Funeral Crowdfunding: What it is and how it works
When a loved one dies, it is hard to worry about money and grieve for their loss at the same time. But the reality is, funerals and memorials are expensive nowadays. The latest survey conducted by the National Funeral Directors Association revealed that a funeral cost an average of $7,000 – $9,000. This includes only items from the typical funeral such as the casket, vault, and condolence flowers. This doesn’t even include adding up the cost of the cemetery and other services.
Several companies have offered prepaid funerals plans which offer you to preplan and pay for your funeral expenses, but most people don’t believe in planning their funerals in advance. Great for those families who have loved ones who availed to these prepaid plans because they are spared from the hassle of planning and spending money for the deceased. But how about those families who were left behind figuring out how to cover the costs of funerals? What options do they have? Today, most families turn to funeral crowdfunding.
What is funeral crowdfunding?
Funeral crowdfunding is a method of raising money to help families pay for funeral expenses. It is when a community or a general public contribute small amounts of money to help cover the cost of basic funeral service for a deceased. It is a way for friends, and family, even from the kindness of strangers to help other families in this difficult time.
This kind of fundraising method is mostly done through community campaigns but it’s most popular and convenient when done online. In this way, it is easier to spread the word and easy to keep track of the amount of money coming in.
In one of the funeral crowdfunding platforms, a person named Matthew was able to have 54 contributors willing to donate for his funeral expenses. The family was able to raise $4,000 for the funeral expenses. Although it didn’t reach the targeted amount, the family was still grateful for the generosity and support of the people who have made it easier for them to shoulder the rest of the expenses.
Another example is a grandmother named Gladys who died with an expired life insurance policy. The family who thought they could cover all the costs of burying their grandmother have a hard time paying for the rest of the expenses. The urgency in getting the funds pushed them to use crowdfunding in an online platform. And within a few weeks, the family was able to raise more than $3,000 from 72 contributors and they are more than thankful for this unexpected generosity and support.
How does crowdfunding work?
In order to begin your crowdfunding, you have to set up a fundraising goal. List down all the necessary expenses for the funeral including the casket, burial vault, niche, grave marker, viewings, and even include the ceremony. Depending on the burial options you choose, calculate the overall funeral costs and come up with the final expenses. The final expenses will serve as your fundraising goal.
Next, pick a crowdfunding platform. There are popular sites that are easy to use today. You can search online for these sites and check which one best fits your needs. Make sure to look for free crowdfunding sites that don’t charge a sign-up fee and platform fee. This will allow you to keep more of the funds you’ve raised.
Once you have registered with the site, prepare the details of the campaign. State the name of the deceased and upload his or her photo. Make a description of the campaign and tell the public why there is an urgent need to raise the funds and why their help greatly matters to you and your family. Create a sweet memorial online so people will respond to your story. Don’t forget to also provide bank information so that you can receive the payments from the contributors.
Set a time period of the campaign and share it with relatives and friends. Ask them to share the campaign as well. Study shows that most of the funds come from people who had an immediate effect on a person’s life. So, do it with your network of friends and family members on social media, emails, or letters. Sooner it will even reach people outside of your network.
After a few days, you can check online and see the number of funeral funds raised. Whether the targeted fundraising goal is achieved or not, it is advisable that you thank the contributors for their support through sending them thank you letters, emails or in any other way you can. One campaign offers small tokens of appreciation through bookmarks or handmade bracelets to those who have extended their contribution.
In a time of grief, many families have turned to funeral crowdfunding when it is impossible to make ends meet, especially when family members haven’t set aside enough money for the death of a loved one. Numerous success stories can be read online about funeral crowdfunding because people are willing to come forward and offer help when something unexpected like a death happens. No amount is too small for a person who is in need. So, whether funeral crowdfunding is for you or not, it is our responsibility as a family member to offer our loved ones an honorable and respectable funeral. Giving our loved ones the proper funeral and burial is one of the best gifts we can give to our family.