Funeral Fundraising 10 Tips To Hit Your Goal
There are several steps that must be taken in order to host a successful online fundraising campaign to cover the cost of funeral expenses. However, by utilizing the following tips, you will be prepared to quickly launch a fundraiser that can cover the necessary expenses and bring everyone closer together. Therefore, even if this funeral will be your first attempt at learning how to fundraise, you can be confident that you will be able to meet your goal. Below we will show real life examples and specific directions to help you fundraise for a funeral.
1.) Create a Strategy and Action Plan
The loss of a loved one is always a very emotional and traumatic time, but it also comes with the necessity of arranging and paying for a funeral. This process can seem overwhelming if an individual or small group attempts to take care of it alone. To avoid this issue, it is best to involve as many people as possible. However, when you bring together a large group of people dedicated to the same cause, it becomes imperative to create a solid strategy and plan of action.
Consider for example how difficult it would be to get 10 different people to contribute to a fundraiser without giving them any specific goal to meet. People like to feel like they are being useful by making a donation, but they also dislike the aimless feeling that comes from having no specific direction. By giving everyone involved a specific task such as sending out email updates, you will encourage people to be more giving of their time and money. As an added bonus, utilizing a strong strategy will also help to alleviate a lot of the stress that is associated with a funeral, and this will enable everyone involved to focus the rest of their energy on celebrating their departed loved one’s life throughout the fundraising process.
2.) Ask Others for Help Immediately
It will take some time to take care of all of the necessary fundraising steps that are listed below, but there is no reason to take on this entire process alone. Instead, consider how quickly your family has been able to come together to take care of unpleasant tasks in the past. By asking everyone to pull together again now, you can easily conquer each of the necessary fundraising steps without putting too much stress on a single individual.
The basics of online fundraising can be broken down into two different components: managing the fundraising page and managing all of the necessary communication with family and friends. In order to make this process go smoothly, you should break each component into smaller parts that will allow each person to leverage their specific strengths. For example, if one of your family members creates websites for a living, they would be the perfect choice to manage the fundraising page. After all, they will have a full understanding of how to present the information in a way that is optimized for search engines. Keep in mind that there are people who will donate online to a good cause even if they are not directly affiliated with it. Therefore, you should never skip the opportunity to attract the attention of unknown donors.
After you decide who is going to manage the fundraising page, you should pick at least one person to manage all of the necessary communication. However, it is important to note that neither of the two main fundraising steps needs to be maintained by a single person. If you do not have access to someone who has enough skills or time to completely undertake a specific portion, you should share the load between multiple people. When it comes to effective communication, it can even be a good thing to utilize at least two different people. After all, it is important to consider the impact that each person’s specific voice will have on the message that they send. For example, one of the people involved might have a casual style of writing, and the other person might write in a very formal way. By letting them both send out messages to your family members and friends, you can attract the attention of a wider group of people.
Although you now have a basic understanding of the main components that are needed to host a fundraiser, it is necessary to break these components down and examine each individual step that you need to take. The following information will take a close look at everything that you need to know to make it easy to raise money online for a worthy cause. You will also be provided with a good template that can help you determine who should be responsible for each individual step of the process. By the time you are done reading this article, you will be prepared to host a funeral fundraiser even if you have never spent any time learning how to fundraise in the past.
3.) Create a Fundraising Page
The absolute best way to raise money for a funeral is to create a fundraising page. After all, everyone involved will be busy with both their feelings of grief and their normal daily lives, so it is important to provide one centralized location where people can donate online and post messages of support to each other. In fact, enabling people to make an online donation is one of the best fundraising ideas that have been implemented since children started going door to door to raise money for school. Consider for instance how much easier it has been in the past for you to support a fundraiser that was hosted online. By enabling people to make their donations 24 hours a day, you will definitely encourage a higher quantity of monetary support, and the emotional support that can be provided by comments will also be invaluable.
By using DonationTo.com as your fundraising platform, you will have access to several important tools. For example, if you are unsure of how to get started, you will be provided with viable fundraising ideas that can help you get everything moving in the right direction very quickly. DonationTo.com also allows you to keep 100 percent of the donations that you receive without paying any credit card fees, and this makes it much easier to take care of all of the necessary expenses. Donors will be glad that you have an online page because it will enable them to use their credit card, PayPal or WePay accounts to make a payment at any time.
One of the things that sets DonationTo.com apart from a simple online fundraiser is that each donor will have the opportunity to leave a comment on your page. When you are raising money to cover the expenses of a funeral, it is important to give people a resource for sharing their condolences and receiving support from others who have been impacted by the loss of the individual who has passed away. To make this process even more helpful, you can post favorite memories, photos and videos to the page. By using your fundraising page in this way, you can create an online memorial that is dedicated to both celebrating the life of your loved one and raising enough money to give them the dignified funeral service that they deserve.
The following three examples will give you a good look at how a successful funeral fundraising page is run:
An online fundraising campaign that was developed to help the Brown-Rogers family raise money online for their 14-year-old daughter’s funeral expenses. Daja was killed by a car that hit her while she was walking to the school bus stop on October 17, 2012. By allowing people to donate online, the family was able to cover the expenses of the funeral without needing a lot of knowledge about how to fundraise. In fact, they were able to raise money online to support two fundraising ideas: Daja’s funeral and the establishment of a scholarship for students with learning disabilities. By using DonationTo paid account they were able to keep 100% of all donations and avoid all credit card fees.
The Brown-Rogers family selected DonationTo.com as their online fundraising platform, and this enabled their supporters to easily donate online. DonationTo.com also provided the family with tips about how to fundraise and several useful fundraising ideas. Daja’s family hosted an extremely successful fundraiser because they took advantage of many of the tools that DonationTo.com provides to help ensure a fully funded campaign.
This fundraiser was held to cover the funeral expenses for Gary Russell. Gary passed away on September 20, 2012 after a long fight with multiple sclerosis. Although his family wanted to honor his life with a beautiful service in Mississippi, they were unable to raise enough money on their own. Therefore, they set up a fundraiser on DonationTo.com and asked their friends and extended family members to donate to the cause. Because the family utilized all of the tools that were at their disposal, they were able to quickly raise more than the requested amount. In fact, the goal of $4,500 was exceeded in only 10 days. Thanks to the fundraiser, the Russell family was able to honor Gary’s memory in a manner that they felt appropriately celebrated his life.
On Feburary 7, 2012, a friend of the Colucci family set up a fundraising page on DonationTo.com to help them raise money for the expense of a cremation. Bobby Colucci was on the West Coast when his death occurred, and his surviving family members are unable to pay for the cost of having his ashes released from the funeral home that cremated him. The purpose of the Bring Colucci Home fundraiser is to raise enough money to pay for Bobby’s ashes to be released and sent home. The family was also left without life insurance, and any additional money raised will help them through this difficult time. The fundraiser raised more than $1,000 during its first four days, making it a very successful example of what can happen when people harness the power of the Internet.
When Dane Jackson passed away, his cousin decided to use DonationTo.com to help Dane’s family deal with the expense of having a funeral. Dane’s mother and brother were able to generate more than $5,800 to assist them with the cost. Due to the success of their DonationTo.com page, the Jackson family was able to give Dane the type of service and burial that they were hoping for and today the page is still accepting donations to reach their goal. Therefore, family members, friends and charitable strangers are able to continue donating online to help the Jackson family through this difficult time. The Dane Jackson Fund page provides a good example of the support that loved ones can offer each other via the comments that are attached to their donations. As we continue, we will give specific strategic advice on how to raise money for your funeral expenses — continue to read below.
Is an online fundraising campaign that was created to raise money online to help their families through a very difficult time. Sadly, Jim and Susan were involved in a fatal car accident on November 17 that took both of their lives. Because they were not near their hometown at the time of the accident, their families needed assistance with the cost, so they turned to DonationTo.com to enable people to donate online. By using this platform to raise money online, they were given the necessary tools to learn how to fundraise, and they also had easy access to multiple fundraising ideas.
Online fundraising campaigns are the perfect way to let people donate online toward the expenses that are associated with a funeral. Even if you are not sure how to fundraise, you will receive enough helpful tools and fundraising ideas from DonationTo.com to make it easy to post a page such as the Jim and Susan Fund without any technical skills.
4) Gather Contact Information
In order to effectively communicate with people, you will need to gather a list that contains everyone’s contact information. However, it is important to be aware of the fact that different people like to communicate in different ways, so it is not a good idea to simply gather email addresses. Consider for example how the 20-somethings in your family communicate versus the elderly members. It is likely that you text your 20-year-old niece, but you call or email your grandmother. Therefore, the fundraising process should be treated the same way.
The three main methods of communication will be email, text and chat. In order to move forward with the next phase of the fundraising process, you will need to gather a list that contains each person’s cell phone number, email address and IM name. It is also a good idea to include a link to their Facebook page so that you can chat with them or send a private message. Either way, one of the most important aspects of gathering contact information is to determine which contact method works best for each person. By reaching out to them in the appropriate manner, you will definitely receive better results.
It is important to note that you should never ignore an opportunity to get your information in front of someone. Therefore, even if you send a text to your niece, you should still include her on the email list. After all, it sometimes takes a couple of messages for a person to start paying attention, and it is also important to realize that sometimes technology does fail. By sending more than one message, you ensure that each recipient will actually have the chance to learn about your fundraiser and also forward the news to other potential supporters — in summary gather all contact information and get it organized.
5) Make Specific Contact Groups
Even though you should definitely contact people utilizing multiple methods, it is also important to create separate groups with specific contact information. For example, if you consider how cumbersome it would be to go through a large list that contains email addresses, phone numbers and IM user names each time you want to send out a message, you will quickly realize the importance of making easy to read lists. Therefore, you should compile three separate lists: one with phone numbers, one with email addresses and a third one with IM names.
Once all of the information has been properly sorted by category, it will be much easier to contact people and to track this information. After all, you will need to know who you contacted yesterday so that you do not start in the wrong section of the contact list today. Consider for instance how awkward it would be to accidentally text all of the same people two or three days in a row. Although they will definitely receive your message, they might start to become annoyed with you, and this will never help you reach your fundraising goal. Therefore, you should always make an indication each time you reach out to someone.
Another perk of separating your contact information into different groups is that you can effectively determine which method of contact is providing you with the best results. For example, by tracking all of the people who you reach out to from each contact group and comparing that list to the list of daily donors, you will get a good idea if a specific contact group is extremely unresponsive. If you find out that none of your texts are generating donations, you should consider taking a fresh approach to your text messages.
In most cases, if a large group of people is not responding to a fundraising request, the problem could be with the way that the information is being delivered. In other words, the wording of your text might be awkward or confusing, or it might even fail to provide the reader with a sense of urgency. In this case we will want to keep the message simple with one clear call to action. We explain more on this later, keep reading.
6) Create an Email to Send to Your Email Contact List
It is important to keep the email simple and to the point, but you also need to make sure that it contains the necessary information. Keep in mind that most people will appreciate a simple and direct email, chat or text message. The following suggestions for developing this plan and drafting emails should make it easy for you to move forward with a strategy that will bring in a lot of donations.
The idea here is to send a message relative to the technology used. Notice we have more room to work with when sending out an email. When we move to text or chat we try to slim the message down and become more direct as the format and technology has changed.
We have done 2 things here specifically. 1: Formated the message for the appropriate technology. 2: Provided consistent message to send on a weekly occurrence. We want to send message weekly to keep all donors and potential donors updated.
Week One Email
Your email can definitely contain more information than a text or chat message, but it needs to be streamlined to maintain the reader’s attention. Creating an effective email message does not need to be complicated, and you can utilize the following template to help get you started.
We recently received the unfortunate news that James has passed away. I am currently reaching out to all of his family members and friends in an effort to bring everyone together to share their favorite memories to honor his life.
As part of this process, we have set up a fundraising page on DonationTo.com. This page will serve as a tribute to James’ life, and it will enable people to share their memories by leaving comments. We are also utilizing this page to gather the necessary funding to cover part of the funeral expenses.
Donations are being accepted here: www.DonationTo.com/James. When you make a donation, you will have the opportunity to leave a comment, and we hope that you will take a moment to share your favorite memory of James for everyone to enjoy. Some of the comments that have already been left have been a great source of support for James’ family.
If you are going to be in town next week, I hope that you will be able to join us for a tribute dinner at James’ favorite restaurant. Please respond to this email to let me know if you will be around, and I can send you more details.
Thanks again for all of your support,
Week One Text Message
Create a message that is formatted specifically for texting. Although the message that you created for the email group has already been built, it is way too long to be appropriate for the text messaging group. Therefore, you must put together a more concise message that contains all of the most pertinent information. Therefore, it is easy for people to make a donation using their iPhone or iPad as DonationTo.com is optimized for smart phones and tablets.
Even though group text messages will save you time, it is not a good idea to use them. Instead, you should create a text and then copy it so that it can be easily pasted into multiple text message boxes. The reason you need to avoid group texting is that it can be very confusing for the recipient to determine who actually send the initial message, especially if they start receiving responses from people they do not know, and this will make most people hesitant to take actions.
Here is an example of how to write a text message that is optimized for length and content:
We recently received the unfortunate news that James has passed away. We are hoping that everyone will contribute their favorite memories on our tribute page, along with helping us raise the necessary funding for the funeral. Click here: www.DonationTo.com/James. You can leave a comment with your donation; the comments that have already been left have provided great support for the family. Jason.
Week One Chat Message
On the third day of your fundraiser, you should create a message to send to friends and family members via their favorite chat platform. Skype, Facebook, AIM, MSN, Yahoo and any other applicable chat programs can be used to easily reach out to potential donors. You can use a chat to send a message that is longer than a text, but it still should not be as long as an email. After all, chatting happens in real time, and it is important to not overwhelm the reader with too much information at once. Therefore, it is a good idea to utilize the following template for your initial chat message. Want to group all your chat technologies into a single application use imo.im. This services allows you to login once and load every chat technolgies you can imagine, its is very ideal when trying to reach donors. Below is an example chat to use when reaching out to family and loved ones.
Hi Sarah. We recently received the unfortunate news that James has passed away. We are hoping that everyone will contribute their favorite memories on our tribute page, along with helping us raise the necessary funding to cover part of the funeral costs. Click here to learn more about the fundraiser: www.DonationTo.com/James. Please consider leaving a comment with your donation because the comments that have already been left have provided great support for James’ family. Thank you. Jason.
Once you have drafted each of your messages and sent them out to all three contact groups, it will be important to continue to reach out to supporters and potential donors. However, you will want to avoid sending out too many messages because that can cause the importance of the fundraiser to get buried by the annoyance of constant communication. Therefore, it is best to utilize the following communication strategy. Make sure that you apply the information listed below to your text, email and IM contact groups.
Send out the initial messages that inform everyone about the passing of your mutual loved one and what the plan is to raise money online in order to take care of the funeral expenses. Review the prior message we created above.
People like to be kept in the loop during a fundraiser, so the second week is the perfect time to send out the first update to let everyone know how much money has been raised. Even if you have only hit five percent of your goal by this point, you should still share that information. By receiving an update, your donors will understand how serious you are about hitting your goal, and they will also begin to feel a sense of urgency. We have not provided example text but follow the theme we provided earlier in our sample text and you will be just fine.
Because some news has a tendency to travel slowly, it is a good idea to use the third week to ask your supporters to help spread the word about your fundraiser by picking a favorite memory of the departed individual and posting it to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn or even share the images on Pinterest. Along with this memory, they can include a link to the DonationTo.com fundraising page. By utilizing social media in this way, you can ensure that a large quantity of people will become aware of the fundraiser, and your donations should see a big increase before the fourth week.
During the fourth week, you should take some time to honor the memory of the person who has passed away. Ask everyone to send you their favorite photos so that you can create a montage for the closest family members. These images are an invaluable way to bring solace to the surviving children, parents or siblings of the deceased, and you can also post some of the best images on the fundraising page to enable everyone else to enjoy the happy memories.
The fifth week should be used to provide a new status update. Regardless of how much money has been raised, it is important to keep your supporters up to date. After all, it is frustrating to get involved with a fundraiser if you have no idea how much more money is necessary to reach the goal. For example, if someone was considering giving $10 and they learn that you are only $20 away from your goal, they might decide to give you the full $20 that you need. On the other hand, if you are still $1,000 away from your goal, a supporter who has already donated might feel compelled to donate again.
Additional Weeks – Keep Communication Going
Fundraiser can last months so communication is important, you can utilize slightly modified versions of the first five steps again. The most important part of the continued process is to encourage people to share memories and photos to honor the person who has passed away. It is also imperative to send out status updates at least every three weeks to help create a sense of urgency. Remember that people do not know how much to give unless you tell them how much you need. By letting everyone know the percentage of the goal that has been met, you will keep them engaged in the process and your odds of obtaining multiple donations from the same people will go up.
8) Relevant Images Quality For Better Fundraising
One of the most important aspects of building a successful fundraiser is to include at least one relevant image. In the case of a funeral fundraiser, you should definitely select an image that displays the deceased individual enjoying themselves. The power of this imagery will help people connect with the goal of the fundraiser, and it will also encourage them to share a happy memory by leaving a comment with their donation. Consider for a moment how much more connected you have felt to fundraisers of any type that included an appealing image. An image that pertains to the fundraiser is always a great way to stir a viewer’s emotions, and this is definitely a good approach for funeral fundraising.
The image that you select needs to be a positive one that people will associate with good memories. Choosing the right photo might require looking through several options, but it is important to remember that you are posting a page on DonationTo.com for two reasons: to collect donations and to honor your loved one’s life. Therefore, you need to ensure that you do not pick a photo that they would have been unhappy with. After all, honoring an individual should include doing things that would have brought them joy during their life. Because of this, it might be a good idea to look at the profile pictures that they posted on Facebook.
Once you have picked a photo, you should upload it to the DonationTo.com fundraising page. It is not necessary to stick with just one image, but you do need to decide which photo will be posted at the top of the page. Make sure that your selection is sensitive to the feelings of others. After all, the worst thing that you can do is post a photo of the individual with all but one of their family members. In most cases, your best bet is going to be picking an image that contains only the person who has passed away. Take a look at picmonkey.com
9) Cause Bio
Creating a bio for the cause is often the most difficult aspect of fundraising for people, especially during such an emotional event. However, it is also a critical step. After all, it is important to consider the fact that your potential donors probably do not have all of the facts. Therefore, it is vital to provide clarity. For example, if you were thinking about donating to a fundraiser to help fund a movie project, you would probably be turned off the page did not provide any information about the project. Even though funeral fundraising is a very different thing, you should still approach it from a similar point of view. By using the following checklist, you can ensure that the cause’s bio is properly explained and will encourage people to make donations.
a.) It is important to reiterate what has happened.
Even though your closest family members and friends will know the specific details, including when your loved one died and what happened, there are a lot of people who will be unaware. Therefore, you need to include all of the relevant data, and it is a good idea to let people know if the deceased passed away from an illness such as cancer.
b.) Make sure that you introduce yourself.
After all, potential supporters are going to want to know who you are and how you are connected to the cause. If you fail to provide this basic information, there are going to be some potential donors who will be uncertain if your fundraiser if actually legitimate. To alleviate these concerns, you can include a brief blurb that includes your name and your relation to the deceased.
c.) It is important for any fundraiser to point out what the money will be used for.
In this case, you are trying to cover funeral expenses. However, if there are additional things that you are raising money for, including paying for medical expenses or supporting the widow for the next couple of months, you should definitely include this information.
d.)Explain what the goal amount is for
If your total goal is more than $10,000, you should give a detailed explanation of the funeral related expenses. Everyone knows that funerals are expensive, but you do not want anyone to think that some of the money will be used for something that they are unaware of.
e.)What is the specific time frame
Depending on your current financial situation, you might need to raise the money very quickly in order to move forward with the funeral. In other cases, however, the family might be able to temporarily cover the costs, and this will enable the fundraiser to last for a much longer period of time. By letting people know upfront what your specific time frame is, you can help your donors determine the best way to show their support. After all, some people will need to save money for a while in order to make a sizable donation, but if they know that you only have one week to raise money online, they are likely to at least give a small donation immediately.
f.) Thank everyone for their time
Make sure that you include a thank you to everyone who is supporting your cause. It is also a good idea to mention that support can come in many forms, including spreading the word about the fundraiser on Facebook. By mentioning this, you can provide people who do not have the monetary means to donate with a positive way to contribute.
g.) Ask everyone to tell a story or memory
Ask all of your supporters to leave their favorite memory about the deceased in a comment with their donation. These comments will provide everyone with a great way to celebrate the happy moments of the past, and they will also give even their closest friends and family members with new stories to enjoy about their loved one.
You can also use the bio section to include additional images or even a video that is related to your fundraiser. If you create a video, you can host it on YouTube to make it easy to share with people via DonationTo.com and various social media sites. Keep in mind that the viral nature of the Internet has the power to help you attract a wide pool of donors, and anything that you can do to get the fundraiser in front of a wider audience will help you gather the necessary funding to honor your loved one’s life with a beautiful funeral service.
10 ) Leave Your DonationTo.com Page Up Indefinitely (A Tribute)
Many people are concerned that they will lose all of the happy memories and supportive comments that are left on their DonationTo.com fundraising page. Fortunately, however, DonationTo.com understands the importance of preserving these memories. Therefore, the company has pledged to never take these fundraising pages down.
There are many reasons that it is a good idea to leave the fundraising page up, even if you have gathered all of the comments and hit your goal amount. After all, there will be people who are still unaware of what happened, and DonationTo.com will make sure that your page can be indexed by search engines. This process will allow people who search for information about the deceased individual to easily locate their online memorial.
Another positive reason to leave the page in place is that it provides family members and friends with a virtual place that they can go when they feel the desire to relive happy memories. Even though the purpose of the fundraising page was caused by the individual’s funeral, the comments and photos that were shared will make it a truly comforting place for people to visit. This will be especially helpful for individuals who do not live near the cemetery where the deceased was buried, as it will provide them with a way to feel like they are paying their respects, leave comments and share stories.
Even after the funeral is completed and most people have moved on from the fundraiser, it is also still possible to receive additional donations. For this reason alone, a lot of people choose to leave their fundraising page up. After all, the expenses associated with a funeral are astronomical, and even if help is received long after the fact, it can still help the family get relief from the financial burden.
DonationTo.com provides an easy to use online platform for raising money to cover funeral expenses. In fact, you will be able to keep 100 percent of the donations that you raise, and you will avoid credit card fees. Your donors will be able to utilize computers, tablets and smartphones to send a donation, and credit cards, PayPal and WePay are accepted.
The best way to ensure that you will have a successful fundraiser is to split all of the responsibilities of the process between at least two people. The main categories that you need to consider are managing the DonationTo.com donation page and managing the communication with potential donors. Each of these main categories can be divided into several smaller categories, and this will make it easy to work with a team of people.
Funeral fundraisers need to focus on honoring the life of the individual who has passed away. By encouraging everyone to leave their favorite memory as a comment along with their donation, you can gather a lot of fun stories that will offer happiness and support to those who were closest to the deceased. It is also a good idea to ask everyone to share their favorite photos so that you can create a montage to share with all of your supporters.
Communication is a vital portion of the fundraising process. You will need to split all of your supporters into three groups: text, IM and email. By properly utilizing these communication methods to reach out to people on a weekly basis, you can greatly increase your chances of having a fully funded campaign.
When you create the bio for your fundraiser page, it is important to let everyone know exactly what happened, how you are affiliated with the deceased and what you plan to do with the money that is raised. You should also make sure that you include at least one photograph that shows the person who has passed away during a happy moment. DonationTo.com will never take your fundraiser page down, so you will be able to leave this photo and all of the memories that are shared online forever as a memorial.
Learn to pay attention to details while crowdfunding for funerals. On this donation website, experts provide free tips to crowd fund and keep 100% of all your donations.
Looking for additional fundraising tips check out these other links: How to Fundraise for A Funeral, How to Cover Funeral Costs in 6 Steps, How to Fundraise Despite Economic Recession, How to Ask for Help in Fundraising
Thanks again! From the DonationTo Team!!
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