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If you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one and are faced with organising their funeral, the cost may be something you are not able to finance alone. 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?
And, even for those who have organised funeral payment plans, these can still fall short of the costs involved when personal touches are added.
With this in mind, GoGetFunding is here to help ensure you are able to provide a fitting funeral in honour of your loved one. Having a funeral fundraising campaign can help make this difficult time more about celebrating their life and their memories and less about cost worries.
Is it distasteful to have a funeral fundraiser?
From our experience, absolutely not. In fact we have found that fundraising for funeral costs provides an enormous sense of inclusiveness and central focus for support and grief. You can also just take a look at how many successful funeral and memorial campaigns we’ve hosted, how well they’ve done and how they’ve bought people together.
Some of the first things people will say when they hear your news is ‘if there is anything we can do, just let us know’ ‘if you need help, you know where we are’ ‘what can we do to help?’. The reason people say these things, is they know nothing they can do will take away the pain – they want to help, but just don’t know how.
Asking someone to create a fundraising campaign for you (or creating it yourself if you feel you can do it) can immediately help bring focus to organising the funeral.
People donating will not only feel like they are helping you with an unexpected financial cost, but they are also helping your loved one have the service they deserve. For some, it will be a relief that they have found a way to help.
It can help open communication, which is often so difficult at times such as this. For others, as they read through the comments and messages of support and memories, it will become 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?
People may need help with the cost of a funeral for a number of reasons. The most common reasons we see are:
- The loved one has been suffering with a long-term illness, meaning 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 I include in my funeral fundraising campaign?
Writing a funeral fundraising campaign is not complicated. Like the funeral service itself, it will acknowledge the loss of your loved one, express your pain, but also the joy that their presence brought. It will then delicately describe how or 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 of the things you should consider including:
- 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.
Ah, this is always the stumbling block. No-one likes to ask for money, so how do you do it in the least pressurised way?
- EVERYONE knows funerals are not cheap.
- EVERYONE knows 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
A campaign is the space between you and your donor. The link can be shared with your donor, and nothing further needs to be said. You don’t have to ask them to donate, they don’t need to ask 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.
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.
Do you have a template that might help?
Here is an example of a very simple (ficticious) campaign appeal for John Smith, who died following a long illness (modern) :
To everyone who may not yet have heard the news, our dear friend John Smith passed away last night, in his sleep. Sarah, Ellie and Joseph were with him when he passed, but are devastated.
Funeral plans are still being arranged, and any updates regarding locations and times will be posted here. However we do know that you need to make sure you have your Liverpool FC football shirts ready!
John wished to have a simple funeral, but a big party afterwards (always the party animal!)
We have already had numerous emails, texts and messages from people asking how to help, So here it is!
As you are all aware, due to John’s illness he has been unable to work for several months and Sarah has been his full-time carer as well as mum to Ellie and Jo – this has created a huge financial burden and something I am certain we can all do something to help with.
If you would like to donate, just click on the donate button and donate whatever you can. If you are not able to donate don’t forget you can still leave messages and comments for Sarah and the kids to read.
Also, make sure you follow this page so that you receive any updates regarding the funeral.
Lets give John the send off he deserves!
Here is an example of a very simple (ficticious) campaign appeal for Rose Thomas, who died unexpectedly (traditional) :
To everyone who may not yet have heard the news, our dear friend Rose Thomas died following a tragic accident.
Funeral plans are still being arranged, and any updates regarding locations and times will be posted here.
As you are all aware, Rose is mum to Jack and Henry and loving partner of Dave. What has happened is beyond comprehension and we are all still in shock. Understandably Dave is struggling to cope, so I am stepping in to help with organising Rose’s Funeral.
We have already had numerous emails, texts and messages from people asking how to help, so this campaign has been created as a way to keep everyone up-to-date with plans, and also offer a place for messages and donations to be left
If you would like to donate, just click on the donate button and donate whatever you can. If you are not able to donate don’t forget you can still leave messages and comments for Dave and the boys to read.
Also, make sure you follow this page so that you receive any updates regarding the funeral.
If anyone has any questions, you can send me a message by clicking on my name at the top of the page.
If you, or someone you know, could have the worry of finding funeral costs eased by a supportive, simple, tasteful crowdfunding campaign, our support team are on hand at any time to offer guidance.