Shannon, I'm relatively new to Medium so I don't know all the players. I read your other post calling out the men on Medium with interest, because I didn't realize that there was some sort of tight-knit community, or even a community at all, that would cause you to feel ignored if they weren't sharing your story, and the GoFundMe specifically.

I've also been reading about your fear that the GoFundMe won't work. In a lifetime long ago, I was a fundraiser (first for a museum, then a non-profit, then a political campaign, then a non-profit again) and I have some (unasked for tips).

1. It's not just about sharing the campaign, it's about sharing with the right people. In other words, if you share it with 100 people who have never read your writing, or are not connected to you in another way, or are not interested in lipedema (more on that below) it won't matter because they won't give money, even if they see the campaign. On the other hand, if you share it with three people who either have a connection with you and/or are interested in lipedema, they would be more likely to give. So this needs to be targeted. To be frank, I don't think those men sharing it on their platforms would do you much good anyway, especially if their audience is made up of people primarily interested in productivity tips and other so-called self-help.

2. Speaking of targeting, the best way to do that is to start writing more about lipedema itself, and explain that once you get the surgery, you are going to commit yourself to debunking the myth that people who suffer from this are simply overweight, and other health myths that so-called overweight people are endlessly subjected to. There's a great passage in Tess Holliday's book about a maternity nurse continuing to insist she had diabetes, simply because she was overweight. Reading that made me mad, and made me want see more information explaining that weight does not always signify other systemic diseases.

This is a long way of saying that people need a *cause* to get behind if they are going to give. Usually for health fundraisers someone needs to be on death's door; if not, they need another cause. I know you've written a lot of lipedema already, but it's sprinkled throughout your other stories in which you're stressing out --hard. You are a good writer (obviously), so put that skill to use and write a rich, informative, well-researched piece about lipedema, and only lipedema. Let your GoFundMe be connected to THAT story, not the other stories when you're stressing out.

3. I'm going to get blowback for this one, but here goes: people don't want to give money to people they think are losing it, and you're last few stories make it seem like you are. People want to put money on the winner. That's human nature, I wish it weren't, but it is. So if you want the campaign to work, start talking about all the positive things you are doing, and will do, once you get the surgery.

4. Finally, you have to answer people's questions about the amount you've asked for. You can do that here or or on the GFM page. The bottom line is that 60K is quite a lot, and people are going to wonder why that's the amount you settled on. Is that the price for one surgery? If so, why is it so expensive? (My upcoming breast reduction - if I go through with it --is going to be 10K for instance). Or does that amount include pre- or post-op care? Or is that amount for multiple surgeries? Child care? What's the health insurance situation? If you have it, why won't they pay? If you don't, why not?

I'm not trying to imply that you don't need the money -- I know that you do - but when people give $ they want to know specifics. When I used to fundraise for a horse rescue, we had to be very specific about where every $ was going. Sometimes we would increase the campaign amount if there were unforeseen circumstances, and sometimes we would *reduce* it, if costs were less than we thought. This is all to say that you have to be vigilant about this portion of it, or people who are on the fence won't give.

I know it's a lot and I'm not trying to criticize; I really do want your campaign to work. I also know that managing a GFM campaign can feel like a lot - but you can do it. Best, AD



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