Common Fundraising BarriersOct 04, 2022
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When I talk to caregivers about fundraising for their loved ones, I hear the same hesitations over and over again. I've dubbed them "The Big Three":
I don't have time. I don't have the energy. I wouldn't even know where to start!
I had those same hesitations in the beginning. Shoot, I was a burnt-out mama who lived off of coffee and anxiety. I couldn't imagine adding just one more thing to my already precarious spinning-plate act without it all ending in sharp edges and tears. However, my attitude quickly changed when I learned that my three-year-old's disabilities were more than just a temporary setback. Due to his genetic disorder, they were likely progressive and life-long. This information launched me into action. Regardless of my fears, hesitations, and doubts, I owed it to my child and my future self to do everything in my power to prepare for our needs. Which included preparing for the inevitable moment where I am unable to lift and transfer him safely.
I don't have time.
Now, I'll be the first to admit this is NOT what I wanted to hear when I was down in the trenches with IEP meetings, therapy appointments, and phone-tag with insurance companies. Nevertheless, when I took a completely honest look at where I was spending my time, a portion of it was on escapist hobbies such as scrolling TikTok, watching TV, or losing 20-minute chunks of time to scrolling social media. Listen to my words- I am NOT saying you should abandon all leisure activities nor cut out all hobbies that bring you joy. We as caregivers need forms of tension release, just as we need food and water. What I am saying is it is very easy to look at a new activity and decide it feels too difficult to even attempt. This is where the magic happens. Once I challenged myself by deciding that fundraising was a useful tool to benefit our future, my priorities shifted. Just as I would if I took a night class, I carved out specific periods to work on my family's fundraising campaign. This designated time allowed my brain clarity and a fixed period where I could separate it from my daily mental load.
Another helpful practice was "batching" my content. Batching refers to doing roughly the same task repeatedly, working effectively and efficiently. Think of an assembly line. Typically, workers do not follow a part through the entire manufacturing process. They stand on the line and do the same repetitive tasks for the duration of their work hours. Different content batches included: taking pictures for social media, writing posts/captions, scheduling posts, filming videos, and creating graphics.
I don't have energy.
Energy can be such a fickle thing. If your brain works anything like mine, one day you'll feel like you can do everything, and the next you feel like you can't do a single thing. It was very important for me to look at myself and study the times when I felt like I was energized and the times when I couldn't get off of the couch. I learned when I worked best (in those precious hours my son is at school) and when not to count on my brain…well…braining. For example, on the days when we're traveling to outpatient appointments or having testing done, I schedule "light" work such as replying to comments or following up on a task. These days are not for writing lengthy content, being camera ready, or scheduling an important interview.
I also said "no" a lot. I declined volunteer positions and extra tasks. As a person who loves to help people, this was very uncomfortable at first. However, I realized that, as I tell our family's story through weekly social media posts, I am helping other caregivers feel seen and the general public in understanding the multitude of complexities that come with caregiving. I can't tell you the number of times I received "I had no idea!" comments on my posts. Never forget that even if your posts aren't seeing interaction (likes/comments/shares/etc.) that doesn't mean that your audience isn't seeing them or that they disregard what you've said. Your voice is so powerful.
I don't know where to start.
What a beautiful gift, the opportunity to learn something new! I wholeheartedly believe that the opportunity to learn is one of our greatest gifts. I also wholeheartedly believe that you can learn anything from YouTube. To be transparent, I go to YouTube for nearly everything. Need to know how to French braid your own hair? YouTube tutorial. Want to learn why certain bugs are nocturnal? YouTube. How to start a business? YouTube. I spent hours and hours searching for and watching videos on fundraising, content creation, monetization, SEO, graphic design, communication, interviewing, and the list goes on. I highly recommend searching for videos on these subjects and becoming a student of different channels.
However, if you aren't able to do a deep dive of all things donation-generating, you're in luck! I've taken all of my research, successes, and failures and packaged it into a course that is simple and easy to understand. From captions that invite interaction to tutorials on how to get social-worthy photos on your smartphone, it's all in there. One of my biggest motivators is taking my experience and making it easier and more simple for the next caregiver. I mean knowledge is powerful, but what good is it if not shared with others? Check out the Fundraising 101 course here.
Listen, I get it! The feelings of burden, overwhelm, and confusion can stop us from taking even the smallest step towards our goals. My hope is, with the tips and tools listed above, that you feel less burdened, less overwhelmed, and more prepared to start a medical fundraising campaign to support you and your loved one's needs. There are many parts of caregiving that can isolate you, but know that this is not a journey you have to take alone.
Did this blog post spark an interest in fundraising? Do you know someone who needs this?
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Do Good. Be Well.
PS- Did you know I have a free Facebook group? This community is full of tips and recommendations to make your life easier and fundraiser pop off! Check it out here.
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