Etiquette of Sending Memorial Donations

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, March 6, 2023

Some individuals or their families request donations to charity in lieu of flowers during the bereavement period. This article will explore the etiquette expected when making a memorial donation in honor of the deceased. 

Making a Donation in the Deceased’s Name

When donating, be sure to include “In memory of” or “In loving memory of” as part of the donation. Many online services for donations will include a place to denote memorial donations such as this. It is best to donate to the chosen charity within 10 days of the funeral service, as this allows the family to include you in the thank you notes after the funeral. Be sure to inform the charity of the name and address of the deceased’s family, so that they can be notified of the donation, even if it is done anonymously. 

Family’s Choice of Charity

Most families will designate the charity, or a group of charities, to whom they would like the donations to be sent to. If any charities are designated, it is best not to deviate from those. Many families will pick a charity that is close to the heart of the deceased. This may include one that they have volunteered with or donated to in the past. If the deceased was lost to a specific ailment, the donation may be focused on treatment and care. An example of this might be a cancer research facility.

Charity of Your Choice

However, if no charities are specified, you may have to pick one yourself. In this case, it is important to do a bit of research to ensure that you are giving to a good organization, that will fit what the deceased would want. Remember that you are making the donation in their name, not yours. There are a number of websites that can help you. The Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance looks into various charities and helps you understand whether or not they are reputable. Charity Watch also provides a similar service in researching charities to help you make an informed decision for your donations.

Should I Donate Anonymously?

Gifted donations to a charity can often be done anonymously. It is up to you if you want the bereaved to know that you donated in their loved one’s name. While it can be good to show your love and support through donations, you may want to remain anonymous. It is ultimately up to you.

Sympathy Cards and Donations

Some people prefer to inform the family of the deceased via a sympathy card. In addition to words of sympathy, consider including a message such as “Our family remembered (Name) by donating to (Charity)”

For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.

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