A Guide on How to Ask for Donations for Funeral Expenses

A group of people hugging at a funeral service
| 4 min read Financial Assistance

In this difficult time, we are here to help. When going through loss, the last thing you want to think about is how to pay for a funeral. The cost of burial expenses increases each year, and cost for a service to honor the life of their loved one can be a burden. While many organizations help with funeral expenses, starting a GoFundMe to help cover the costs is a fast and easy way to get additional support.

This guide walks you through how to ask for donations for funeral expenses and offers some helpful funeral fundraiser wording to use.  

Fundraising for assistance with funeral costs

Crowdfunding can be a quick and easy option for help with funeral expenses. A funeral fundraiser can provide a way for families to connect and heal together while paying tribute to a loved one.

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. Thousands of people choose GoFundMe every day to help with expenses like end of life costs, funeral or memorials, or funds to support the family of the

Tips on how to ask for donations for funeral expenses

Making an ask for donations can be difficult, especially when you’re dealing with grief or loss. Find comfort in knowing that people will likely want to help. 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 on a personal donation website.

  • 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 loved one authentically, and include why each donation is so important to you and your family.
  • Include the name of the person or family in the title: To help potential donors find your fundraiser, consider including the first and last name of the person you are honoring. For example, “Celebrating the life of Jane Smith.”
  • 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.

3 funeral fundraiser wording examples

The below templates can help you navigate the process of asking for funeral donations, no matter who you’re asking. Knowing the right wording for memorial donations 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 for funeral expenses 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 [or Celebration of life] 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]

I’ve started a fundraiser to collect donations for [First Name]’s funeral service and end of life costs—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 people outside of your network

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/them]. [He/She/They] leave(s) behind [family members].

[First Name] dedicated [his/her/their] 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/they] deserve(s), to honor [his/her/their] 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/their] work with [describe participation in a group or organization in a sentence or two, include accomplishments and impact].

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

As [his/her/their] [relation to your loved one], I have started a funeral fundraiser to help cover the cost of [his/her/their] 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/they] 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/them].

Thank you so much for your consideration,

[Your Name]

Find relief from the high costs of funerals

Online fundraising can provide financial relief if you need assistance with funeral costs. 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. Check out these funeral fundraising ideas and create your funeral fundraiser today to honor and pay tribute to your loved one.

Written by GoFundMe