Memorial Donation

A generous gesture is setting up a memorial fund in honor of a friend or family member who has died. It's a wonderful way to celebrate the honoree's life and interests.

Many organizations have online memorial donation funds. If the honoree supported a smaller or local charity that may not have direct online donation capabilities, you can arrange this through a third-party online memorial fund. Or memorial donations may be sent directly to the organization. By offering this option, you will do a great service for everyone involved. These third-party services are transparent, cost-effective and operate with minimum waste. Everyone wins in this case - the charity, the person who would like to help, and the family members who can see the donations being put to good use by the organization that receives them.

Generally, cash is not sent directly to the family in place of flowers or a charitable contribution. But there are always exceptions if a family is in dire need. For example, if the bereaved person is having financial difficulties, a group (fellow employees, club/lodge members or neighbors) could take up a collection. Or you can try to give a donation through a clergy member or another community leader to spare the family any awkward feelings.

Peggy Post, Director at the Emily Post Institute adds "If a memorial fund has been set up to honor someone who has died, it's a good idea for the family of the deceased to follow up with the organization to ask for a list of contributors so that they may thank each donor - preferably in a handwritten a thank-you note."


Adapted with permission from Celebrating a Life by Faith Moore, published in 2009 by Stewart, Tabori & Chang

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Celebrating a Life: Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances
By Faith Moore
Faith Moore