By Scott Hansen
As many of the loyal readers of OrthoPundit know, Dr. Burris is known for his contrarian and provocative ideas about expanding access to care. In a recent article, “Why I Accept Medicaid & You Should Too”, he detailed a thorough and powerful argument for accepting Medicaid in your practice. While we don’t accept Medicaid at our practice, I think that expanding the reach of orthodontics to a broader demographic is noble. So, I would like to throw out another avenue for you to help economically disadvantaged patients pay for and receive orthodontic care in your practice…crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding is the practice of using money raised by a large number of contributors to fund the development of a project or support a cause. There are several popular crowdfunding platforms including GoFundMe, KickStarter, and Indiegogo. Combined, just these three sites drive more than 1 billion web-visitors annually and have helped raise tens of billions of dollars for various causes and projects. You might have seen a GoFundMe.com campaign for someone who recently experienced a tragedy and are raising funds for cancer treatments, funeral costs, or an honorary scholarship. However, crowdfunding is not only for tragedy response. It is also being used for many joyful purposes. Crowdfunding has been instrumental in building schools, starting businesses, and bringing innovative products and services to market. Here are a few examples:
Since crowdfunding is such a convenient and low-cost way to raise money, why not help patients tap the power of crowdfunding to finance their treatment? Many people don’t have $6,000 bucks to throw at orthodontic treatment, but most people know a lot of people that could spare $10, $20 or $40 to help them achieve a beautiful smile. You don’t sell giftcards in your practice, but you could lock-in future revenues by helping patients with their own crowdfunding campaigns. This is especially powerful during Christmas time or significant life events like graduation, weddings, etc. Instead of asking for gifts, your patients can ask for donations on GoFundMe.com for their Invisalign or braces treatments. People are already doing it successfully! Check it out…
Current Orthodontic Campaigns
Here’s how you can help your patients:
- Prepare a step-by-step, one-page document that shows your patients how to establish a GoFundMe.com account, create a campaign, and market their campaign.
- Give the patient a discount for a lump sum down payment or PIF (this will help them establish a funding goal)
- Help them set up their banner image that includes pictures of their teeth, smile, and your office branding
Yes, this will take your team an additional 20 minutes to complete. However, you will be establishing greater goodwill, helping another God-loved human increase their self-esteem, and grow your brand presence by exposing all of the crowdfunders to your brand. Feel free to download the example form to help get you started.
Scott Hansen is the owner of OrthoChats, the world’s leading professionally managed chat service for orthodontists. In addition, he manages a quickly growing orthodontic practice in Kansas City. While achieving his Masters is Business Administration at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, he was awarded a certificate of achievement for his entrepreneurial work from the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Feel free to contact Scott at Scott@OrthoChats.com, (401) 99CHATS, or chat online at OrthoChats.com. Also, please find OrthoChats indiegogo crowdfunding campaign here.