How to Make Donations in Memory of Deceased Individuals?

How to Make Donations in Memory of Deceased Individuals

When someone you care about or a person who has made a significant impact passes on, one way to honor their memory is by making a charitable donation. In memory of deceased individuals, heartfelt contributions can do a lot for their families and help perpetuate their legacy. It is a way to honor their deed while alive and help people still living. If you have been affected by a deceased person’s life and want to donate, it is essential to understand memorial donation etiquette and how to go about it. 

Flowers or Donations

Flowers have always been the classic gift when someone passes on. It is an old tradition that goes back thousands of years ago. Today, it is not unusual for families to request monetary donations in memory of deceased relatives. Most obituaries now include a donation request, usually “in place of flowers.” The idea behind this type of request is that flowers wither and die while making a donation in memory of someone can do a great deal of lasting good. 

If you want to donate flowers but struggle to choose which one, you may want to consider things like the deceased’s personality, favorite color, and other things you remember about them. If they were cheery and full of life, bright colors with exuberant arrangements might be most suitable. You may also consider a flower arrangement that spells out the person’s name, nickname, or favorite quotes. 

Before you send flowers to the deceased’s relatives, ensure you have the name and address of the funeral organizers or the home of the bereaved if that’s where the funeral will be taking place. You may also want to make your flower order on time, especially if you want a complex design. 

If you are opting to make donations rather than flowers, it is necessary to do this quickly. Hence, the deceased’s relatives get the opportunity to express their gratitude. 

Some families make arrangements to receive donations in memory of deceased relatives through a charity organization. If this is the case, you may want to send your donations through that charity. It is not a great idea to donate to a different organization of your choosing. 

However, you can donate to your preferred charity if the family has not made any such request. 

Losing a loved one is hard and grieving families welcome all kinds of support. It is essential not to make a challenging period more difficult by getting your donation wrong. 

How Much Should You Donate?

Making a donation in memory of someone would be appreciated by their family, no matter how little or large. You don’t have to feel under pressure to constrain your budget to donate, even if you were close to the deceased. It is always the thought that counts and not necessarily the figure. Of course, if you can give a large amount without putting your wallet under pressure, then you should do it. 

Sometimes, a family may request a specific memorial donation amount for their deceased relatives. The rule of not constraining your budget still applies if you cannot meet the amount. Most memorial donors give modest amounts, so there is no need to spend more than you can afford. 

You can also choose to donate an amount with some significance to the deceased, like donating $84 if the person passed on that 84 years old or $1939 if they were born in 1939. Some donation recipients tell what the money would be for, which can influence donation amounts. If the deceased was committed to tree planting, for instance, you could donate an amount that would go towards planting a specific number of trees. 

How Much Should You Donate?

When Is the Best Time to Make Donations?

It is necessary to know when to make donations in memory of deceased persons. It is ideal to send your donations soon after you learn the family is requesting donations in many cases. Most families will place this request on a newspaper obituary page, death notice, or social media. Sending your donations as quickly as possible ensures you do not forget and allows the funds to get to where needed on time.

How to Send Memorial Donations?

Donating bank checks is often the best way to get your donations to the appropriate recipients. A bank check provides your details for correspondence with the bereaved family or receiving organization if the need arises.

An online donation is fast and seamless, but the family may not be able to acknowledge your donation. The automation involved with e-giving often means that the recipient or even the donor may not get feedback on the status of the donation.  

In some cases, a cash donation inserted in a sympathy card may also be possible. However, it is advisable only to make a cash donation if it is your only option, along with a little note and apology explaining why you are sending cash. 

How to Request Donations in Lieu of Flowers?

If you are the bereaved and want people to donate in memory of someone you’ve lost, maybe to a charity they supported or to a cause they advocate while alive, you can do that by requesting their obituary or the newspaper/online memorial notice. The wording requesting funeral donations may go thus: 

  • The deceased family welcomes donations to [name of charity] as an expression of sympathy in lieu of flowers.
  • It was [name of deceased] desire that memorial tributes be made as charitable donations to [name of charity]. 
  • The family desires that individuals who wish to extend their sympathy should consider donating to their favorite charity in [name of deceased] name. 


It is never easy to lose a loved one. However, knowing that the dead family member is still impacting and affecting lives even while dead can offer great solace. Making charitable donations in memory of lost loved ones is a simple yet powerful way of preserving their memory and providing comfort to those still living.