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Online Funeral Donations Help Struggling Charities

From Memorial Gifting and Simplicity Funerals Christchurch

In these Covid times it is difficult for charities to raise the funds they desperately need to deliver their services. This is particularly so at funerals where the donation box is a casualty of the cashless society.

Historically, funeral directors would provide a donation box at the service for a loved one to received donations for charity, but with restrictions in the attendance of funerals to very small numbers, the removal of cheques from our banking system and people not tending to carry cash, the donation box was sadly headed for the fate of the dinosaur.

One new service that funeral directors are choosing to adopt is online collections.

Funeral Director, Mark Glanville of G Barrell and Sons Simplicity Funerals is one who offers this to all his families when arranging a funeral.

Many of the families with care for have very personal connections to one of the many charities we have in New Zealand. To acknowledge this during the grieving process, provide a meaningful way to support the family and the charity or organisation most important to the loved one.

We always offered a donation box at the service, but in recent years we have noticed a decline in support as people don’t carry cash anymore and cheques are no longer used. Since using the online service of Memorial Gifting, we have seen donations increase, often to several hundreds of dollars or much more, says Glanville.

It is always a privilege to support the family and their charity, especially as we can now collect funds for any of the 28,000 registered charities across NZ. Previously it was challenging for us to connect with the one charity that was most important to the family. Now, we simply mention the link to the online donation in the funeral notice and let Memorial Gifting do the rest. The service is transparent to all with donations being received from anyone, anywhere in the world and at any time.

We realised early on funeral directors were pleased to assist the family to hold a donation box at the service, but it did introduce some challenges for them that not everyone appreciates, says Terry Fullerton, Director for Memorial Gifting, Christchurch. From the beginning we realised that for online donations to work they needed to fit with the short timeframes that funeral directors must work with. There simply isn’t time to go away and set up a page on a collection site like Give A Little or Go Fund Me. Our unique idea of using a simple but individual link that the funeral director can immediately use in the funeral notice.

Organising a funeral is like organising a wedding but in just a few days. It also takes a lot of work to locate the unique charity that was of most importance to each family and loved one and to forward on all funds collected and contact details for receipting.

For us, explains Fullerton, the most important step when organising a collection is our simple process that the funeral director knows will work and not complicate the funeral arrangements. Other benefits that help the funeral directors is it keeps them at arms-length from financial transactions and is transparent. The online service allows family, friends and associates that cannot attend in person to make a donation and show their sympathy at that time.

In these times when every dollar is increasingly important for the charity to receive generous donations in memory of a loved one is very special. For many smaller charities any occasion to get noticed is important, especially when that loved one may have been a volunteer or member of their organisation, however often they were not able to seek for a memorial gift outside of the donation box.

As we raise funds for more charities, I am surprised by the many different organisations and the incredible work they do in so many different areas. Working with these charities we feel we are providing a worthy service that is raising much more than the traditional donation box, often three times as much or much more, according to Fullerton. The Charity pay Memorial Gifting a fundraising fee like most online platforms which keeps it free for the family and for the funeral directors.

In a recent article relating the plight of those that die without family of funds, Glanville mentions how there are options to use online services like Memorial Gifting to raise funds to cover the cost of burial. In these situations, Memorial Gifting waives their fundraising fee, we just feel it is the right thing to do for that person.

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