In previous blog posts, we have detailed a relatively new method for fundraising for medical expenses called crowdfunding along with our own crowdfunding platform, HEALfundr. Recently, there has been some news regarding the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a crowdfunding project that made us want to touch upon some key differences between HEALfundr and other crowdfunding platforms.   This month, the FTC formally charged the creator of a Kickstarter campaign with deception by spending crowd-raised funds on himself and unrelated projects instead of the board game represented in his campaign. Using the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform, intended for creative or entrepreneurial projects, the creator raised over $122,000 from 1,246 backers who hoped to receive the board game in return for their pledges. The FTC’s Bureau of

Consumer Protection found that the creator spent most of the money on unrelated personal expenses and licenses for a different project. The order imposes a $111,793.71 refund to those who pledged, but the judgment is suspended due to the creator’s inability to pay. This kind of development can raise a lot of red flags for donors to crowdfunding campaigns. No one wants to be defrauded out of their money, whether they are investing in a product or supporting someone they believe is in need. Fortunately, NeedyMeds has taken precautions to ensure that no one is at risk of being taken advantage of on HEALfundr.   HEALfundr is the only crowdfunding platform that verifies all campaigns. Crowdfunding for exclusively medical expenses, we require supporting documents—such as…

Even with recent legislation making health care more accessible, Americans still need help paying for medical expenses. Despite having insurance coverage, 10 million Americans faced bills they were unable to pay in 2013. When options run low and eligibility requirements for assistance can be restrictive, many are turning to online crowdfunding. Remaining popular for creative works, crowdfunding is a tool to collect donations using the Internet towards a larger single goal. In 2012, up to 30% of all crowdfunding campaigns were for social or medically related causes. The use of social media has connected those in need with those in their own personal networks and beyond that are able to help.   Earlier this year, NeedyMeds launched HEALfundr to take what we saw as

the next logical step in medical crowdfunding. Our unique vision is one of secure, verified campaigns that take the hassle and stress of coordinating between incoming donations and outgoing bills as well granting donors the confidence their contribution is going to an essential need. The only eligibility requirements of HEALfundr are that you have legitimate medical expenses and are a resident of the United States or its territories—there are no limits on income level or insurance status. To verify campaigns, we require a letter from a diagnosing or attending doctor. In case we have questions, we ask for a release form allowing the doctor to discuss the patient’s healthcare with HEALfundr. Sign up and campaign-creation are completely free, with only a small processing fee applied to…

Crowdfunding Your Power To Heal “Crowdfunding” is a buzzword that hasn’t quite made it to everyone’s ears yet. It refers to the practice of collecting donations from a group or “crowd” to raise money through small donations towards a single goal. The platform has existed for longer than most would think—19th century literary works were published in a similar way, local or noteworthy patrons giving commissions to an author for a future copy of their work. The Internet has revolutionized the reach of crowdfunding. Kickstarter is the name most commonly associated with crowdfunding, helping fund creative projects with backers usually receiving a reward for their pledged donation. Charitable crowdfunding, though typically absent of any reward incentive (isn’t giving its own reward?), has also been hugely impacted by the

Internet. New platforms are using modern technology to elicit donations for personal or cause-based campaigns. Individuals raise funds to help recover from a disaster or personal tragedy, pay their pet’s vet bills, fund honeymoons, and to help pay their own medical bills. These personal campaigns can spread through social media beyond those you personally know to people who simply support your cause. Over $100,000,000 has been raised through charitable crowdfunding campaigns. With medical bills being the largest cause of bankruptcy in the United States, crowdfunding can be a lifeline where there may be no other viable solutions. Costs of care can prevent someone from seeking out a doctor or buying their prescription medications, leading to worse financial problems in the future if…