Tips for a Successful Funeral Fundraiser
The average funeral costs about $9,000, which can lead to enormous financial stress, in addition to the pain of losing a loved one. Fortunately, funeral fundraisers are becoming more common, allowing others in the person’s community to chip in to help cover the costs.
Setting up a funeral fundraiser is easy. However, investing a little extra time to perfect and share the website can go a long way in terms of how much money you raise.
If you haven't already set up your funeral fundraiser, you can do that here:
Start by making sure the website has key information for potential donors. Beyond the information about the fundraiser itself, here are some other things that are helpful to share:
- A photo. A nice photo of the person who passed away will make the website feel more friendly and will make it easy for people to confirm that they have the right person. Photos also have a way of making the loss feel more real and present to those who might be disconnected from the situation.
- Funeral information. If you already know when and where the funeral will be, share that information on the website. This helps people know more about how their donation will be used. As an added benefit, it will help you know how many people plan to attend.
- An obituary. If you’ve written an obituary for your loved one, post it on the website. It’s an easy way to share the obituary with friends and family, and it will cause your fundraiser to come up when others search for the obituary. While writing an obituary might seem like a daunting task, there are obituary templates available to you in the memorial website itself.
- The first donation. Ask a close friend or family member to make the first donation to your campaign. Even if it’s small, seeing that someone has already donated adds trust and shows others that the funeral fundraiser is active. If you can't find anyone to make the first donation, you can always donate to the fundraiser yourself, anonymously.
Once you’ve added all the relevant information to your website, it’s time for you to share it with your community. The more people that see it, the more money that you’re likely to raise. When you share, it’s always a good idea to include a short note about how the donations will help. Here are some groups that you should consider sharing it with:
- Your Facebook friends
- Any other social media you have an active community on
- Your local community centers
- Any clubs or organizations you are a part of, or the deceased participated in
- Your neighbors
- Your religious community
- Your coworkers
Once you’ve shared the fundraiser with your community, think about those close to you who may be able to help you spread the word. Ask family members and close friends to share the website with their communities, as well. Doing so will significantly increase your reach.
You can also ask friends and family members to re-share when you initially share your fundraiser. For example, when sharing your website on Facebook or sending it to people via email, you can include a message like this (feel free to copy and paste this, and then edit it to match your situation):
As some of you may have heard, [ person's name ] just passed away [ when? ]. We're heartbroken, and on top of the loss, we don't currently have the money we need to pay for [ his/her ] funeral. If you're able to help in even a small way, your kindness would be greatly appreciated. Regardless of whether you can help financially, we'd also be very grateful if you share this fundraiser with others and/or post any memories of [ person's name ] on the website. Here's the link to where you contribute: [ your website link ]
You may also want to share the fundraising campaign with larger groups that may be interested in donating. Here are some things that others have done:
- Contact local blogs or news websites about your loved one and why you're raising money. If they were an active member of the community, highlight this in your initial contact.
- Post in relevant Facebook groups, where people may be interested in helping (e.g. groups for moms, groups for people who share your religion, groups for people who live in your town).
- Contact the person's former employer and ask if they're willing to share the fundraiser with their employee base. This is incredibly useful, especially when your loved one was higher up in the company or had a lot of friends at the company.
- Share your fundraiser in online grief groups to reach others who have had similar experiences.
If the funeral arrives and you still haven't raised the full amount, consider setting up a computer, tablet or phone in the reception area with a sign to let people know they can donate there. This will help you receive donations from people who may not have seen the fundraiser online and don't have cash on them.
Want to brainstorm other ideas? Feel free to give us a call at 833-300-6840.