Bethany Patch’s sister Rachel was swept away by a freak wave from Nobbys Breakwall and onto the rocks. She was hospitalized due to the accident which resulted in a fractured wrist, broken jaw, and the loss of several teeth. Although safe in the care of the wonderful hospital staff, she and her partner James are now facing a very tough road to recovery – physically, emotionally and financially.
Rachel is fortunate enough to have the support of a loving family, who are working tirelessly to ensure that the recovery process is as quick and easy as possible. Bethany started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to help pay for dental surgery, so that Rachel can focus on getting better without having to worry about a huge debt. On March 4th Rachel’s friends hosted a dinner fundraising event to help contribute to the FundRazr campaign. I spoke with Bethany on how she brought together over 100 people to help her sister with medicals expenses.
1. Why did you decide to turn to crowdfunding?
“Rachel is an astoundingly kind, caring and sweet person. Through sheer loveliness, she routinely touches the lives of so many in such a positive way, so when people found out what had happened, the response was overwhelming. We were quickly inundated with supportive messages from friends and family with questions about what they could do to help out. Crowdfunding seemed like the most effective way to get the message out to those who know Rachel, and to get people genuinely involved in her recovery.”
2. How did you promote your campaign and create a community of support?
“Initially, I was promoting the campaign by texting or emailing family members, close friends and local businesses that knew Rachel well. More than anything, people were happy to hear that there was a way they could help. This also meant that the campaign could benefit from some substantial contributions before being promoted to a wider audience. Soon after this, I created an event on Facebook, linking to the campaign, and invited all of our friends to join, encouraging them to spread the word in their own networks. So far it’s going really well!”
3. What has been a challenge you faced while crowdfunding?
“The first challenge I faced was in finding a suitable crowdfunding platform. We needed something that wouldn’t cost too much to use, that would allow us to keep whatever we raise without having to set a quota, and that felt appropriate for a personal cause like this. A challenge we’ve faced since getting the campaign up and running has been finding a way to reach people who don’t engage in digital media. Instead, these people have donated money to Rachel directly.”
4. What has been the highlight of your crowdfunding experience so far?
“The highlight has undoubtedly been getting to see the incredible support shown by family, friends and even strangers, then being able to report this success to Rachel. The financial ease that she feels, with thanks to the campaign, has helped her to concentrate on healing and regaining a sense of normality in her life, which is really wonderful to see so soon after such a traumatic event.”
5. Do you have any advice for others who want to start crowdfunding?
“I have found that regularly posting updates on the campaign page and any linked social media platforms has really helped to maintain support and encouragement within the community. Don’t be afraid to use all available avenues to keep the conversation going as much as possible. It really makes a difference.
Also, physical events have been helping to support the digital side of the campaign. For example, we found that a number of local traders wanted to show their support by donating food or services, so we decided to sell tickets and host a dinner party where we could run a raffle and an auction for the guests. This means that we get to promote local businesses while raising additional funds for Rachel! This is also a really good opportunity for those who are not connected to digital media to support Rachel’s recovery themselves.”
Click Here to learn more about Rachel’s FundRazr.