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Bereavement: How to Raise Money for Funeral Expenses

by Stacey Williams


Bereavement is a personal experience. No one can tell you how long it takes to adjust to life or move forward without the deceased. Yet, in the midst of your grief, funeral plans must be made. This is usually a simple cost that is covered by insurance.

The average traditional funeral costs between $7,000 and $10,000. When there's no money, the family must find an alternative way to cover the costs. For many families, crowdfunding is the answer.

Here are some basic tips to raise funds when you don't have insurance or the money to pay for services.

1. Use a free crowdfunding platform
Create a your project on a free platform such as FreeFunder. When money matters most, you don't need to pay 5% platform fees. FreeFunder does not take a percentage your funds. You get every dollar you raise, even if you don't reach your funding goal. Plus, we automatically donate to every project that reaches 100 to 500 Facebook shares. No other platform does that.

We also provide tools to help you create, manage and share your project. If you need assistance, check out our fundraising FAQs or contact us. Our customer service team is always ready to help.

When you're ready to launch, create your campaign.

2. Social Media
Social media is a quick, convenient way to ask for donations. Use it to connect with your network and the deceased's network, if possible. Don't limit your outreach to one platform. Share your campaign's info on at least two platforms.

If the death is expected, Facebook allows users to designate a legacy contact for their account. Ask your loved one to make you the contact. You will only be able to post certain information to the account. This is beneficial if you know you'll need to raise funds for the funeral.

3. Public Announcements
If you are submitting a death notice or obituary to your local newspaper, include information about the fundraiser. Be sure to ask for campaign donations in lieu of flowers. Most newspapers have links on their websites to help you submit a notice. In addition, some funeral homes offer this submission service and have obituary pages on their websites. Use both to ask for help.

4. Live Events and Partnerships
Live events are a great way to raise money, even for a funeral. If the person died of cancer or other disease, you can organize a walk-a-thon, singing competition or benefit concert. You can also partner with a local restaurant to host a themed event.

All of these activities can quickly bring in funds and allow  family and friends to memorialize your loved one.

Although it may be uncomfortable to ask others to help pay for a funeral, crowdfunding is a good way to raise the money you need. Just be transparent about how the funds will be used.

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Matt and Heather Sweetman needed help getting a part-time caregiver for their daughter, Finley, who has Quadriplegia Spastic Cerebral Palsy. Their friend Abby Peachey created a FreeFunder fundraiser to help raise enough money to cover a full year, estimated at $15,600.

With the help of friends, family, and the community, the fundraiser has raised more than $28,000 so far.

"We want to express our deepest gratitude. We are overwhelmed by the generosity we have received and the encouragements and kind words from so many. Thank you for bearing our burden with us. You have strengthened our faith and given us hope. Many, many blessings to you." - Matt and Heather Sweetman

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