The Rise Of Funeral Fundraising

Has crowdfunding become the new way to cover the cost of dying?

Traditionally, crowdfunding websites have been places where charities could obtain sponsorship, entrepreneurs could generate capital to kick-start ventures, and communities could come together to collect funds for local development.

Welcome to 2017, where a crowdfunding website is now a safe place for struggling families to raise the funds needed to cover the cost of their loved ones funeral.

Crowdfunding for funerals

If you search “crowdfunding funeral” on Google, the first result under the paid advertisements is “Crowdfunder”, who claim to be “the perfect site for fundraising funerals in the UK” (with 91 funerals listed this week alone). A quick search for ‘funeral’ on the popular UK fundraising site “JustGiving” yields 867 active users who are all looking for contributions towards their loved ones send off.

The average price of a basic funeral in the UK in 2016 was a staggering £3,897. As funeral costs continue to soar, we may well begin to see more funerals being funded in new ways. Thinking about how to find the money for a funeral is often the last thing a grieving family wants to do. So, whilst a crowdfunded funeral sounds quite odd, they’re certainly going to appeal to a lot of families.

Crowdfunding for Big Issue seller’s funeral surpasses goal

When Big Issue seller Peter Toulson died in November 2016, a friend set up an appeal to raise £3,000 for his funeral. More than 300 people donated a total of £5,073 via JustGiving to cover the costs of the ceremony.

As well as being helped financially, the bereaved family of Peter Toulson was able to gain peace of mind from the generosity and support shown from the crowdfunding campaign.

This is just one case of how crowdfunding has helped to ease stress at an already devastating time. Figures released by JustGiving reveal that over 2,000 services were funded by donations raised through its website between January and September 2016.

The tragic truth

If someone dies without money to pay for a funeral and there are no relatives who can cover the costs, the only option is often a Public Health Funeral, often referred as a “pauper’s funeral”. Under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, it’s the responsibility of the local council to make funeral arrangements when there’s no other alternative, recovering the costs from the estate of the deceased.

For families of low income, there is a Social Fund Funeral Payment that is suppose to help with funeral costs, but the maximum award is fixed at £700 and has been since 2003. Funeral costs have risen steeply in that time, well above the inflation.

With funeral costs soaring and government aid falling short, it’s no surprise to see families turning to crowdfunding to bury their loved ones.

The favourable alternative

The alternative to having your funeral crowdfunded would be a prepaid funeral plan. A prepaid funeral plan will protect your loved ones in the future against unexpected costs and the worry of arranging a funeral.

Damsons Future Planning offer four different plans, starting from just 97p a day, for both cremation and burial. Protect your loved ones by calling us on 0800 088 4670 and start arranging your prepaid funeral today!

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