How Do You Pay for a Funeral With No Money? Four Ideas

After a loved one passes away, family and friends begin planning for a funeral or memorial, which can be quite expensive. Added to the high cost of a burial is the emotional difficulty of asking friends and family for help with money for these expenses. Facing these costs is usually the last thing we want to think about in the aftermath of a loss. So how do you pay for a funeral with no money? Below, we offer guidance on how to find financial help during this difficult time.

Start a funeral fundraiser

Paying for a funeral to honor your loved one

Crowdfunding has become a proven and popular way to raise funds for funerals and memorials. If a family wonders how to pay for a funeral with no money, we often see friends and family members who knew the deceased jump in to donate to the fundraiser or help with bills for related expenses. 

We’ve seen many families raise the funds they need on GoFundMe, because people are often glad to be able to help in a concrete way. Beyond raising money, your fundraiser can also give family and friends a place to post loving words and remembrances.

  • An online fundraiser is a way for others to help the family in need when they might otherwise feel helpless.
  • Online fundraisers can greatly help pay for funeral service costs while serving as a space to commemorate loved ones.
  • Through online fundraising, it’s easy for entire communities to show their support and love for the deceased. It’s not limited to close friends and family members.

Four funeral fundraising ideas

1. Benefit sports tournament

Fundraising ideas for funeral costs can expand beyond car washes and bake sales. One way to honor or celebrate a loved one while raising funds is to hold a benefit tournament playing your loved one’s favorite sport.

  • Parks and community centers can make good venues, and space is usually or inexpensive to reserve.
  • Whatever the sport, organize small games (perhaps four-on-four), so many people can participate at once.
  • Have participants pay for their spot on a team by making a donation to your GoFundMe.

2. Restaurant fundraiser and storytelling night

Partner with a restaurant to raise funds for your loved one’s funeral.

    • Ask the restaurant to donate a small percentage of sales from a given night.
    • The event brings in new customers, and by giving back, the restaurant gains recognition in the community.
    • Invite family, friends, and community members to participate in a night of good food and good company that will raise funds for your loved one’s funeral expenses and helps others share their memories.
    • You can even turn the event into a storytelling night, where family and friends tell their favorite stories about the departed.

3. Community mural project

If your loved one was an integral member of the community, look into creating a public mural on a wall donated by a local business or civic institution. For a less public celebration, you can create a portable mural on canvas. Public parks, fields, or community centers can be good locations.

  • Provide paints, tiles, and brushes, or ask art stores to donate supplies.
  • Ask for donations to your fundraiser at the event.

4. Healing together with a ritual

Mourning is a process that can involve healing on many levels—both individually and collectively. One way to encourage healing is through an event where family and friends participate in a healing ritual.

  • You might decide to make a community quilt, create a scrapbook of memories, read poetry, sing in a circle, or plant a tree.
  • If you’d like, offer participants food and drinks.
  • Before the event begins, ask for donations to your fundraiser.

Set up your funeral fundraiser and find support today

Funerals bring people together to mourn, celebrate, and heal. Although the expense can be high, crowdfunding is a proven way to raise the funds you need while bringing people together in the name of your loved one. If you haven’t already, start your fundraiser today.

Additional funeral fundraising resources