10 Fundraising Ideas for Memorial and Funeral Costs

10 Fundraising Ideas for Memorial and Funeral Costs
Raise money for funeral expenses.
Raise money for memorial funds.
Raise money for medical bills.
Raise money for end-of-life costs.

10 Fundraising Ideas for Memorial and Funeral Costs

Matching Gifts

The Best Fundraising Idea for Memorial and Funeral Costs

  • What Are Matching Gifts?

    Matching gifts are a type of corporate philanthropy in which a business promises to match its employees’ donations to eligible causes. Most often, these programs are limited to registered nonprofits, so you’ll need to leverage a matching gift database to determine your eligibility and donors’ eligibility for different companies’ programs.

    Alternatively, funeral homes, memorial funds, or families can establish partnerships with local businesses or larger corporations to tap into this fundraising idea. These corporate partners might pledge to match all donations made to the memorial fund up to a certain limit or during a specific timeframe.

  • Why are they great?

    Matching gift programs foster a sense of community support and unity during difficult times. It allows friends and family members to come together to honor a loved one and make a meaningful impact through their donations. They have the power to make a much larger impact on the cause at hand without requiring donors to contribute any additional money themselves.

  • How can I begin?

    Invest in a matching gift database and embed it into your donation page. This tool will allow donors to research their eligibility for their employers’ programs and access the appropriate request forms. Simplify the process further by enabling matching gift auto-submission. When someone donates, they can provide their corporate email address and select a checkbox to opt into auto-submission. If eligible for the feature, our tools will automatically submit their match request to their employer for them.

Corporate Matching Gifts Double Love and Support When It Matters Most.

The Most Cost-Effective Fundraising Idea for Funeral Costs and Memorial Funds


The Most Cost-Effective Fundraising Idea for Memorial and Funeral Costs

  • What is crowdfunding?

    Crowdfunding is a fundraising method that helps individuals raise money for any cause through an online donation page.

  • Why is it great?

    Crowdfunding is a top fundraising option for memorials and funerals because it is easy to set up and use. When you’re dealing with the tragedy of losing a loved one, you shouldn’t have to worry about money or how to fundraise.

  • How can I begin?

    First, you’ll want to pick a crowdfunding platform. Then, to begin your campaign, you simply set a fundraising goal, create your crowdfunding page, and promote your campaign. Share the campaign with those who are attending the funeral or memorial, and ask them to share the campaign as well.

Other Great Fundraising Ideas for Funeral Costs and Memorial Funds

Host a Memorial Dinner

Hosting a memorial dinner is a simple way to raise money and bring friends and family together after the passing of a loved one. To get started, pick a time, location, and menu. Then, send out invites.

To raise money, ask someone to give a speech to kick off the meal and ask for donations to cover funeral expenses and other costs. You can also set out a collection jar.

If it’s easier, you can opt for a potluck and have each attendee bring a signature dish. Be sure to take some time during the dinner to reminisce with loved ones and begin the healing process.

Engraved Bricks

If you’re building a structure or installation, such as a paved pathway, as a memorial to your lost loved one, you might want to consider selling engraved bricks to donors to help offset the cost.

Sell engraved bricks to donors and either set up the bricks as an art installation or incorporate them into the actual structure you’re building.

Donors will love the permanence of your recognition and you can get creative with how you display them. There are even companies dedicated to providing this kind of fundraising brick.

Tree Planting Fundraiser

If your loved one was an environmentalist, a gardener, or simply loved nature, you can honor their life with a tree-planting fundraising event. For this memorial fundraiser, partner with a local nursery to acquire saplings.

Then, host an event where you can speak about your loved one’s passion for the environment and ask supporters to donate money in exchange for their very own saplings.

Make sure participants know that the trees are being planted in honor of your loved one. To do so, you can also give people the option of purchasing customized plaques to place in front of the growing trees.

Have a Bake Sale

Bake sales are a classic fundraiser for a reason. And the good news is that they’re popular with people of all ages alike. Bake a mix of staples (like cookies) and specialty items (like cheesecake brownies).

You can advertise your bake sale in advance once to recruit bakers and later to promote the actual sale.

To fundraise, you have the option of charging for the treats or collecting donations or even both. Place a sign where you’re collecting donations that honors the person whose funeral you’re raising funds for.

Recipe Book Sales

Selling recipe books is a great fundraising idea because it’s affordable to set up and allows you to ask for donations in exchange for a provided product.

Put together a cook book with the best recipes that you and your supporters have. Then, sell the book within your community. 

Depending on your budget, you can either have the book professionally bound or you can do a digital version of the book for free on the computer. Add a dedication within the book to your loved one.

Dog Walking

Learn more about dog walks.

Dog walking is a fun and healthy fundraising idea.

There are two types of dog walk fundraisers, both of which can be lucrative. The first path is simple, you can walk dogs in your neighborhood in exchange for donations.

The second option combines dog walking and walkathons. Host a traditional walkathon with a twist by asking participants to bring their pooches.

You’ll have to put time and energy into ensuring the event is safe and fun for all involved. Mark out the course and set up water stations for people and pets alike. To honor your love one, consider naming the event after them.

Product Fundraising

When running a product fundraiser, you are selling products in exchange for donations. For example, you might sell a t-shirt with the symbol of your memorial fund on it.

Pick a product (from t-shirts to water bottles to key chains), customize your product design, gather your inventory, and sell, sell, sell.

You can sell via the door-to-door model — think Girl Scouts. Or, you can run your product fundraiser online, much like a crowdfunding campaign. Either way, make sure you have a sales plan in place from the get-go.

Coffee Bean Sales

Consider selling coffee beans to raise money. This can be an especially powerful fundraiser if the deceased was an avid coffee-drinker. You can even name a roast or blend after them.

You can work with a roaster or coffee shop to secure discounted coffee beans and then go out into the community to sell the beans. You want quality coffee at an affordable price. 

Once you have your distributor, decide if you’ll be selling the beans in person, online, or through both channels, and then map out your sales plan accordingly.

Successful Memorial and Funeral Fundraising Campaigns

Beth Lancelotta Memorial Classic

This memorial fundraising campaign was created to raise money for a student scholarship in honor of Beth Lancelotta and was tied into a fundraising tennis event. The campaign ended up raising so much money that the organizer was able to increase the goal, raising nearly $10,000 in the process. Check out the fundraiser here.

Memorial for Sandra Witter

This example comes from a campaign that set out to raise money to cover the funeral costs of Sandra Witter. Thanks to a wide-scale community effort, the campaign raised more than $2,000 over the financial goal, ending up with $7,190 for Sandra’s children to use to cover her funeral and additional expenses. Check out the fundraiser here.

Top Resources to Help You Fundraise

117+ Fundraising Ideas for all Causes

This comprehensive resource contains over 200 fundraising ideas.

Still looking for more fundraising ideas and inspiration? Good thing we’ve compiled a diverse list of over 100 fundraising ideas to help you! You’ll select a fundraiser in no time!

Crowdfunding: The Beginner’s Guide

This crowdfunding guide will help you plan your campaign if you choose crowdfunding as your fundraising idea.

Crowdfunding is one of our top fundraising ideas. If you’re interested in pursuing it but not sure where to start, this guide will give you all the necessary background.

Donation Requests: 45+ Companies That Donate

Check out what companies will fulfill your donation requests.

Have you requested donations from companies? There are many businesses in your community that might be open to donating. This guide shows you where to look!

Give, Match, Remember: Corporate Matching Gifts Can Increase Your Memorial or Funeral Fund.