Many folks turn to crowdfunding, battling with insurance companies, or seeking support through different donation funds in order to raise money for a gender-confirming surgery. When you’re raising money on your own and looking for help to fund your surgery, however, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd.
Here are some fun and creative ways to help raise the money you need.
1. Create and sell original art
Use your talents to get surgery sponsors. If you’re a musician, try creating and selling CDs. If you like to paint, create some canvases and sell them on social media to friends, family, and anyone else in your network.
You could knit, write poetry, create a short film, draw, create t-shirts or clothing, sculpt, put on a skit or play — the sky’s the limit! Just make sure you stay low-cost so every possible penny raised goes toward your surgery.
2. Throw a party!
Play the host and invite family and friends over for a party! Or, if you’re helping a loved one raise money for surgery, this is an awesome and low-cost event you can put on for them. Have a suggested donation amount and jar at the door, and sometime during the party, you can also directly ask your guests to make a donation to support your surgery.
The party can be whatever you like — some people do “It’s a boy” or “It’s a girl” themed parties, but you don’t need a theme at all to have a great time. (Don’t forget a guestbook so everyone can wish you luck on your surgery and recovery!)
Daryn B. held one such party and supported our transgender surgery fund because he was able to pay for his own (thanks again, Daryn!)He says, “I held my Bye Bye Boobies party on July 11th in Houston, and it was attended by over 40 of my closest and most wonderful friends.
I love any reason to celebrate… so of course I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. I am able to afford surgery on my own, but I know there are so many trans guys out there who can’t… I wanted to raise money for other guys’ surgeries.
As a human being, I think it’s so important to support other human beings when I can. I would not be where I am today without the selfless generosity of so many people, and I will always pay that forward.”
3. Get Goofy
Have fun with your fun-draising (#terriblepuns). Maybe every time someone donates $25 to your cause, you mail an autographed picture of yourself in a tacky outfit.
You could grow out or dye your hair (or shave your head if you’re feeling bold!) if you meet a certain goal by a certain time. Now’s also the time to break out an unusual talent to surprise and delight potential supporters.
Use humor to connect folks to who you are as a person, and they’ll be more inclined to help you with your personal fundraising, too.
4. List Your Surgery Costs
Make a list of all of the different surgery expenses you will face and what each one costs. It makes donors more comfortable to know exactly where their donation is going and how it will be used.
You may find a sponsor that wants to cover a portion of your fund entirely, whether that’s on aftercare and prescriptions, hospital fee(s), airfare or travel, or even simply movies to watch while you’re in recovery.
5. Use Significant Numbers
You can use birthdays, surgery dates, or anniversary dates to suggest a donation amount. Maybe your surgery date is on the 14th of the month – ask folks to donate $14 for good luck.
Maybe you’ve done the math and if 50 people each donate a certain amount, you will reach your total. Using that number is also an effective way to show your donors they’re each very important to helping you raise the money you need, and that you’re close to your goal!
6. Rent or Sell Unused Items
This next tip is less donation-focused and more money-raising-based. You can fill your piggy bank pretty quickly by taking to Craigslist and selling stuff you don’t need anymore. Or, get more old school and host a garage sale.
Can’t part with anything? You can rent out your parking spot, rent out your apartment, or even just a room for a traveler in need.
Bonus: Start a Business
I mean, it’s how Point 5cc started! If you have a skill or have been considering starting a small business, you could use the profit earned to fund your surgery. Point 5cc began as a means for founder Aydian Dowling to raise money for his top surgery.
Afterwards, Aydian decided to keep Point 5cc open selling tees and other gear as a way to raise money for other people’s surgeries and give back to the community that had given so generously to him.
Are there any organizations that offer grants or scholarships for gender-confirming surgeries?
Yes, there are several organizations that offer grants or scholarships specifically for transgender individuals seeking surgery. It’s worth researching and applying to multiple options.
How can I ensure that my fundraising efforts are transparent and trustworthy?
Being transparent about your expenses, providing regular updates, and sharing receipts or cost breakdowns can help build trust with potential donors.
Are there tax implications for the money I raise for my surgery?
Depending on your country and the amount raised, there might be tax implications. It’s advisable to consult with a tax professional.
Can I collaborate with local businesses for fundraising events?
Absolutely! Many local businesses are willing to support community members through events or partnerships, especially for a good cause.
What platforms are best for online fundraising?
Platforms like GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo are popular for personal fundraising, but it’s essential to research each platform’s fees and terms.
Your journey to self-realization and authenticity is a courageous one. While the financial aspect can be daunting, remember that with creativity, determination, and community support, you can achieve your goals.
Every step you take, every fundraiser you organize, brings you closer to the life you’ve always envisioned for yourself.