How & Where to Ask for Donations for Funeral Expenses

Losing a loved one is difficult, even without financial stress of paying for a funeral. We have details on how to set up a memorial fund & ask for help.

Updated April 11, 2024
Funeral flowers in the back of a hearse driving through a cemetery at sunset

Funerals can be so expensive. And when you have so many other things happening in your life, receiving donations to help with funeral expenses can remove some of the stress associated with a very difficult time. If you need assistance, it's okay to ask for donations to help you manage your costs. 

Where to Ask for Donations for Funeral Expenses

It's never easy to ask others to help you financially. But when you've lost someone you love, many of your friends and family want to help you navigate such a difficult time. You have several ways you can ask for donations to make it easy for others to help.

Set Up a Memorial Fund

There are many websites that will help you set up and manage a memorial fund. We like this idea because most have a donation form built in, usually asking for donations "In lieu of flowers." This allows you to put the word out of your need for donations without running a whole social media and email campaign asking for help — all you have to do is provide the link for the memorial site, which will also share funeral or memorial details and allow people to sign a guest book leaving comments for the family or memories of the deceased.

For example, Ever Loved lets you create a free memorial website that raises money for funeral expenses with no service charge. It allows you to create a personalized note and obituary, share information about the funeral, and set up an "In lieu of flowers" donation fund to cover funeral expenses. 

Related: 6 Sample Obituary Examples + Formatting Advice

Set Up a GoFundMe for Funeral Expenses

Setting up a GoFundMe is a good way to receive funds from those who wish to donate towards the funeral costs. To set up a GoFundMe:

  1. Create an account if you don't already have one.
  2. Create your fundraiser by filling in some information that will be automatically prompted after signing in.
  3. Set your fund goal.
  4. Fill in information regarding your specific fundraiser and your personal story as to why you are raising money for this.
  5. Once complete, you can share your GoFundMe page, or direct others to view it via email, text, or social media.
Need to Know

Keep in mind that GoFundMe takes out 2.9%, as well as 30 cents per donation.

Ask in the Obituary

Once you have a memorial fund in place through the organization of your choice, you can include wording in the obituary that asks for donations. First, write the obituary. At the end of the obituary, say something like, "In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the memorial fund to help pay for the final expenses."

Send a Personal Email or Text Seeking Donations

writing funeral fundraising email

You can also send the link of your GoFundMe or memorial fund in an email or text.

Send a Request Via Email

The two sample emails below can help you get the wording just right as you send your memorial fund link. 

Dearest friends and family members,

It's with a heavy heart that we let you know that (insert deceased individual's name) passed away peacefully on (insert when), due to a (insert reason why if you'd like).

We would love for you to join us at the memorial on (insert date) at (insert time) at (insert location). A small repast will take place after the service at the home of (insert host's name). Their address is (insert address).

Some of you have reached out and asked how you can help us during this time. Know that your kindness is much appreciated as we navigate this heartbreaking moment. We kindly ask, if you are able to, to donate funds towards the funeral service, as we hope to carry out all of (insert deceased individual's name)'s final wishes. Donations can be sent to (link to memorial fund website or Venmo, Paypal, Zelle, or other payment platform information). 

Thank you again for supporting us during this time, and we hope to see you at the memorial.

With love,

(insert individual's names)


To our loved ones,

Know that your support means everything to us as we navigate this painful time. Even though we were anticipating the passing of (insert deceased individual's name), nothing has prepared us for this immense feeling of loss and sorrow. We know that (insert deceased individual's name) loved you all very much, and we, as a family, appreciate the kindness you have extended to us.

Many of you have reached out to us and have asked how you can help us during this time. We really want to honor (insert deceased individual's name)'s wishes and plan the celebration of life that he expressed wanting before he passed away. If you're able to and comfortable doing so, we would really appreciate any donation, big or small, towards his celebration of life. Funds may be sent to (insert memorial fund link or payment platform). 

Thank you again for your support during this time.

With appreciation,

(insert names)

Sample Text Wording to Seek Memorial Donations

If you're sending a text, you can still ask politely. Try one of our samples.

  • Hi (name). Thanks for reaching out and offering your support during such a difficult time. I've set up a memorial fund to help with (name)'s funeral expenses, and we'd be so appreciative of any help you'd be willing to provide. Here's the link. (Attach link.)
  • Thanks for checking in on me. We're putting together (name)'s memorial right now. We really want to give them the funeral they deserve, so we've set up a memorial fund if you'd like to donate. (Attach link). 

If you've set up a memorial fund that lists obituary, funeral information, and "In lieu of flowers" donations, you can simply text the link to anyone who reaches out asking about services. The text can be very simple, such as, "Hi. Thanks for reaching out. We hope to see you at (name)'s memorial. Here's a link to all the information."

Share Your Memorial Fund Information on Social Media

Having a donation fund link makes it a little easier to ask for help with expenses. Below are a few wording samples to help. 

  • For those of you who are able to help during this time, we ask that you consider donating funds towards (insert deceased individual's name)'s funeral. We so appreciate those who have already donated and will use these funds to honor all of (insert deceased individual's name)'s final wishes.
  • For those of you who have reached out regarding our needs as a family during this painful time, know that we appreciate your support. If you are able to, please send funds, in any amount you're comfortable with, to (link to memorial fund or payment platform) to help us pay for the funeral that (insert deceased individual's name) requested in his final wishes.

What Is a Nice Way to Ask for Donations?

We know it can be uncomfortable asking for donations. But there are many people who want to help you during a very difficult time. Our tips can help. 

  • Stay calm and take a deep breath — asking for donations can feel intimidating, but you may be surprised as to how many people want to help out during this time.
  • Use multiple platforms to reach out to people to spread the word.
  • Use simple, kind, and appreciative wording.
  • Send thank-you notes or texts, or make phone calls after receiving a donation to show those who have donated how much that means to you.
  • Be gracious when asking for donations.
  • Offer your reasoning why in a general way, such as saying, "to honor (insert deceased individual's name)'s final wishes."
  • Keep your request short and simple.
  • Be sure to include a link for your memorial fund, GoFundMe, or payment platform.
  • Write a kind sign-off.

How to Ask for Donations Instead of Flowers 

If you would like to have guests make a donation towards the funeral expenses, or towards an organization of your choice, you may use the phrase, in lieu of flowers, followed by your donation request.

Asking for Help During a Difficult Time

It's never easy to ask for money. But your friends and family care about you, and they're probably looking for ways to help you during a very difficult time in your life. If you're polite and respectful, make sure they have a way to pay, and honor any decision they make regarding helping out, chances are many will be happy to help memorialize someone they loved, too. 

How & Where to Ask for Donations for Funeral Expenses