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The Power of Crowdfunding: Revolutionizing Funeral Fundraising

A recent study showed that less than half of Americans (45 percent) could cover a $1,000 emergency expense without borrowing money or using a credit card.

A recent study showed that less than half of Americans (45 percent) could cover a $1,000 emergency expense without borrowing money or using a credit card.

At the same time, according to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the national median cost of a funeral (with a viewing and burial) in 2021 was nearly $8,000, and a similar funeral with cremation was only about $1,000 less. 

So, what do a lot of families who are faced with these costs, especially if there is an unexpected death? Many go online for help. Here’s what to do if you are thinking about starting an online fundraising campaign.

Choose a Crowdfunding Site

There are many popular crowdfunding platforms like Everloved, Just Giving, or GoFundMe that you can use so friends and family can pitch in.

The most well-known and largest of these is GoFundMe, which, in a 2022 report, said that someone gives to the platform every second, 28 million people sent or received help in the year, and all-time donations reached $25 billion. GoFundMe has instructions and templates to help you set up your campaign.

Other sites include: 

Three sites that charge fees either with a subscription or a portion of donations are: 

Even Instagram and Facebook have fundraising options, which can make things easier for people who use those social media sites.

Each fundraising platform is a little different, so check to see if they keep a percentage of the donations charge any fees to you or your donors, or require a yearly subscription fee. Also, make sure that the website or app is easy to use and navigate.

Set Up an Account and Post

Every site should walk you through how to post your information. If your computer skills are lacking, find a family member or friend who can help you get started. Most sites will encourage you to use a photo to personalize it. Some sites serve both as an obituary or memorial page and a fundraiser.

Spread the Word 

To get the word out about your online fundraising, you’ll want to put a link on social media accounts, memorial pages, personal websites, or funeral home memorial pages if available.

Consult a Tax Professional 

Check with a tax professional to understand if your donations will be taxed.

Other Options 

There are other avenues to explore if you decide online fundraising is not for you. You can consider approaching charities that are known to help with funeral expenses. If your loved one was a vet, you can investigate Veterans Death Benefits. And be sure to check and see if there is an insurance policy. A life insurance policy may be used to cover the funeral cost. Sometimes, a person’s employer may offer survivor’s benefits, and Social Security will pay a small amount to the surviving spouse, explains Investopedia.

Consumer Advice

If you are considering donating to others, the Better Business Bureau offers this advice on doing so safely, including reading the fine print, knowing the people or organizations behind the campaign, and being careful about your personal data. It’s good to understand the potential pitfalls of online fundraising, even if you are the receiver, so you can choose a safe place for your friends and family to contribute to.

Your chosen funeral home will understand that nearly everyone has a budget and will work with you to plan something that fits your loved one as well as your pocketbook. You can find a local Afterall provider here. But for those who need a little help, crowdfunding has become a popular way to be supported by your friends and family during a difficult time.

For more tips and tricks for raising funds, take a look at our article: Funds for Farewell: 7 DIY Steps to Funding a Meaningful Funeral.