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As if infertility’s mental and physical challenges weren’t complex enough, affording the necessary treatments can seem downright impossible. That’s why many hopeful families end up scouring the internet for IVF fundraising ideas.
IVF is a complicated process.
Every cycle has many stages, from medications and egg freezing to egg retrievals and embryo transfers. And with each of those stages comes a mountain of bills and payments.
And since the median household income in America is $67,521, that doesn’t leave a lot of extra cash to cover the high expenses of IVF treatments.
When emptying our savings is not an option, many of us must get creative with our money-raising efforts. From bake sales to crowdfunding, there are several excellent infertility fundraisers you might want to consider!
How Much Do IVF Cycles Cost on Average?
To help you better understand how much money you’re going to need for an in vitro fertilization cycle (IVF), you’ll need to know how much everything costs in the first place.
Here’s a basic breakdown of typical treatment costs:
- Median Cost of a Traditional IVF Cycle: $19,690
- This includes medications, monitoring, pre-cycle testing, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer.
- Average Cost Range for Embryo Freezing: $11,000 – 15,000
- Average Cost of IVF with Egg Donation: $25,000 – $30,000
- Average Cost of Donor Sperm: $900 – 1,000
These numbers can increase or decrease significantly depending on the unique conditions surrounding your specific treatments.
Does Health Insurance Cover IVF?
One of the most challenging aspects of fertility treatments is that many insurance companies don’t cover cycles of IVF–at least entirely.
While insurance coverage will occasionally help with certain aspects of the process, such as fertility blood tests, most policies don’t include financial assistance for the total cost of IVF treatments.
Before starting your cycle, you should contact your insurance provider and figure out what is and is not covered. You want to be prepared and not make assumptions because those assumptions might bite you in the financial rear end later.
Can You Use Your 401K to Pay for Fertility Treatments?
While pulling money out of your 401k is an option regarding your IVF payments, many financial advisors suggest using it as a last resort.
Under particular circumstances, you may qualify for a hardship withdrawal from your retirement plan. That said, there can still be penalties and taxes you might have to pay for doing so.
Our best advice is to speak with your 401k account holder or financial consultant to learn more about possible fines or repercussions.
Are You Allowed to Use Flexible Spending Accounts for IVF?
Every flexible spending account is different, but as a general rule, you can apply many of these plans to fertility costs. Two exceptions are typically adoption and surrogacy costs.
6 IVF Fundraising Ideas for You to Try
Once you exhaust standard financial options for medical coverage, it’s time to start looking at alternative IVF fundraising ideas to cover the cost of fertility treatment.
While making payments for your upcoming cycle can seem overwhelming at first, the fortunate thing is there are several excellent options for raising money and covering your expenses.
1. Crowdfunding Your Treatments: Is it a Good IVF Fundraising Idea?
Why not start this list with one of the most popular ways to raise money for IVF treatments–crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding involves collecting small amounts of money from a large group of participants. Usually, someone will host the fundraiser on behalf of the person the money is benefitting, such as a friend or family member.
2. Using Classic Fundraising Techniques for Infertility Treatments
If crowdfunding isn’t something you feel comfortable with (and we understand why), why not try a more classic infertility fundraising option? Many hopeful parents have found success raising money through various projects, including:
- Car Wash
- Bake Sale
- Raffle Tickets
- Silent Auction
You could also ask local businesses if they would be willing to set up buckets in their establishment to collect charitable proceeds for your treatment.
3. Applying for Infertility Grants or Loans
As you search for fundraisers to cover IVF treatments, don’t forget to research infertility grants and loans you might qualify for. Several reputable nonprofit organizations and private scholarship funds exist to help families have a child.
Some respected organizations that provide family-building grants include:
- Cade Foundation
- Baby Quest Foundation
- Footprints of Angels
- Starfish Infertility Foundation
- Cleveland Clinic
- Parental Hope Family Grant
In addition to IVF grants, some of these organizations also offer interest-free loans to help cover the cost of treatment.
To learn more about trustworthy grant programs, it’s a good idea to check out Resolve, the National Infertility Association.
How Do You Qualify for IVF Grants?
One crucial thing about fertility grants is that most programs come with eligibility requirements. Before filling out an application, look through these requirements to see if you qualify.
Some examples of possible requirements include:
- An official diagnosis of infertility from a certified doctor
- Being 18 years or older
- Financial need
- Permanent residence in the United States or selected areas
Many applications also require fertility testing and application fees before you’re eligible for consideration.
4. Ask Your Fertility Clinic for Financial Aid Options
In addition to some of the IVF fundraising ideas mentioned above, don’t forget to seek financial assistance from your fertility clinic.
Not only do many facilities provide flexible payment plans for treatment costs, some of them even offer their own grant programs you can apply to. They might also have insight into loans you would qualify for to help cover payments.
Either way, before you let financial stress bring you down, research every possible opportunity that might be available to you.
5. Take a Look at Your Monthly Spending
Sometimes, paying for infertility treatments requires sacrifice–at least temporarily. Consider cutting back on unnecessary expenses until your IVF cycle is over.
If you’re not sure where you should cut back, here are a few ideas for lowering your monthly spending costs:
- Create a budget
- Take a look at your subscriptions and see if there’s anything you can cancel
- Make shopping lists
- Eat at home
- Limit unnecessary shopping
6. Host a Garage Sale to Help With IVF Expenses
Whether you’re raising money for IVF or want to declutter your house, hosting a garage sale is a fantastic way to make a few extra bucks.
Don’t just throw a bunch of stuff on the lawn, though. Try to plan your yard sale for optimal success.
Consumer Reports suggests the following tips to make the most out of your sale:
- Get the word out via neighborhood signs, social media posts, Craigslist, etc.
- Keep your items and layout organized
- Start on a Friday to capture parents dropping kids off at school
- Be friendly toward your shoppers
If you don’t want to host a traditional garage sale, selling items on Craiglist is another excellent option for bringing in extra cash.
Affording Your Fertility Treatments
It can sometimes feel like money is the one thing standing between you and your hopes of building a family–and that sucks.
While it’s not always easy to figure out the financial aspect of fertility treatments, the silver lining is that options exist. There are plenty of ways to raise money for IVF cycles, from garage sales to infertility grants.
The best thing you can do is try to remain calm, organized, and thoughtful about your efforts to fundraise for fertility medical expenses. Lean on your fertility clinic and loved ones to help you find the most beneficial options for you and your family.
Have you tried any of these IVF fundraising ideas? If so, how did they go?
Infertility & TTC Link Round-Up
Would you like to learn more about preparing for fertility treatments or improving your chances of getting pregnant? Take a look at the articles below:
- Infertility Success Stories
- Infertility Support Groups
- How to Reduce Stress While Trying to Conceive
- Best Advice After Embryo Transfer
- How to Choose a Fertility Clinic
- Two Week Wait
- How to Help Implantation
- Implantation Cramps
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.