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How to Prepare a Funeral Checklist

How to Prepare a Funeral Checklist

It’s normal to struggle when dealing with the loss of a loved one. The emotional toll alone can knock down even the strongest person. Adding to these feelings comes the responsibility of paying for funeral services.

Funerals are not inexpensive. For help with costs, many families turn to fundraisers and dedicated programs. To better assist you as you navigate the path forward after losing a loved one, we present this guide to the multiple ways to put on a benefit for funeral services.

Online Crowdfunding

An increasingly popular way to request donations for funeral services is through an online platform. Many popular ones exist, and they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, with each platform, you should gain access to a simple and fast way to reach out to friends, families, and loved ones and request a donation.

It should be noted that, by default, many of these platforms may charge a fee that gives them a percentage of the total amount raised. However, some understand circumstances such as this and will forgo a platform fee to ensure you keep more of the amount raised.

Of course, asking for donations is not always easy. It can bring up complicated emotions that make it difficult to ask for help. Though it can often feel this way, there’s no shame in asking for help, and the task can be made easier with some helpful tips.

First, when setting up the online fundraiser, make sure to tell your loved one’s story honestly and personally. You can include a story about them that makes you smile and laugh or one that speaks to their inherent and unique personality traits. This story should help form a personal connection between your audience and your loved one, as well as help demonstrate what a donation means to your family.

The need for a funeral often comes as a surprise. This dramatic interruption into your day-to-day life is enough to cause anyone to need financial help to take on the needed funeral services. If you explain this to your audience and layout what may happen if not enough money is raised, you can help create a sense of urgency that leads to more donations.

Many people may be surprised by the cost of a funeral. In your message to potential donors, list out the specific expenses with which you need help. This breakdown can eliminate confusion about how the donations will be used.

In-Person Fundraising

Another common option for raising funds is an in-person benefit. These combine activities with in-person donations or fundraisers. This helps build a personal connection with all those grieving.

If your loved one was a sports fan, a recreational game in their honor can bring people together and raise donations and spirits. Parks and community centers can serve as venues due to their typically low rental cost. Depending on the number of people who plan to turn out, you may even consider organizing a small tournament. For the fundraiser-portion, have those wanting to participate donate to secure a spot, and plan on bringing a smartphone or tablet so you can accept donations from those only participating as a fan or observer.

Another in-person fundraising option is partnering with a restaurant or event space for a night of fundraising. These types of spaces will often agree to share a portion of their sales that night with the fundraiser, which can boost their reputation within the local community. You can invite friends, family, and well-wishers to come out for an evening of good food, drink, and company. These types of events often evolve into a welcoming environment of storytelling, and you can make this explicit or implicit in your invitation.

Our loved ones not only play a significant role in our lives but in the lives of the community, too. A community mural project can help those within the community have a place to grieve while turning their emotions into a beautiful piece of communal art. This is a touching way to let your loved one’s spirit live on, and community members can donate paints, tools, or money.

Government Programs

While they usually don’t cover the entire cost, some local government agencies may be able to help with funeral expenses. As each state, county, and city operates differently, it’s best to call your local county corner or Department of Health to determine if you’re eligible.

The federal government also has several programs that may help. The Social Security Administration pays out $255 to the spouse or children of the deceased. Those eligible for survivor benefits, such as the deceased’s unmarried, minor-aged children, or a widow or widower over 60 years old, can use them to help pay funeral costs, too.

If your loved one is a direct or indirect victim of a federally declared disaster, you can receive burial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA. You’ll need to provide evidence that the expenses go beyond what’s provided by other forms of aid, but this service may pay for the cost of a casket or urn, mortuary services, burial plot, and death certificates.

The Department of Veteran Affairs also offers benefits to those who served. The amount will vary depending on whether the cause of death was service-related or not. In some cases, they may also provide a gravestone and burial flag to honor your loved one.

Non-Profit Organizations

Churches play an essential role in many people’s lives. If you or your loved one regularly attended a church, they may be able to help gather donations.

Some non-profits offer their services in these circumstances, too. They may be able to give you financial advice regarding funeral services or partner with you to develop a fundraiser and collect donations. These organizations can span in size, from sprawling, national ones to those focused on their specific communities.

Losing a child can make the process of paying for a funeral service even more difficult. Some non-profits focus exclusively on these circumstances by providing financial assistance or other donations to those dealing with this type of loss.

With each of these options, you’ll still need to deal with the logistics of handling donations. Banks should be able to open a memorial fund or deposit account for you to store the funds until they need to be used. Because of their typically close connection to the local community, credit unions may offer other services or tools to help, too.

Robinson Funeral Home

Navigating the path forward after the loss of a loved one is difficult. At Robinson Funeral Home, we’re here to help. Our goal is to make sure you have the care you need at every step of the funeral planning process. We can help you choose a final resting place, plan the funeral service, and take care of any final details.

If you need help planning a funeral, Contact us today. You can reach us at 864-859-4001.

Featured Image: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov

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