"Not by money alone": Social support opportunities in medical crowdfunding campaigns

Jennifer G. Kim, Kristen Vaccaro, Karrie Karahalios, Hwajung Hong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Medical crowdfunding helps patients receive financial support from their distributed social networks online. However, little is known about who the patient's supporters are, what support they provide, and why. To address this, we interviewed fifteen people involved in medical crowdfunding, including both beneficiaries and supporters. We found that support networks were larger than beneficiaries expected, with strangers offering support. Supporters offered not only monetary but also volunteering contributions including campaign creation, promotion, and external support. However, the emphasis medical crowdfunding interfaces place on monetary contributions led to social issues. Beneficiaries' close friends felt pressured to donate money they could not afford to give. And beneficiaries promoting the campaign worried they would be judged for requesting money. To mitigate these concerns, we suggest making the variety of volunteering contributions more visible and discuss the design challenges of including such signals in existing systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450343350
StatePublished - Feb 25 2017
Event2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2017 - Portland, United States
Duration: Feb 25 2017Mar 1 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW


Other2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2017
CountryUnited States


  • Medical crowdfunding
  • Online financial support
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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