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6 Creative Ways to Raise Money for Your Gender-Affirming Surgery

Piggy bank

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 Point of Pride's Annual Trans Surgery Fund because he was able to pay for his own care. 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 toward 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 with out 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 could mail an autographed picture of yourself in a tacky outfit. Or, 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. Itemize out what your surgery expenses are

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 something else.

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 each 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 stuff you don’t need

This next tip is less donation-focused and more about raising money in general. 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 or rent out your apartment or even just a room to a traveler in need.

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