How to Word a Request for Funeral Donations
Why online fundraisers are helpful
Creating an online fundraiser makes it easy to raise money due to the ease of use and reach of the internet and social media. Leveraging the network of yourself, your family, and your friends can be incredibly useful in a time of need. While there are other sites that will let you raise money for a funeral (such as GoFundMe), Ever Loved is focused on bringing people together, allowing you to do much more than fundraise.
If you’d like to go beyond fundraising (or do without it entirely), you can use your memorial page to share event information, share memories and photos with friends and family, and allow others to share their own memories and photos on your memorial page. You can also write an obituary for someone who has passed away and any other note that your family would like to share. Creating a memorial page on Ever Loved is completely free and stays up indefinitely. We do not charge any kind of fee for raising funds on our platform, the only fees that are paid are standard credit card processing fees at 2.9.%+30 cents for the total contribution. (We run completely on generous tips that people have the option to leave for us.) Creating a memorial website and fundraiser is completely free.
What is condolence money called?
When you're asking for people to donate towards a fundraiser you have or to donate in lieu of flowers (as a sign of their condolences), you can consider referring to these as "gifts", "contributions", or "donations".
Is it proper funeral etiquette to request memorial or funeral donations?
It's perfectly normal to go to your community and request a money donation or another type of donation to help with the funeral or other events. After someone loses a loved one, there are many things to take care of. Being able to afford the funeral services is just one of those things and many families really struggle for this first step. Making a funeral donations request of your friends, family, and community may feel awkward or inappropriate, but it's worth remembering that you are not alone and that many of your friends and family are actively looking for ways they can support you.
When it comes to the exact funeral donations wording, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind before posting online or sending out the request to your community:
- Remember that it's totally normal to feel completely lost as to how to ask for donations for funeral expenses -- especially if it's your first time asking your community for monetary help. Feelings of guilt, shame, or embarrassment are normal and are felt by many families in this position.
- Identify groups of people that you think may be likely to help you or able to help you in this scenario. Examples of places that may be able to provide funeral money include churches, religious organizations, local community organizations or non-profits, companies that you or your loved one worked at, friends, family, and other members of your community.
- Consider asking for funeral donations in lieu of flowers -- after someone dies, many people feel the need to purchase and send flowers as a sign of their sympathy. In lieu of flowers (or instead of flowers), you can ask for funeral donations to help you cover these unexpected costs.
- Review your memorial fundraiser wording depending on where you're posting the request. If you're posting on Facebook to just friends and family, you may want to consider changing some of the details you include in the post as opposed to when you're sending out a request to your work colleagues. (Or you may feel comfortable with having the same wording throughout!)
- Consider how much you're looking to raise. What are you raising money for? Is it for financial relief for the family? Are you collecting condolence money for unexpected funeral expenses? Are you trying to erect a bench in your loved one's honor? Try to be specific when deciding on your funeral fundraiser wording. It can help people feel that they are donating to a specific cause and that their donation makes a real difference.
- Try to create your own wording for memorial donations; avoid copying and pasting a template. If you can, try to change any template you find online to at least include basic custom information about your specific needs and hopes for the funeral fundraisers.
How to word a request for funeral fundraiser donations
When you start a fundraiser for funeral donations, the wording of your fundraising story can make a big impact how much money you’re able to raise. Some find it difficult to turn to their community when in need, and have an especially difficult time when explaining why they’re trying to crowdfund. The funeral fundraiser wording that you choose can be important and it’s worth spending time to craft a compelling story.
Start by looking at the next two stories and decide which one you’d be more likely to contribute to:
Please help us raise funds we really need help thanks
It is with extreme sadness that we announce the passing of Sarah Harrison. Sarah was a bright spark in this world and will be deeply missed. She touched the lives of so many and it’s our turn to give back to her family in their time of need. We are raising money to cover the costs of the funeral and memorial services for Sarah’s family as this passing was completely unexpected. Any excess money will be donated to the Garden & Pottery Club of West Point where Sarah was a board member for over 20 years.
In most cases, readers are more likely to empathize and connect with Story #2. Raising money is difficult with or without a story, but it’s easier to raise funds if your audience can connect with you and your family. Be aware that some sites might have a character limit to your fundraising story, so it’s important to keep it within those characters. On Ever Loved, we don’t have a character limit so you’re free to write as long of a story as you deem necessary. (But we do suggest you keep it somewhat succinct; 1-2 paragraphs is often enough.)
What you should include in your overview
Putting some time into explaining what you’re raising funds for and who it was in honor of is important and helps your audience connect with the person who has passed away. It also helps them feel as though they’re making a difference that’s meaningful and that they’re able to eliminate at least some of the grief that a family experiences after losing a loved one.
Some key points to include:
- Why someone needs to raise money
- What the money that is being donated will be used for
- A brief description of the person who passed away and their life
If you’re unsure of how to write a campaign story or need some templates to get started, feel free to reference these donation for funeral wording samples:
Raising money for someone else
Mary Scott unexpectedly passed away on September 3rd, 2019 leaving behind her two young daughters Sarah & Kelly and her husband Michael. The family is understandably shocked by this loss and unfortunately not prepared for all that goes along with planning a funeral at this time. If you knew Mary & Michael, you’d know that they made an amazing team in their marriage, church, and business. Mary & Michael were always looking for different ways to give back to their community and have helped many of us in our time of need. It’s now our turn to help Michael and his children as they deal with the loss of Mary. We are raising money to assist with unexpected funeral costs, services, and time Michael might have to take off of work.
[Name of deceased] unexpectedly passed away on [date of death] leaving behind [his/her] [husband/wife/partner] [name of partner] and their kids [names of children]. The family is shocked and saddened by this loss and unfortunately not financially prepared as this was unexpected. If you knew [name of deceased], you’d know how much they touched the lives of everyone around them. It’s now our turn to give back and help [name of partner who is alive] and [his/her] children as they deal with the loss of [name]. We are raising money to assist with [funeral costs/memorial service costs/labor costs/time off] as the family deals with this loss.
Raising money for a coworker
Jeong Ho, a longtime manager at Vera's Stop, passed away unexpectedly on February 13th due to injuries sustained from a car accident. Jeong's family is completely unprepared for this loss, as are we here at Vera's. Jeong was a wonderful, kind, and hilarious person that put a smile on everyone's faces every day at work. We are saddened to lose him as a friend and coworker. We'd like to show our support to Jeong's family during this difficult time by helping them cover unexpected funeral costs.
[Full name], a longtime [job role] at [company name], passed away unexpectedly on [date] due to [cause of death]. [First name]'s family is completely unprepared for this loss, as are we here at [company name]. [First name] was a [kind/generous/funny/etc.] person that put a smile on everyone's faces every day at work. We are saddened to lose [him/her] as a friend and coworker. We'd like to show our support to [First name]'s family during this difficult time by helping them cover unexpected funeral costs.
Raising money for your own family for an unexpected death
Joseph James unexpectedly passed away from a car accident on September 3rd, 2019. To say that we are shocked is an understatement and unfortunately we are not prepared to pay for funeral services at this time. Joseph was the best husband and father a family could ask for and I am lost without him. We are raising money to cover the cost of a funeral with a memorial service. Joseph had mentioned having a memorial service was important and I want to honor that. I’m overwhelmed by the support shown so far and can’t thank you all enough for helping our family during this time.
[Name] unexpectedly passed away from [cause of death] on [date of death]. To say that we are shocked is an understatement and unfortunately we are not prepared to pay for [funeral services/cremation cost/a burial plot/etc.] at this time. [Name] was the best [husband/wife] and [father/mother] a family could ask for and I am lost without [him/her]. I am raising money to cover the cost of [what you’re raising money for]. I’m overwhelmed by the support shown so far and can’t thank you all enough for helping our family during this time.
Raising money for your own family for an expected death
Example Sarah Frey passed away on September 3rd, 2019 after a long battle with breast cancer. While we were able to cover the majority of Sarah’s medical expenses throughout the cancer treatments, we’re having a difficult time coming up with the funds for the funeral services. We are raising money to cover the cost of funeral services for Sarah. We want to thank everyone for all the kind words and support they've already shown us throughout Sarah’s battle with cancer. It means more to us than words can say.
[Name] passed away on [date] after a long battle with [illness]. While we were able to cover the majority of [name’s] [medical/care] expenses throughout the [illness], we’re having a difficult time coming up with the funds for [what you’re raising money for]. We are raising money to cover the cost of [funeral services/cremation/memorial services] for [name]. We want to thank everyone for all the kind words and support they've already shown us throughout [name]’s battle with [illness]. It means more to us than words can say.