When someone dies unexpectedly, and/or tragically, the emotional burden placed on the loved ones of the deceased can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, it can also present a sudden financial strain on the family of the deceased. Sometimes, family members are left scrambling to come up with the funds to put together final arrangements, with little time to do so.
Trying to figure out how to pay for a funeral or other end-of-life services, while also dealing with the shock of losing a loved one too soon is something we see families navigate regularly. For those who find themselves seeking help with funeral costs, or those looking to donate funds to those in need, there are a couple of options to choose from:
If you’re considering crowdsourcing as a means of raising money for a funeral, there are a few things you should know. While crowdsourcing works well for many situations, it is not always the ideal method of raising funds for a funeral or memorial service. It’s important to understand how crowdsourcing works before deciding to use this method of fundraising.
There are many different crowdsourcing companies out there today, some of which are more popular than others. GoFundMe and Generosity (by Indiegogo) are two popular services that allow you to raise funds for a person or cause. Before setting up an account, it’s important to determine what fees you and/or your donors will be responsible for when using these crowdsourcing sites.
Some crowdsourcing applications will charge a fee to use their services, in addition to a payment processing fee, which allows users to make payments via credit card, debit card, or PayPal. These fees can range from about 3% to more than 10%, and represent money that could otherwise be used towards funding the funeral services.
There is also often a significant delay from the time the funds are donated through the website to the time they are available to pay the funeral home. The delay gets even longer if a friend of the family starts the fundraising appeal since, once the money is paid, it still needs to be transferred to the family, and then to the funeral home. Many crowdfunding sites do not disburse the proceeds for up to 30 days after the campaign has ended. This presents a problem if the funds are not available as payment for funeral or burial services is due when the services are rendered.
There is also the potential for fundraising fraud. There are real stories out there of families that have raised funds for a “funeral”, with funding goals that far exceeded the average price for even the most elaborate burial services. Or, friends of the family may start a campaign, the funds of which never make it to the family. In some cases, donors may be left questioning whether all the funds that are donated will actually make their way to the funeral home. There is no way for donors to know for sure whether the funds being raised are being used for their original purpose.
Donate Directly to the Funeral Home
There is, however, another option, that many people aren’t aware of. In many cases, you can donate directly to the funeral home, as a way of helping the family of the deceased to pay for services. Most funeral homes will accept donations in the form of cash, check, or credit card, to be put towards final arrangements.
By choosing to donate directly to the funeral home, you can avoid the fees associated with donating through an online crowdsourcing service. And, in turn, the money that would have been spent on those fees allows for additional funds to be used towards services.
Family members of the deceased benefit from the additional funds that aren’t wasted on fees, and donors can be assured that they money they donate goes directly to the funeral home. Plus, there is no need to take the time to set up an online account or to wait for money to be transferred.
If you find yourself in need of help with funeral costs or other final arrangements for a loved one, or you’d like to donate funds to help another family, we welcome you to contact us directly at (603) 625-5777 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.