How to Ask for Donations for Funeral Expenses: Three Free Templates

| 7 min read Financial Assistance

When dealing with loss, the last thing you want to think about is how to pay for a funeral. The cost of funeral services increases each year, and many families struggle to pay for a service to honor the life of their loved one. While there are many organizations that help with funeral expenses, finding assistance that covers the entire cost can be challenging.

During this difficult time, it’s important to remember that you can find help. This guide walks you through how to ask for donations for funeral expenses, and offers some helpful funeral donation request templates to use.  

Start a funeral fundraiser

Fundraising for funeral expenses

Online fundraising can be a quick and easy option for finding assistance with funeral costs. A funeral fundraiser can provide a way for families to connect and heal together, while paying tribute to a loved one.

Crowdfunding can provide assistance with funeral costs

Crowdfunding can be a great way to honor the memory of your loved one and give them the memorial service they deserve. For those wondering how to pay for a funeral with no money, crowdfunding can be the answer.

Free fundraising means more money for a funeral service

While starting a funeral fundraiser can help offset costly funeral expenses, some platforms charge a fee and take a certain percentage out of every dollar you raise. With a 0% platform fee, a free fundraiser through GoFundMe means you keep more of the donations you raise.

Tips on how to ask for donations for funeral expenses

Knowing how to ask for donations can be difficult, especially when you’re dealing with grief or loss. Funeral donation requests are typically asked when informing others of a loss, within your loved one’s obituary, or during the funeral service itself. The following tips will help take the uncertainty out of asking for donations for funeral expenses.

Tell your loved one’s story honestly

Creating a personal connection to your fundraiser will inspire more people to donate. Tell the story of your lost loved one authentically, and include why each donation is so important to you and your family.

Explain the urgency of your funeral fundraiser

Funeral expenses happen all at once, leaving many families wondering how to cover the cost. Create a sense of urgency within your funeral fundraiser by explaining what could happen if funds are not raised by a certain date.

List specific funeral expenses  

Break down the individual expenses of a funeral service so people will understand exactly how their donation will make a difference. Listing a breakdown of expenses will also clear up any potential confusion about why you chose a specific fundraiser goal.. For more information about specific funeral expenses you may encounter, take a look at our funeral savings guide.

Three funeral donation request templates to use

The below templates can help you navigate the process of asking for funeral donations, no matter who you’re asking. Knowing the right funeral fundraiser wording will help you feel confident when making a request.

1. How to ask for funeral donations from friends and family

Keep the tone conversational, while explaining why and how any donation will help. Including an itemized list of expenses for the funeral service will help donors understand exactly how their donations will be used.

Subject line: Funeral for [First and Last Name]

Dear [friend or family member],

I am writing to you today to let you know about the loss of [First Name]. [Brief detail about your loved one’s passing, whether expected or sudden.]

[First Name]’s obituary can be found here (link). The funeral service will be held at [location], on [date and time].

We are absolutely devastated by [First Name]’s passing and are struggling to find the funds to cover the cost of the service. Based on [researching expenses or quotes you’ve received], here is a breakdown of all the costs involved in a funeral service for [First Name]:

[itemized list of expenses]

We will need to pay all funeral costs by [date]. I’ve started a fundraiser to collect donations for [First Name]’s funeral service—here is the link. [Insert fundraiser URL]

Please consider donating if you are able to do so. We are so very grateful for every donation during this difficult time.

With love,

[Your Name]


2. How to ask for funeral donations from strangers

Asking for donations from strangers can feel scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Tell the story of your loved one, and focus on how important a funeral service is for your family. Below is a sample template you can use to share your funeral fundraiser on social media. Make sure to include at least one high-quality photo.

Our beloved [First Name] recently passed on [Date]. [First Name] was a wonderful [sister/brother, mother/father, friend, etc.] who touched the lives of those around [him/her]. [He/She] leaves behind [family members].

[First Name] dedicated [his/her] life to… [tell your loved one’s story in one or two sentences. Highlight how they made an impact, and share their goals, interests, or accomplishments].

We are all devastated by [First Name]’s loss and were not prepared for the high cost of a funeral service. We want to give [First Name] the memorial [he/she] deserves, to honor [his/her] memory and say our last goodbyes.

I am currently asking for donations to help cover the cost of [First Name]’s funeral. We need to raise [fundraiser goal] by [date] in order to be able to afford the funeral service.

Here is a link to the fundraiser for [First Name]. [Insert fundraiser URL] Please consider donating, as any amount will truly help our family during this difficult time.

Thank you so much and have a wonderful day.

[Your Name]


3. How to ask for funeral donations from community members

If your loved one was an active member of their community, whether through a church or volunteer organization, use the following template to reach out.

Subject line: Passing of [name of the organization and role] [First and Last Name]

Dear [Community member],

You may know [First Name], from [his/her] work with [describe participation in group or organization in a sentence or two, include accomplishments and impact].

Unfortunately, [First Name] passed away recently on [date].

As [his/her] [relation to your loved one], I have started a funeral fundraiser to help cover the cost of [his/her] funeral expenses. Our family was not prepared for the high cost of a funeral, and during this difficult time we are reaching out to the community for help.

The fundraiser can be found here: [Insert fundraiser URL]. Please consider donating if you can, as any amount will truly help. We need to raise [fundraiser goal] by [date] in order to cover the cost of [First Name] ’s funeral service.

(Optional) [First Name] deeply valued the work [he/she] did with [group or organization]. If we exceed our goal, any additional funds will be donated to [group or organization].

It would mean a lot if you could share [First Name]’s funeral fundraiser with others who knew [him/her].

Thank you so much for your consideration,

[Your Name]

Find relief from high funeral costs

If you need assistance with funeral costs, a funeral fundraiser can provide financial relief. Knowing how to ask for donations for funeral expenses can remove the uncertainty of starting a fundraiser, and allow you to focus on the healing process. Sign up to create your funeral fundraiser today, so you can pay tribute to your loved one and stop worrying about funeral costs.

Start a funeral fundraiser