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Crowdfunding for medical & health reasons almost doubles on GoFundMe

Melanie May | 1 December 2016 | News

Crowdfunding is increasingly being used to raise funds for personal medical costs and health expenses, according to figures from GoFundMe.
Over £15.5 million has been raised in GoFundMe’s ‘Medical, Illness & Healing’ category in the UK since 2010, across nearly 5,000 individual campaigns and from more than 480,000 donors. It has become the largest category on the platform in the past year with a 47% increase between 2015 and 2016 (YTD).
The biggest health-related campaign to date has been the GoFundMe ‘Donate4Mike’ campaign (pictured), which in 2014 raised a six-figure sum in days to get Mike Brandon to the US to participate in a clinical trial after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It became the largest GoFundMe campaign ever at the time, and was only overtaken this year by Jo Cox’s Fund.
The second biggest health campaign since the site began was for Stephanie Inglis, (Scotland’s Commonwealth silver medallist in Judo) who was involved in a motorcycle accident whilst teaching abroad in Vietnam. Her family and friends raised over £327,000 for her medical bills and Stephanie is now recovering back in Scotland.
The average total amount raised by a typical medical campaign in the UK at this time (Nov 2016) is £3,100, while the average donation to a campaign is now £41.
While the majority of campaigns are by members of the public for family and friends, recent high profile campaigns have included an appeal for paralysed jockey Freddy Tylicki, which raised £270,000 in five days, a campaign to raise funds for cancer treatment for former Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell, which has beaten its £50,000 target in a month, and the recent campaign for Lucy-Mae Beacock, star of Matilda the Musical, who needs corrective spine surgery in the USA.

GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon said:

“The support of family and friends during times of need has always been there, but GoFundMe allows that support to expand beyond physical communities, and spread quickly across the world via social networks. This is an especially powerful tool in times of medical emergency.”