How to Ask for Donations for Funeral Expenses Appropriately

Published October 2, 2020
receiving donations for a funeral

Planning a funeral after losing a loved one can feel extremely stressful, not to mention the financial aspect which can add another layer of stress. If you are unsure of how to ask for donations for funeral expenses, there are some helpful tips to keep in mind.

How to Ask for Donations for Funeral Expenses

Funerals, as well as any additional events that are being planned, can add up to be quite expensive. Asking for donations in a respectful way is a perfectly acceptable way to help manage the cost of a funeral.

How Do I Set Up a GoFundMe for Funeral Expenses?

Setting up a GoFundMe is a great way to receive funds from those who wish to donate towards the funeral costs. To set up a GoFundMe:

  1. Create an account if you don't already have one.
  2. Create your fundraiser by filling in some information that will be automatically prompted after signing in.
  3. Set your fund goal.
  4. Fill in information regarding your specific fundraiser and your personal story as to why you are raising money for this.
  5. Once complete, you can share your GoFundMe page, or direct others to view it.

Keep in mind that GoFundMe takes out 2.9%, as well as 30 cents per donation.

Sample Letter Asking for Donations

Sample of a letter to collect money for a funeral:

Dearest friends and family members,

It is with a heavy heart that we let you know that (insert deceased individual's name) passed away peacefully on (insert when), due to a (insert reason why if you'd like).

We would love for you to join us at the memorial on (insert date) at (insert time) at (insert location). A small repast will take place after the service at the home of (insert host's name). Their address is (insert address).

Some of you have reached out and asked how you can help us during this time. Know that your kindness is much appreciated as we navigate this heartbreaking moment. We kindly ask, if you are able to, to donate funds towards the funeral service, as we hope to carry out all of (insert deceased individual's name) final wishes. Donations can be sent to (insert individual's name) via (insert payment preference such as Venmo, check, etc.).

Thank you again for supporting us during this time and we hope to see you at the memorial.

With love,

(insert individual's names)

Funeral Donation Message

If you've decided to post on social media to ask for donations, you can consider saying:

  • For those of you who are able to help during this time, we ask that you consider donating funds towards (insert deceased individual's name) funeral. We so appreciate those who have already donated, and will use these funds to honor all of (insert deceased individual's name) final wishes.
  • For those of you who have reached out regarding our needs as a family during this painful time, know that we appreciate your support. If you are able to, please send funds, in any amount you're comfortable with, to (insert where funds should be sent) to help us pay for the funeral that (insert deceased individual's name) requested in his final wishes.

Sample Funeral Fundraising Email

An example of a funeral fundraising email:

To our loved ones,

Know that your support means everything to us as we navigate this painful time. Even though we were anticipating the passing of (insert deceased individual's name), nothing has prepared us for this immense feeling of loss and sorrow. We know that (insert deceased individual's name) loved you all very much, and we, as a family, appreciate the kindness you have extended to us.

Many of you have reached out to us and have asked how you can help us during this time. We really want to honor (insert deceased individual's name) wishes and plan the celebration of life that he expressed wanting before he passed away. If you are able to and comfortable doing so, we would really appreciate any donation, big or small, towards his celebration of life. Funds may be sent to (insert payment preference).

Thank you again for your support during this time.

With appreciation,

(insert names)

writing funeral fundraising email

Make Respectful Calls

If you are comfortable doing so, you can call up those who you believe would like to and would be able to donate towards the funeral expenses. When calling:

  • Be polite and ask how they are doing
  • Ask for funds in a simple and respectful way: "I was wondering if you would be able to donate funds towards (insert deceased individual's name) funeral. Any amount would be appreciated if you choose to do so, and there's absolutely no pressure. Just figured I'd ask."
  • Regardless of their response, thank them for hearing you out and being supportive during this time

What Is a Nice Way to Ask for Donations?

Tips for asking for donations:

  • Stay calm and take a deep breath- asking for donations can feel intimidating, but you may be surprised as to how many people want to help out during this time.
  • Use multiple platforms to reach out to people to spread the word.
  • Use simple, kind, and appreciative wording.
  • Send thank-you notes or texts, or make phone calls after receiving a donation to show those who have donated how much that means to you.

How Do You Write a Donation Request for a Funeral?

When writing a donation request for a funeral:

  • Be gracious when asking for donations.
  • Offer your reasoning why in a general way, such as saying, "to honor (insert deceased individual's name) final wishes."
  • Keep your request short and simple.
  • Be sure to include how to send payments to you.
  • Write a kind sign off.

How Do You Ask for Donations Instead of Flowers for a Funeral?

If you would like to have guests make a donation towards the funeral expenses, or towards an organization of your choice, you may use the phrase, in lieu of flowers, followed by your donation request.

Resources for Funeral Expense Support

For additional assistance with funeral expenses, you may consider:

Funeral Donations Wording

Asking for funeral donations may seem like an intimating task, but there are ways to do so in a respectful and kind way. If you have not received enough funds to cover the funeral expenses, look into state programs and non-profit organizations, and be sure to use multiple platforms to notify loved ones of your request for assistance during this difficult time.

How to Ask for Donations for Funeral Expenses Appropriately