12 Nonprofit Organizations That Help With Funeral Expenses

Published September 22, 2020
Woman with funeral director

Nonprofit organizations that help with funeral expenses provide a valuable service to communities. A list of the many nonprofit organizations that either fund or participate in a charity to assist families with funeral expenses can get you started in finding help.

Nonprofit Organizations That Help With Funeral Expenses

Some nonprofit organizations were created specifically to help fund burials. These groups may offer partial assistance or complete burial costs. Other help with funeral expenses can be found through various religious organizations.

1. Funeral Consumer Alliance

Funeral Consumer Alliance is a nonprofit organization that works to protect consumer rights for funerals. The organization helps more than 50 funeral planning societies and is made up of affiliate groups in US regions. They offer a directory of affiliate resources and memorial societies. A memorial society is a nonprofit organization that helps its members with inexpensive funeral arrangements for either burial or cremation. The organizations work with their local mortuaries and various funeral-related businesses to secure the best low-cost service for its membership. For example, the San Diego Memorial Society has a standard, one-time, nonrefundable lifetime membership fee $55 for individuals, $100 for two family members and an additional $45 for each family member. The membership fees may be different for various memorial societies.

2. The TEARS Foundation

The TEARS Foundation pays the funeral home and/or the cemetery directly. Assistance is given only when there is an outstanding balance due for funeral expenses. The age range of the deceased children is 20 weeks gestation to 12 years of age.

  • The foundation pays excess funeral expenses for a 20 weeks gestation to one-year-old child up to $500 for a burial and up to $250 is for cremation. An additional $250 may be paid for a cremation urn, remembrance items and other items that exceed the initial $250.
  • Funeral expense assistance for 1- to12-year-old children can be up to $500. This assistance is for children who suffered an unexpected death that was from an accident, homicide, SUDC, or suicide.

3. Children's Burial Assistance

The Children's Burial Assistance (CBA) organization serves children from 1- to 17-years-old, The organization doesn't provide monetary assistance to parents or guardians. Instead, the group provides donated burial pots, cremation urns, and a resource database. The CBA's database includes valuable information on funeral homes, cemeteries, crematories, florists, companies that provide headstones, grave markers, and caskets. Many of these providers offer discounted services to CBA referrals. Some even offer at-cost services to help families defray funeral expenses.

4. Final Farewell

Final Farwell offers funeral financial aid to parents of deceased children under the age of 18. In addition to helping with the funeral expenses, the organization also offers guidance and advice to the parents. The amount of financial assistance is determined on a sliding scale. In some instances, if parents/guardians meet the organization's Charity Policy, they may receive full funeral services that include the cost of the burial.

Religious Organizations That Help With Funeral Expenses

Depending on your faith, you may find your church, synagogue, mosque, or other religious organization offers assistance with funeral expenses. Many of these organization members create their own specialized program dedicated to helping their members and others in their communities defray funeral costs. A few examples of religious organizations that help with funeral expenses can serve as a guide and direct you to the right resources.

5. Jewish Federation

This organization provides burial plots with Jewish interment for those who need financial assistance. You can contact the Jewish Federations of North America to find services near you.

6. Catholic Church Charities

The USA Catholic Church Charities is a good place to search for help with funeral expenses. You can enter your city and state to find the closest Catholic Charities Diocese. The type of assistance available to you depends on the specific guidelines each diocese follows. This may include burial assistance offered to families with limited funds.

Coffin in catholic church

7. Example of Muslim Help With Funeral Expenses

The Masjid Al-Wali in NJ offers assistance in funeral services and conforms with the Quran and the Sunnah. The organization provides information and guidance for the family of the deceased. For those who don't have the resources, the group will purchase a gravesite for the family, coordinate with the cemetery for the burial, and provide funeral arrangements for the bereaved.

Government Assistance Programs That Help With Funeral Expenses

You can take advantage of various government agencies that offer financial and other types of assistance with funeral expenses. You want to make sure you understand the qualifications for each program.

8. Department of Human Services

The Department of Human Services (DHS) of your state is a good resource for financial and other types of support for funeral expenses. You can find this service by clicking on your state from the drop-down menu to be taken to your state's Department of Social Services. An example of this type of service is found at the Illinois Department of Human Services. This state DHS pays for funeral and burial expenses based on the DHS standard payment rates and that the deceased meets all the criteria. The assistance maximum that the Illinois DHS will pay is $1,103 for the funeral and $552 for the creation/burial.

9. US Department of Veterans Affairs

The US Department of Veterans Affairs offers assistance with funeral expenses. For service-related deaths, the maximum allowance for burials is $2,000. The burial allowance for a non-service death is $300, along with a $780 allowance for the cost of a burial plot.

Arlington National Cemetery

National Cemeteries

For qualified veterans, national cemeteries provide a no cost interment and don't pay for the other funeral expenses. The VA may also reimburse the cost of transporting the remain to the national cemetery. You can find your nearest VA facility by typing in your city and state or zip code.

10 Social Security Pays Death Benefits Defray Funeral Expenses

Social Security pays a $255 onetime lump sum death payment made to the surviving spouse. If the deceased doesn't have a surviving spouse, the death benefits are paid to a child who is eligible.

11. FEMA Funeral Assistance

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) provides financial assistance for disaster-cause funeral expenses. Any funeral expense paid is counted toward the household's maximum Other Needs Assistance (ONA). If the disaster was a presidentially declared emergency or major disaster, the deceased doesn't need to be a resident of the declared area to be eligible for funeral assistance.

12. Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is a US federal agency and is part of the Department of Justice that was created by created by Congress to administer the Crime Victims Fund. The majority of the funds are given to states to determine the needs and distribute in sub-grants to direct service providers. Some states provide funeral and burial compensation to the families of the deceased who was killed as the result of a crime. Each state operates differently, so you need to check with your state OVC for possible help with funeral expenses. You can find the contact information for your state by clicking on the map.

Finding Nonprofit Organizations That Help With Funeral Expenses

Knowing where to look for help with funeral expenses is important information. These organizations that help with funeral expenses can guide you in finding assistance with burial costs.

12 Nonprofit Organizations That Help With Funeral Expenses