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Losing a loved one is tragic. Coping with that loss is no easy task. Mourning and honoring the loved one should be the sole focus of his or her grieving family and friends. Unfortunately, high funeral costs can be an added financial stressor that no one dealing with the emotional trauma of loss should have to handle.
At Fundly, we are helping to ease the financial burden of grieving families across the country. Using our simple, online fundraising platform, families are able to create memorial fundraising pages for their lost ones.
Your Fundly memorial page help you pay for funeral expenses or cremation, and can provide a way for family and friends to express memories, condolences, and messages of hope.
Because the last thing you should be stressed about during a funeral is its cost. Start a free fundraising memorial page now and see the memorial and funeral fundraisers currently on Fundly.
To aid you through this journey, here are some proven tips to help you be successful with your memorial fund or funeral fundraiser.
#1: CREATE A MEMORIAL FUND PAGE
This might seem to be a given, but it is an important step in the fundraising process. Not only does it allow for simple online donations, but it also serves as a memorial page. Many donation sites will leave the page up even after the fundraiser has ended in order to honor your loved one.
#2: SET A GOAL
A numerical goal for the fundraiser provides a tangible cause that friends, family, and others can join. This set dollar amount will guide someone who might not know how to help or how much financial support to give. A contributor will feel she has a piece of this community if her $20 might complete your goal.
#3: CREATE A GOOD MEMORIAL FUND PAGE
In addition to having the page and the goal, you want this page to capture attention and compel viewers to donate. A strong page will be an invaluable asset and partner in raising funds. That assistance will free you up to spend more time with other loved ones, rather than only thinking about the financial strain.
a) The Title
The title is the first important aspect to think about. It should indicate exactly why you created the page. Focusing on the loved one or the family are two paths to a good title. Lines such as “The Smith Family,” “In Loving Memory of Amy Johnson,” or even “The Megan Russell Memorial Fund” would all be beneficial. Let the donors know right away whom a contribution would benefit.
b) The Bio
For your page’s bio, include a description of the fundraiser itself that communicates why and where the financial aid is needed. Start by providing the circumstances of the loss (now would be the time to mention any illness or unexpected cause of death). This way, those who might not have otherwise heard, can learn what happened with a simple Google search.
The bio should also include the goal amount of the fundraiser and where the money would go. For example, this is the place to mention if the fundraiser will help the widow cover medical expenses or help the parent of a child afford to miss additional time at work. Don’t forget to mention the beneficiary of the fundraising in this explanation.
Finally, provide a call-to-action that encourages people to donate, share the page, and share memories of their late friend.
c) The Memories
You should also invite the reader to share a memory of the deceased. Use the memorial page as a place where the other survivors of the loss can communicate little bits that honor their loved one. Not only will this help the community through a terrible time, but it will also help increase donations with the sentimental pull that the comments provide.
d) The Picture
The final important component comes in the form of a picture. When you create the memorial page for your loved one, you will have the option to provide one or more images. This image should capture the deceased in a happy moment that presents him in a way that he would like to be remembered.
This photo will help give some brief emotional peace to those who view the page and help them remember why they loved this late friend or family member.
Be careful about including others in the image, though. Without realizing it, you may provide an image of all of your loved one’s family members except one, making that one person, and anyone else who notices, feel unwelcome and unwilling to donate.
#4: GATHER CONTACT INFORMATION
Collecting the contact information of friends, family members, colleagues, and acquaintances you one step closer to relieving the financial strain. This information will help your memorial page reach those who might donate.
To do this, you don’t have to be a expert. A simple document or spreadsheet will do. Just collect names, phone numbers, and emails of those you think could help in one place. From there, the list can easily be copied onto the website of the memorial page or into an email address line. Now, you can connect these friends and family members with the page that will allow them to help.
#5 CREATE A PLAN
Creating a simple plan now will save you from additional worry later. Here, you decide how long the fundraiser will go on and how often you would like to contact your potential donors.
Weekly emails are a good place to begin. Start with a simple email explaining the situation, and follow it with an update on fundraising, a call to spread the word, an invitation to share a memory of the loved one, and another status update. Always include a link to your donation site and remind the reader of how a donation can honor the memory of the deceased.
Don’t forget to follow-up, as well. This includes messages, texts, and phone calls. Texting the 20-something niece will go over better than a call, while a call would be much more valuable for your loved one’s elderly uncle. It sometimes takes a few tries for a message to really get through, so don’t give up if the first try doesn’t produce the results you want.
You can also set a precedent for the donations by contributing the first donation to the site. This will provide others with a basis for how much to give and will allow them to see that you are already moving toward your goal.
#6: SHARE, SHARE, SHARE
This one is self-explanatory. Use any mode of communication you can to share the page. People cannot contribute if they don’t realize that there is an option for them to do so. Social media is useful once you’ve sent the initial emails and made the first calls. If you are putting an announcement in a local paper, you can include the link there, too.
It will also help to share the funeral arrangements, this will make people feel more connected to the community surrounding your loved one and cement the connection between the funeral and the memorial fund.
#7: THANK SUPPORTERS
A simple thank you can go a long way. Let those who have helped you know how appreciated their donation is. Not only will it make them feel recognized and impactful, but it might even convince them to give again.
#8: GO BEYOND THE WEBSITE
There are plenty of other ways to help raise money for the funeral costs, and many are just as effective. They are even more effective, though, when you combine them.
A lot of fundraising websites will make it easy to post information about memorial events. A 5k with pledge donations for an avid runner or a walk with children for a teacher, promoted on your page, could increase donations.
You can also order t-shirts and wristbands for donors; just be careful not to spend more on those than you can make up for in the donations.
Additionally, you can provide information about how to donate at the funeral itself with donation cards. Even a change bin in a local store can help, although this works best in small towns. There are endless ways to increase the visibility of your memorial fund, and visibility increases donations in turn.
#9: ASK FOR HELP
This whole process allows you to ask for financial help, but you can ask others to help you with the fundraising, too. You should never feel like you are alone. Sharing some of the responsibilities will help you spend quality time where you need to without suffering financially for it.
Losing a loved one will never be easy, and no amount of financial support will ease that pain. However, it can allow you to put your focus where you really need it, instead of worrying about funeral expenses.
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