How much do you think a funeral is? Until someone close to you dies, you might seriously underestimate this number. As of this year, it’s at an all-time high of £4,241. And this cost is hitting hard: every year, thousands of families reach out to the government for help with funeral expenses.

But not everyone is eligible for government help or bank loans. Instead, more and more families are heading online and crowdfunding funerals.

 

What is funeral crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is when the general public is asked to donate money towards a particular cause. It can be used to raise money for a funeral service, for a memorial or simply to support the family of the person who has died.

Fundraising for funeral costs is nothing new – people often used to have a whip-round the office or the pub to collect donations for funeral expenses – but it’s far easier now thanks to dedicated crowdfunding websites and tools. Beyond’s online obituary service, JustGiving and GoFundMe are all popular choices.

 

How to raise money for a funeral with crowdfunding

 

1) Find a platform

Your first step is to choose which online platform you’d like to use to collect donations. There are a lot to choose from, so have a think about:

  • Whether you’d like to use a site that is dedicated to funeral expenses, or a more general site.
  • What percentage of your funding for funeral expenses will be taken by the site in admin fees.
  • Whether you’d like the crowdfunding site to serve other purposes. For example, many families use Beyond’s online obituary service to keep track of funeral invites, as well as crowdfunding funerals.

 

2) Set up your funeral crowdfunding page

When you set up your funeral crowdfunding page, you’ll have a chance to upload pictures of the person who has died. This is a really good idea, as it makes it easy for friends and family to be sure they’re on the right page and reminds them of fond memories with them.

The site will also ask you to share a few words about what you are raising money for. This is the hard part – a lot of people are unsure of how to ask for donations for funeral expenses in a way that’s dignified and respectful. Don’t worry: we have a few ideas for funeral fundraiser wording here.

 

A good way to start your page is to explain who has died:

“Three days ago we unexpectedly lost our lovely mum, Rebeccah Jones, in a car accident. The news has completely devastated our family. We know that everyone who knew her will miss her bubbly laugh and kindness…”

 

Next, you might like to talk about what they were like as a person and their connection to the community:

“Jerry brought so much happiness into the world. His brilliant sense of humour and infectious laugh made everyone who met him smile. A dedicated cricketer, he played for the village team, while also supporting the local Scout troop with his time and enthusiastic leadership.”

 

You may want to talk about their family:

“Emma leaves behind her husband, John, and three young kids who will never know their mum. We are heartbroken.”

 

You’ll also want to explain exactly why you are fundraising for funeral expenses – here are a few examples:

“Sadly with Abi’s passing being so unexpected, her family are struggling to afford the funeral. We have created this page to raise money to pay for the service and support them as they cope with their loss.”

“Mum worked incredibly hard all her life but, having brought up three kids alone, sadly died without many savings. To give her the send-off she deserves, we’d like to raise £5,000, with any extra going towards the RSPB, a charity she loved.”

“We have created this page to give our brother Paul the send-off he would have wanted, and to raise funds to support his young family. Please donate if you can – whatever you can give will mean the world to them.”

“We are so grateful for all the friends and family who have offered their help at this time. We’d like to offer an opportunity for everyone to contribute towards Jack’s funeral if they would like to, as we know just how much he means to everyone.”

These funeral fundraising ideas are just a starting point. Don’t be afraid to tweak them or write something completely new. Remember, whatever you write doesn’t have to be perfect. Just be honest and speak from the heart.

 

3) Spread the word about your funeral fundraising

Crowdfunding funerals only works if you’re ready to tell people how they can help. The next (and most important step) is to share the profile with as many people as you can. Consider:

  • Sharing the crowdfunding page on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts, and getting other close family members to do the same.
  • Emailing friends and family with a link, and ask them to share it with anyone else who might have known the person who has died.
  • Sending the link to a colleague of the person who has died, and asking them to share it with the office.
  • If the person who died was a parent of young kids, you could send the link to someone at the school or the PTFA.
  • If they were religious, their local church, temple, mosque or synagogue may help.
  • Sharing the page with any clubs the person who died might have been in.

 

4) Don’t just stay online

While an online crowdfunding page is one of the best ways to raise money for funeral costs, it’s not the only way. As well as spreading the word online, you might consider one of these IRL fundraiser ideas for funeral expenses:

  • Invite friends and family to a memorial dinner or potluck. Take some time on the day to thank everyone for coming and ask them to donate.
  • Have a bake sale. Get together with a few friends (or even the local school or church).
  • Ask friends and family to sponsor you to complete a run.
  • Run a bring and buy sale.
  • Host a film marathon night. Play your loved one’s favourite films and charge for popcorn and drinks.

 

More people are crowdfunding funerals now than ever before

Don’t be ashamed to ask for help with paying for a funeral: you’re not alone. Funeral prices are rising faster than inflation (and house prices) in the UK. This means many ordinary families end up crowdfunding funeral costs.

After all, the average funeral costs £4,241 in the UK; but one in three Brits has less than £1,500 in savings. 15% of us have no savings at all. And while government and local authority support schemes exist, they’re means-tested, and often only open to people on very specific types of benefit.

For many families, this makes crowdfunding one of the best ways to raise money for a funeral. In fact, the number of crowdfunded funeral rose by a third last year, and continues to grow.

 

Crowdfund a funeral with Beyond today

Beyond’s free online obituary service lets you build a beautiful online memorial page in minutes. Each page can be customised to help families:

  • Crowdfund funeral costs
  • Share and receive photos, videos and memories of their loved one
  • Invite guests to the funeral and see who is coming
  • Help friends and family send flowers or donations

Each obituary has an elegant, simple design that’s simple to edit and perfect for crowdfunding funerals. To make one today and start raising money for funeral expenses, click here.

And for more information on how to raise funds for a funeral, check out our guide to getting help with funeral costs here.

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