Celebrating the life of a loved one is important. Unfortunately, it can be very expensive. The average cost of a funeral is $8-$10 thousand dollars according to US News. If your family is not prepared, the cost can be daunting. And often, while in the midst of grief and shock, decisions are made that may honor the deceased, but leave the survivors with a hefty bill to pay.
If you find yourself reeling as you try to figure out how to pay the bills from your loved one’s final expenses, take a deep breath. Know that there are some ways you can enable your community to help and support you with these memorial fundraising ideas. Plus, you can warm your heart and be lifted up while celebrating the life of your loved one at the same time.
If your loved one was a bookworm, there might be a treasure trove of books on their shelves just waiting for new readers. And, the friends who knew them well will love to have a book or two to honor their memory. You can host the memorial book sale in person, or online. Make sure to promote it via social media to attract a larger audience.
Did your loved one bowl? Play softball? Coach little league or T-ball? Or perhaps they loved to play cards like bridge or poker. Plan to hold a game night or sports tournament! Invite family, friends, previous and current players to have a fun event while raising funds and honoring their friend. Sell snacks and beverages or follow the event with a potluck meal. It’s a great way to make new memories while honoring the old.
If your loved one was always “bedazzled” consider having a jewelry-making party and then sell the creations! Have lots of charms and beads to make bracelets and necklaces and make sure to have extra supplies on hand from your local craft store. Play their favorite music, have snacks and beverages. Make it a memorable occasion. Ask people for a small donation to join in.
We all have friends, parents and grandparents who are fabulous cooks. Hopefully, they passed down their recipes and secrets! Bake the recipes they were famous for or their favorite recipe of yours. Create a recipe book or recipe cards of those treasures to sell. If you have a copy of a recipe in a loved one’s original handwriting that you can make copies of, it will add a sentimental touch and a huge bonus! What a great memorial fundraising idea and keepsake!
You may consider asking friends and family to donate their time to help serve others. Maybe your loved one worked at the local food pantry and you can do a canned goods collection to donate in their honor. For those who may not have cans to give, ask for a small donation to the cause instead. Help rake leaves or pick up trash in a community park. Or sell and plant trees in their memory.
Who doesn’t love the new life of springtime when the crocus and daffodils bloom? Bulbs are a great way to remember your loved one every spring. Bulbs can be difficult to plant (especially for older folks) as you often have to dig a deep hole in hard soil. Offer to both sell the bulbs and plant them in November or whenever is appropriate. People can “purchase” bulbs as a donation to your fundraiser. Come March and April you’ll feel the love when you remember your loved one with this special memorial fundraising idea!
Fundraising for funerals and memorials may seem like a burden. But with a deep breath and some clarity of purpose perhaps you can begin to think of it as a continued celebration to honor the life of your loved one.
Using crowdfunding allows others to support your cause in minutes. There are many online crowdfunding platforms and mobile apps that make it easy to raise money. Most have special fundraising categories created specifically for memorial and funeral fundraising. A heartfelt fundraiser created in honor of a loved one can provide a lasting tribute for someone dear to you and for a life well lived.