Improve your memorial giving program with these 8 tips

When someone you love dies, making a donation to a cause that was important to them can be a meaningful and comforting act. That’s why donors do it.

If you’re the health fundraising sector, you already know this, because it’s very common there.

If you haven’t come across memorial giving, it’s worth looking into. It’s a real motivation for some donors some of the time.

Here’s some help from the Boomerang Blog, at 8 Tips for Managing Your Nonprofit’s Memorial Donations:

  1. Involve the honoree’s family. Try to find a close immediate survivor of the person people are remembering with donation. Let them know others are giving. This person may or may not be a donor, but you should treat them like one.
  2. Allow donors to send a note to the honoree’s family. Find ways to let memorial donors be as personal as possible.
  3. Send thoughtful donor thank you notes. Their giving motivations may be different from other donors, but the gift is real, and heartfelt.
  4. Communicate the impact of tribute donations. As with “normal” thank you messages, make clear the impact of their giving.
  5. Keep memorial donation data organized. These aren’t typical donors. Make sure you know who they are. They aren’t “donors” in the normal sense — yet. They are prospective donors, and should just be thrown in with the population of donors.
  6. Share information about your memorial donation program. Make sure all your donors can learn about memorial giving.
  7. Highlight other ways to give. Let potential donors know that giving money is just one way to honor a loved one. Volunteering and other forms of involvement can be meaningful too.
  8. Facilitate peer-to-peer fundraising. Make it easy for people to recruit memorial donations.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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