Crowdfunding for a funeral

Is it appropriate to crowdfund for a funeral? What should a funeral fundraising campaign contain? How should it look like? Any tips or precautions one must take?

Grieving for the loss of a loved one is a heavy weight to bear. Lacking the financial resources to organize a funeral adds to the already heavy weight that you’re bearing. Did you know that the average cost of a funeral in the US is around $10,000 – with similar costs reported in the UK, Canada and elsewhere?

Fundraising for a funeral

Keeping this in mind, Crowdera is here to help ensure that you’re able to provide a fitting funeral in honour of your loved one. Having a funeral fundraising campaign by your side can not only release some of your burden but also make this time about celebrating their life and their memories.

Is it distasteful to have a funeral fundraiser?

From our experience, absolutely not. In fact we have found that fundraising for funeral provides an enormous sense of inclusiveness and central focus for support and grief.

Some of the first things that people say when they hear such a news is

“Let me know if I can do something for you.”

“How can we help?”

“Do contact us if you need anything.”

The reason why they say this is that they are really into helping you out but they don’t know what they can do. They realise that nothing they can do will assuage your pain.

Asking someone to create a fundraising campaign for you (or creating it yourself if you can do it) can help bring focus on organizing the funeral.

People will not only feel that they are helping you with an unanticipated financial loss, but also help your loved one get the service they deserve. Added to this, they will feel a bit relieved that they are able to help you in some way.

Not only this, but it can also help open up communication which gets quite tough at times like this. For others, reading through the messages and comments of support, love and memories, it will be a touching reminder of how well-loved your loved one was and still is.

It also becomes a ‘noticeboard’ for any memorial services, funeral details or fundraising activities they may be held in honour of them.

Why would someone need a funeral fundraising campaign?

  • The person was suffering from a long-term illness which implies a loss of not one, but often two incomes as their partner or spouse takes on the responsibility of caring for them, depleting any savings they may have.
  • The medical costs associated with the care of their loved one during illness has surpassed any budget they had and they are already faced with challenging costs before considering arranging the funeral
  • Some have died away from home, so the cost of expatriation and the funeral exceeds  any funeral plan they may have prepared.
  • With the sudden loss of a loved one, it unfortunately often means a loss of income for the family. Trying to adjust to manage finances, whilst at the same time having to find funds for a funeral can impact hugely on the health of the family who are already grieving.
  • Friends and family simply want to help and truly believe alleviating the financial burden is a practical, supportive way to do so.

What information should be included in this campaign?

Writing such a campaign is not at all complex. Like any funeral service, it will acknowledge the loss of your loved on, your pain and also the joy that your loved one’s presence had brought in your life. It will not only make them connect to your loved ones but also make them realise why you need funds.

Your most likely donors will be family, friends, local community and work colleagues – all the people who knew your loved one – so it would be these people you would be directing your message to.

Here are some things which you should include:

  • Full name of your loved one
  • Date of death
  • Date (or provisional date) of funeral
  • Location of funeral
  • Any specific requests
  • Circumstances of death
  • Appeal for funds
  • Reason for the appeal
  • Reminder that you would love people to add their comments or memories to the campaign
  • Thanks for the support.
  • Confirmation that updates will continue to be posted on the campaign page.
  • Photos that will spark happy memories of your loved one.

How should I word my funeral fundraising campaign?

Wording your funeral fundraising campaign is of course, very personal, but should most definitely reflect the type of person your loved one was. For example, if they have always been known to be a practical joker, the comedian etc, it would be fitting to touch on their humour and write your campaign in the uplifting way you would expect them to behave. If they were the organiser, the motivator of the family, you can hint at this by saying how they would just like to get the job done. It’s all about connecting your loved one to your donors.

Traditionally, funerals were very serious formal affairs, but people are now gravitating towards the funeral being a celebration of a life lived, not a life ending. Think about your loved one’s attitude to life and this should help you decide on the tone of your appeal.

How do I actually ask for money?

I feel awkward doing this.

This is always the stumbling block. No-one likes to ask for money, so how do you do it in the least pressurised way?

Firstly:

  • EVERYONE is aware that funerals are not pocket-friendly
  • EVERYONE knows that you want to provide the best send off you can, for your loved one
  • EVERYONE feels awkward and uncomfortable and unsure what to do
  • EVERYONE wants to help

Secondly:

A campaign is the bridge between you and your donor. The link can be shared with your donor, and nothing further needs to be said. Neither you have to ask them to donate nor they need to ask you what they can do. Everything is clear in the wording of your campaign. If they choose to donate they can do so, if they choose not to (or are not in the position to do so) they can do so without feeling guilty.

Thirdly:

You can ask for money, without it sounding like you are asking for money. For example in your campaign you can say that you would like to accept donations in lieu of flowers, and that the donations will be divided equally between your loved one’s favourite charity and the cost of the funeral.