How to Get Donations for a Funeral

Thai funeral image by Adrian Hillman from

If you are like most people, you budget your money so you can afford to buy clothes and food, as well as pay for your utilities, home and car. One thing you probably haven’t budgeted for is a funeral. Nobody wants to imagine their loved ones passing away, which makes unforeseen accidents and events hard to deal with. This is especially true when you are on a limited budget and cannot afford funeral expenses. You might be surprised by the number of people willing to donate money, food and services for the funeral.

Write a line in the deceased’s obituary which states “In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Smith Funeral Home.” Money received by the funeral home will be subtracted from the balance due on the funeral expenses. Funeral homes keep detailed lists tracking any donations it receives.

Tell reporters of your need. Be blunt and clear so the reporter knows exactly what the problem is. If the funeral is going to cost $1,500 and you only have $800, tell the reporter. Often in tragic accidents or situations, reporters will want to speak with the family about the deceased. Many reporters and newspapers will pass on the family’s financial need by asking viewers or readers who want to help to give donations at a specific bank or funeral home in the name of the deceased.

Make donation buckets and place them in convenience and grocery stores. Wrap a flyer that clearly describes the need and purpose of the donation around each can. Speak to the business owner or manager about your need and request permission to put out a collection can in his store.

Talk to your priest, pastor or minister and inform him of your financial situation. Ask if the funeral can be held at the church or if an announcement of the family’s need can be announced. Discuss the possibility of parishioners providing a meal to follow the funeral service to help defray the cost of the funeral.

Create a Facebook account in honor of the deceased and post a note requesting donations. Include notice of the death, funeral plans and the need for donations. Ask that donations be made to the funeral home so others know the money is going toward paying funeral expenses. Include the name of the funeral home and its address.