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How to Start a Memorial Fund


When a loved one passes away, it is often difficult to find meaning and hope in the midst of the loss. But for some families, honoring a relative with a memorial fund can help offer a sense of comfort and hope during the grieving process. Not only does it keep the memory of the deceased alive, it also helps improve the lives of others.Close up of human hand holding piggy bank

If you think a memorial fund might be an option for you or a loved one, here are some pieces of advice to consider:

Compare your options

When you’re thinking about setting up a memorial fund, you will first have to choose a cause or foundation to support. You can choose a simple, one-time donation to a cause or event your loved one was passionate about, or you could pass along donations on an ongoing basis.

Set the structure of the fund

Talk to a financial adviser to determine whether to gather the funds independently or work with a community foundation. This decision is mostly determined by your personal preferences, and there are advantages to both. Community foundations may require a minimum initial donation to set up the fund and many charge a handling fee, but if you are looking for an outside party to manage the funds for you, this is a good option. Managing the funds yourself gives you more flexibility and control over how the funds are used, but will likely require more administrative attention.

Set up donation methods

You could provide options for accepting donations online through a Facebook group page, personal website or an existing donation site (gofundme.com, depositagift.com and youcaring.com are good options). To grow the fund, ask friends and family to donate instead of sending flowers and mention the URL in the obituary, on funeral cards and on other places where it makes sense.

Create a dedicated account

If you’re managing the fund yourself, you’ll need to set up a dedicated bank account to keep the memorial fund donations separate from your personal account. Once it is established, you should sync the account with an online payment service, so you are able to collect, transfer and manage donations easily online.

No matter your preferences, a memorial fund is a great way to celebrate and preserve the life of a loved one.

At Generations Healthcare, we are dedicated to providing the strength and support necessary to celebrate life’s journey. Contact us to learn more about our independent and assisted living communities.

  • You had a great tip about how you should set up a dedicated bank account to keep the memorial fund donations separate from your personal account. My grandpa just died, and I’m in charge of setting up a memorial fund for him. I will keep your great advice in mind when I work on setting up a memorial fund for my grandpa so that he can get the funeral he deserves.

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