Category Archives: Tip Tuesday

Why Work With HelpHOPELive?

Why should you trust HelpHOPELive to support your medical fundraising efforts? This infographic explains why you can count on us.

HHL infographic final


If you have questions or feedback regarding this infographic, reach out to us on Twitter or on Facebook.


Creating a Campaign Video: 3 Essential Steps

As you work with HelpHOPELive, you should constantly consider new ways to expand your outreach efforts and engage friends and family members with your fundraising efforts. You may already share pictures and recovery updates on your HelpHOPELive Campaign Page. Creating and sharing a video is a great way to get your friends involved with your journey on a more personal level.

Here are three things to consider when you create a video. For an excellent example, check out Rachelle Johnson’s powerful digital diary video, which lets viewers experience a month in her shoes.

HelpHOPELive video Rachelle CIPD YouTube

Rachelle’s video lets viewers experience a month in her shoes.


One: Look before you leap.

A video can be a powerful way to engage your community, but it isn’t the perfect fit for every campaign. Before you dive in, ask yourself these quick questions.

-Do I have reliable recording equipment, like a video camera or a smartphone with video capture?

-Do I know someone who would be willing to record this video for me? ‘Selfie’ videos are an option, but it can be challenging to produce a clear video if you don’t have prior experience in this area.

-Do I have a YouTube account so I can easily upload the video? If you have never used YouTube for video uploading, start with this beginner’s guide.

Selfie video YouTube campaign HelpHOPELive

Creating a ‘selfie’ video is an option, but it may be challenging for beginners.


Two: Brainstorm a powerful angle for your video.

Ask yourself what your friends and family would most like to see in a video that you create and upload. For the greatest impact, you should be using your video to engage members of your community, not solicit strangers.

Rachelle used her video to show her supporters what it felt like to live with CIPD for a month. She included personal testimony, insights from her caretakers and even visual aids to help viewers understand her personal battle with CIPD.

Here are a few other angles to consider:

-A video showcasing some of the items or equipment you have been or will be able to acquire through fundraising

-A video to thank Campaign Page visitors for their support and donations

-A video identifying a few of the most challenging hurdles you face in your recovery

-A video chronicling some of your rehabilitation efforts, like this video from HelpHOPELive client Carina Ho

Carina Ho SCIFIT Ekso HelpHOPELive YouTube campaign video

Carina Ho shows viewers her rehabilitation progress in her campaign video.


Three: Pay attention to detail.

A powerful video can help viewers feel more closely connected to you and your HelpHOPELive campaign. Make sure you consider these details so you can inspire viewers to donate to your campaign:

Where can I film this video? You should be sure to film in an area that will keep the focus on you and your story instead of distracting viewers with background movement.

-How can I keep the room quiet? You will need to film in a place with minimal outside noise so that viewers can hear you clearly.

-Do I want to use any props? If you plan to use props in your video or display specific equipment, be sure to practice with these resources ahead of time so your video is smooth.

-Do I know what I want to say? There’s nothing wrong with being spontaneous, but you may want to jot down or rehearse a few key talking points before you start filming to make sure you get your point across. The shorter your video, the greater the chance that your friends will take the time to watch it, so stick to your key message throughout.

Always ensure that you end your video with a clear call to action for viewers. Remind potential donors that you can’t overcome your illness or injury alone, and you need their help to improve your circumstances.

Be sure to mention your HelpHOPELive Campaign Page as the place where viewers can donate to your campaign. Remind potential donors how grateful you are for the support you’ve received so far.

HelpHOPELive video YouTube campaign

A video full of noise and distractions will leave viewers feeling confused.


Add your video to your HelpHOPELive Campaign Page!

Once you’ve created your video, simply copy and paste the link into the Add a New Update section of your page. Add additional update text if you want to tell visitors more about the video’s contents, then click Save.


Add the video as an update…

Keep in mind that only your three most recent updates will be displayed at a time. If you would like your video to display on your page permanently, find the About [Your Name] section of your page and click the green pencil icon. Paste the link into that section and click Save.

video 2

…or add it to the About section of your page.

Don’t forget to share the video with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages. If you need any help uploading your video, just contact HelpHOPELive and ask for our Communications Department. We will be happy to help!

Crowdfunding Your Medical Expenses: 5 Myths

As The New York Times reported in January, many patients are turning to crowdfunding to raise money for major or unforeseen medical expenses. Crowdfunding sites are jumping on the bandwagon in droves, rapidly adding medical fundraising options to their existing rosters of services.

HelpHOPELive, medical, medical expenses, crowdfunding, fundraising, medical bills

At HelpHOPELive, we’ve been helping patients fundraise since 1983. As new digital fundraising options emerge, it’s important for all potential fundraisers to understand exactly how crowdfunding works. While crowdfunding looks like an easy way to raise money quickly, make sure you consider these factors before you dive in.


Myth 1: Donations to my cause will be protected.

Many modern crowdfunding platforms do not include a way for donors to verify that the money they donate will be spent on a patient’s medical costs. In fact, as Charity Navigator warns, some people routinely exploit crowdfunding sites and manipulate donors in order to misuse donations for their own purposes.

HelpHOPELive tracks and verifies all donations, but if you work with a crowdfunding platform, donors that you contact may feel justifiably uncertain about donating to a cause without any sort of guarantee that their contributions will be collected and utilized to cover legitimate expenses.

Myth 2: I can keep my Medicaid coverage.

Donations you receive through HelpHOPELive fundraising will never endanger your Medicaid coverage. If you work with a crowdfunding platform, however, you may risk losing your benefits.

When Medicaid eligibility is determined, donations you receive through a crowdfunding platform will be counted as assets. The limit for “countable assets” to qualify for Medicaid is only $2,000. In other words, if you net more than $2,000 in donations through a crowdfunding platform, you may lose your access to Medicaid and incur sky-high additional expenses for your treatment.

Myth 3: Donors will naturally donate additional funds over time.

You may believe that your only obligation is to set up a crowdfunding site and wait for the donations to roll in. In reality, as the New York Times reported, most donors will not give to the same cause multiple times unless they clearly understand the link between their donation and a particular outcome for a patient.

Successful fundraising is a long-term process, not a short-term frenzy. While crowdfunding sites may generate initial buzz, you will likely need to raise money for medical costs throughout your lifetime. Donors tend to be reluctant to donate multiple times to the same cause, but HelpHOPELive can help you to fundraise creatively to increase the chances of repeat donations.

Myth 4: Strangers will donate to my cause.

Crowdfunding platforms may make it seem like virtual strangers will readily donate to your cause once you sign on. In most cases, the vast majority of donations to your cause are going to come from people you already know.

You can spread the word by leveraging your existing social circles, including extended family members, community organizations, places of worship and other potential donation sources.

Myth 5: Crowdfunding is free.

No fundraising effort is entirely cost free. HelpHOPELive charges 5% for operational costs with a 2.65% credit card fee* as applicable and no additional per-transaction fees. Medical fundraising fees will differ by provider, and as The New York Observer reported in 2014, some fundraisers have been unpleasantly surprised by the operating costs and donation fees deducted by crowdfunding platforms. Be sure you understand the associated costs before you choose a network to rely on for fundraising.

GoFundMe: 7.9% charge + $0.30 transaction fee (in the U.S.)

GiveForward: 7.9% charge + $0.50 transaction fee

Fundly: 4.9% charge + 3% credit card fees

Indiegogo: 9% fee + third party processing fees of 3-5% (platform fee decreases to 4% only if you meet your fundraising goal)

Medical crowdfunding and HelpHOPELive

So what can I do to raise money? Fundraising through HelpHOPELive is the most secure and supported method for raising money to cover your medical expenses. You receive the full benefit of over three decades of fundraising expertise, and your donors can rest easy knowing that every dollar they donate will be tracked and allocated responsibly. To learn more about fundraising with HelpHOPELive, click here.

What do you think about crowdfunding for medical expenses? Join the conversation on Facebook or on Twitter.


* Effective October 1, 2016.