
The story is what you use to convey the message of your cause. It's not enough just to plead your case. You have to establish a very good reason for a stranger or mere acquaintance to give you their hard-earned money. You must quickly establish a relationship with the reader.
For example, it's easy to go to a family member. After all, they already know you.
But a stranger has no idea who you are or what type of life experiences you have had. So, you will have to share as much about yourself as possible in only a few words.
Having a compelling story to tell to potential donors will set you up for success right from the beginning. Be as transparent as possible so you can connect better with your supporters.
Ask yourself these five important questions before starting your campaign:
1.Who is it about?
Whether it's about you or someone else, you will need to let the world know who the person is receiving the money. Are they a mom or dad? What do they normally do for a living? What are their hopes and dreams? Do they usually donate to charitable causes or donate their time?
Write it all down, and don't leave anything out. Letting the reader get to know the person receiving help is key to establishing rapport.
2. What exactly happened?
Be as specific as possible about events that took place. It's not good enough to say, "My brother was in a car accident and needs cash."
Explain in detail what happened. Try to answer these types of questions for your reader:
• Was it a life-threatening accident?
• Did it involve a major pileup?
• Did a drunk driver hit the person?
• How long were they in the hospital?
Because each detail of the event is specific, they add value to the previous point. All these details are collectively compelling for the reader and may just be the nudge they need to push them over the edge and donate to your worthy cause.
3. Where did the accident it occur?
Where the accident took place can be just as crucial. For example, driving on a steep slope in icy weather while delivering pizza as your second job sounds better than "It happened in town during the winter."
4. When did the accident it happen?
Telling your audience the details concerning when the incident took place will go a long way to lending credibility to your story. Keep in mind that if the accident happened more than a year ago, the reader might need more information.
• Have you talked to a personal injury attorney yet?
• Who else have you reached out to for help?
• What kinds of roadblocks are you running into?
It is best to answer these and other questions by being honest and direct. The transparency you show will give your potential donors reason to believe in you. And when it comes to getting help on crowdsourcing sites like GoFundMe, trust is everything.
5. Why are you starting this GoFundMe?
This is the time to really pour your heart out. In this section of your story, you want to sum up why you are going to the trouble of trying to raise funds. What will you get from it, besides just money?
It is also a good idea to convey what might happen if you don't secure the necessary funds. Who will be hurt by that? What are the dire consequences?
End your story on a positive note
Don't just leave the reader there. After all, you never want to try to shame another person into giving you a donation. Instead, you want to appeal to their generous, human side.
At this point, let the reader know just how confident you are that they and others will come through for you. Let them know that, no matter what, you are exceedingly optimistic about reaching your goal. And above all, you are going to keep working hard to get there.
This last point is essential. Most people are more likely to give a hardworking person like you a hand up, but not a handout.
A picture is worth a lot.
Having quality photos on your GoFundMe page is necessary for putting a face to the campaign. Not only that, if you do it correctly, your images can tell your entire story without you even speaking one word. Crowdfunding experts recommend displaying at least five high-quality photos on your page that are relevant to your account.
Videos: A tried and true game-changer
While images are a positive thing to have, a video on your page can put you over the top if you do it right. Having a video will not only allow you to speak directly to your audience, but it can also bring out the human side in you. The people who consider giving to you will look past the money. They will eventually want to donate because you are a real person.
But there is a wrong way and a right way to produce a quality video. Here are a few things to consider:
1. Get help
If you have ever tried to shoot a video on your own, you know how frustrating it can be. So, having someone to keep the camera steady or simply give you feedback will go a long way in helping you achieve the quality you desire.
2. Get the lighting right.
Your video may come out a little dark or even bland if the lighting is off. Try several schemes in different rooms of your home. If you have to, move production outside. There's nothing like natural lighting to bring your video to life.
3. Avoid the shakes
There's nothing worse when watching a video than having to sit through screenshots that are all over the place. It feels like you are on a roller coaster, and you want to get off as soon as possible.
To avoid this common mistake, consider investing in a tripod for your video camera or phone. Or, you can enlist the help of someone with a very steady hand.
By having a stable platform, the video will come out smooth and steady for your intended audience. Most important, they will be more likely to stay with it until the end.
4. Check the sound quality.
What good is a video if the audience doesn't hear your voice? That's why it is vital to turn the volume up enough so your audience can listen to you. If you have trouble with the audio quality of your recording device, you may have to invest in a separate microphone.
5. Horizontal instead of vertical
Turn your camera or phone so that it records horizontally. It is more pleasing to the viewer and tends to playback better when watching on YouTube.
Promote your campaign
Most people don't like marketing and sales. It is still viewed in our society as being evil. The big corporate interests are ganging up on the little people to lie their way into more significant profits. While some of that is true, it is better to look at what marketing truly is: getting the word out.
If you are going to reach your target GoFundMe goal, you will need to tell others about your worthy campaign. There is no other way around it. But how do you do it without coming across as being offensive to others?
Start with your inner circle.
It's amazing what a few friends and family members can do to generate interest in your GoFundMe campaign. Enlisting your closest allies in the quest for funding can create the greatest spark initially.
There is also a good chance that someone within your sphere of influence has at least a little experience with sales or marketing. Be sure to enlist their help to get some ideas on creative ways for getting the word out.
Start off with the most obvious place, your timeline. You can also have your friends and family mention it to their friends and social networks. Who knows, maybe your campaign will snowball into an entire community movement.
After that, you may want to consider setting up a dedicated Facebook page solely to reach potential donors. It is best to set it up as you did with your GoFundMe page. Make sure to tell your story and provide pictures and videos where practical.
Post regularly and give updates such as what's happening in the life of the beneficiary. Are there any new developments? A dedicated page is also an excellent place to share how far along you are to reaching your fundraising goals.
Make sure to share the link to your GoFundMe page. Every time you post something new, link it so that you can direct others to your fundraiser.
Other social media platforms
Linkedin, Twitter and, Instagram are all excellent choices for getting the word out about your GoFundMe campaign. The best thing about all these platforms is that they can link to each other, boosting the power of your networking capabilities.
Success with LinkedIn
There are some advantages to using LinkedIn over Facebook when marketing your GoFundMe page. The most obvious one is that, unlike Facebook, LinkedIn caters primarily to a professional audience. And as a result, they are probably more likely to check their platform frequently.
Another key advantage over Facebook is that people expect to use LinkedIn mainly for business. So, business professionals expect to get pitched and receive a certain number of solicitations as part of their daily routine.
Not so much with Facebook. If you try to solicit for anything, including charities, you are more likely to receive a cold shoulder.
Still, there is a certain amount of professional courtesy that users expect on the LinkedIn site. Don't just plow in and start pitching every person you find about how your fundraiser is the best one out there.
You first have to start networking, starting groups, and meeting people halfway. Encourage family members, co-workers, and friends to connect with you on your company page. You can begin to have meaningful conversations there and also establish a link to your GoFundMe page.
After a while, you will start seeing results. You may even have professionals seeking you out and asking about your fund.
The reason for that is simple. Most professionals are caring people who have a sense of social responsibility. And what better way to show it than by donating to your worthy cause?
Set up a local fundraising event
In-person fundraising has been around forever. It gives you some advantages over online events. These community fundraising events are an opportunity to bring people together in a more personal way.
Here are a few ideas to get you started on forming your event:
• Art exhibits
• 5K fun runs
• Car washes
• Indoor flea markets
Your creativity and imagination only limit the list of things to do to raise money. The best thing about these types of events is that you can use your social media platforms for advertising them. Once at the event, your participants can receive more information about your GoFundMe campaign using flyers, brochures, and business cards.
A final thought
There are several thousand GoFundMe campaigns online right now, all needing donors to fund a huge variety of causes. Don't let your campaign get lost with all those other ones. Hopefully, the tips and suggestions covered here will help.
Remember, if you cannot convey your personal story in a compelling way, donors may go elsewhere with their money. So, you want to be able to impart your message in a way that other people will empathize with.
If you were recently involved in an accident, you might first want to discuss your options with a competent accident attorney or sem-truck accident lawyer. They may be able to give you some further guidance on how to care for yourself or a loved one during such a challenging time.