In this day and age, there are so many ways to raise money for a certain cause. Most organizations, mainly nonprofit organizations, do events like fun runs, concerts, auctions, and sales that collect funds, for the cause they are supporting. A new and popular way to raise money for a certain cause is a website called GoFundMe.com. Setting up a GoFundMe page is a lot easier than planning a whole fundraising event.
If I was working with a client who was battling cancer and wanted to set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for his/her treatment, I would first talk to them about the type of treatment that they are seeking to get and why they are looking at GoFundMe for an option. I know that they are clearly struggling with paying for medical treatments if they have cancer, but I would talk to them about alternative fundraising methods and try and help them see which one is the best one to choose. I would go through the pros and cons of each fundraising idea that they had in mind.
Now, there are a ton of pros to setting up a GoFundMe page for raising money for a good cause like cancer treatments. GoFundMe’s focus on individual campaigns makes it a stage that’s easier to access, organize, and gain funds. With just a few clicks from your computer or cell phone, you can start receiving donations from people all over the world who support your cause. Once the page is set up and running, the website automatically informs you when someone donates to your cause. This makes using GoFundMe well-organized, as it allows you to spend time on other activities and errands while the campaign is successively all online. Back in the day, bake sales and church raffles might’ve raised $1,000, maybe $2,000. Now you can set your sights into six figures. With today’s medical costs, that can be an exceptionally good thing.
Still, even “good quality” campaigns raise very tough questions about funding medical costs this way. How do we choose who is worthy of our donations? Do we help out to fund unproven treatments? Does an individual’s past matter in determining whether we support them and their campaign? For example, do you donate money to help pay for lung cancer treatment for a lifelong smoker?
As a therapist tying to help a client make their decision on whether they should set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for medical costs, the one thing you should not do is judge. You have no expectations of how that money will be used. If it’s used for what’s been advertised, great. If not, it’s not your business as to what he/she is using it for. You should only give what you can comfortably afford. Lastly, don’t think for a moment that you’re helping solve a greater health care or societal problem. You’re not. In fact, you may be doing the complete opposite by expanding existing health discrepancies.
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