Internet campaigns have been a massive part of crowdfunding in modern times. Over the last few years, it has become a tool for funding medical expenses that have shot through the roof. But this trend has posed a serious question: is crowdfunding hospital bills ethical?
The ethics of crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is an excellent option for patients who need immediate medical attention or those with chronic conditions who don’t have sufficient funds or health insurance to cover the costs.
But like with most things on the internet, crowdsourcing can be manipulated. So it is essential to take precautions. Consider your audience before you start a campaign to pay hospital bills with crowdfunding. If you’re raising money for someone else’s cause, be sure that you’re not just trying to take advantage of them.
For example, if a friend needs to pay hospital bills with crowdfunding, you should be honest about what you’re doing and why. It’s not fair to ask people for money without telling them why they should give it to you.
The idea behind crowdfunded medical expenses is simple: You post a project online, asking people to donate money so you can pay the hospital bill. It is most useful for people who don’t have financial assistance or whose conditions aren’t covered by their health insurance. If enough people like your online campaign, they might contribute and you won’t have to worry about managing the funds.
It is often not used for tax deductions in India.
Some crowdfunding platforms do offer tax deductions to their investors, but this is often not the case with all crowdfunding websites. In fact, many platforms do not offer any form of tax deduction at all. Some platforms may also charge a fee for each transaction made through them.
That is the theory anyway. But there are legal issues surrounding this practice which have to be considered before starting a campaign.
Disadvantages of crowdfunding
Crowdfunding can be a great way to raise money, but it isn’t easy. It is becoming more popular, sure, but it is also becoming more challenging to start such a campaign. That’s because sites like Ketto require you to submit detailed information about your project before you can begin.
Medical crowdfunding is a great way to pay hospital bills with crowdfunding. But there are some disadvantages to consider before you start a campaign.
The process can be daunting, but with patience and persistence, it’s well worth the effort—especially if you need cash fast.
Here are some disadvantages to crowdfunding:
- You may have trouble raising enough money.
- Some of these campaigns don’t work out as planned.
- Medical crowdfunding is not regulated by any federal or state agency. This means there is no way to verify the legitimacy of a campaign and its claims.
- The biggest drawback is that it’s susceptible to fraud. Fraudsters may prey on people who desperately need help and take advantage of their needs.
- Crowdfunding can be time-consuming. You’ll have to keep track of the campaign, follow up, contact and even educate potential donors about the campaign.
- As a donor, you cannot choose who receives your donations. The funding often goes to the hosting platform or person who started the campaign instead of the individual it is intended for.
Benefits of crowdfunding
Medical crowdfunding allows you to raise money to help pay for medication, surgeries, hospital stays and more. It has a proven track record. The medical fraternity—doctors, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals—all support such campaigns. The benefits of crowdfunding include:
- Crowdfunding is a great way to raise funds for a cause or a charity. You can help people in need without the hassle of going through the paperwork of applying for grants or other types of funding. It allows patients access to treatment that would otherwise be unavailable to them.
- It creates a platform where the larger society can help the less resourceful.
- It helps one reach out beyond their community. While most crowdfunding campaigns are for local causes, they can also be used to reach people worldwide.
- A crowdfunding campaign is a great way to generate awareness about an issue, raise funds and create social impact all at once.
In times when medical expenses are going through the roof, crowdfunding is emerging as the last and often the only resort for people to access healthcare. It is susceptible to fraud, but with proper checks, it can be a very powerful tool. But before starting a campaign, you must understand the hosting platform, the target audience and your need. Only then can you do a more targeted campaign and get a proper response.
For donors, it is a great way to give back to the society at large, a small step towards philanthropy. That you can also claim tax deduction on the donations is the icing on the cake.