Donations in lieu of flowers
Donations in lieu of flowers at a funeral have become very popular in the last few years, reducing the requirement for traditional floral tributes. A more philanthropic view point is now taken, with families embracing the opportunity to raise money for a chosen charity, in memory of their loved one. It is estimated that around £100 million in funeral donations is given to charity every year in the UK.
As the Great Western Hospital will no longer accept flowers in Swindon (due to the risk of infection), only the Prospect Hospice and care homes will now accept donated funeral flowers.
The current trend is for families to order one main floral tribute to decorate the top of the coffin. Sometimes close family members may also add to the main display, with the purchase of one or two smaller tributes alongside. Friends and extended family who would have previously purchased flowers are asked if they would like to donate to a chosen charity instead.
Families often find leaving flowers at the crematorium as being very wasteful, when the money could be promoting other good causes. More floral tributes are seen at burials as the flowers are normally transferred to the burial plot, extending their short existence. Of course the amount of flowers on the funeral does depend on the deceased age, sex and family situation.
We provide a service that collates and administers the donations, forwarding them to the charity concerned. After approx. four weeks we send the family a list of the donors with the total amount collected. Any letters or cards of condolence received from friends and family members will also be forwarded to you.
As donations have traditionally been given by cash or cheque, virtually no GiftAid is reclaimed (as a form needs to be completed with each donation). GiftAid enables the charity to reclaim 25p of every pound donated. By promoting online funeral donation it has made the collecting of GiftAid as simple of ticking a box for the user and significantly increasing the amount reaching your favoured charity.
Many funeral directors have started to offer an online donation service and this is why we have recently partnered with ‘Funeral Zone’ who provide an online tribute page service, which we can now offer all our clients. This enables each family to have a dedicated memory page to their loved one, where friends and family can write messages of condolence, light a candle in someone’s memory, donate to their chosen charity and share the funeral details on social media.