Facebook is launching a personal fundraiser feature, but experts are already warning about the potential downsides.
Facebook — like other third-party sites — makes it easy for people to take advantage of good intentions, especially in an emotionally extreme time of grief.
Take for example this New Hampshire family. When their daughter died in California, a friend helped start a crowdfunding campaign to help bring her body home and pay for a memorial service. But as CBS reports, thousands of dollars raised by the campaign were “allegedly wiped out by their daughter’s best friend, who had started a crowdfunding campaign on the 26-year-old’s behalf.”
As crowdfunding grows, experts warn that so does the potential for scammers to take advantage of communities. The Wall Street Journal found that third-party sites “have come under fire for not having enough controls to protect users.”
Yet, crowdfunding a funeral remains increasingly popular. And for many families, it remains a powerful tool in a time of need.
Why is Crowdfunding So Popular?
Ideally, families shouldn’t have to crowdfund a funeral. But there are times when crowdfunding is needed, like when a family is faced with an unexpected death or when young children are left behind. As we’ve mentioned before, many families had their savings wiped out in the recession, and more than half of Americans don’t have enough to cover an unexpected expense of $1,000 or more.
In fact, these are just some of the reasons we’ve seen for crowdfunding — there are many more crowdfunding reasons.
Perhaps this explains crowdfunding’s popularity, as the total number of campaigns for funerals has hit well over 600,000.
What Funeral Homes Should Do Instead of Facebook Fundraising
For many families, calling on friends and family for help through crowdfunding is their last hope. How can you make sure they do it safely?
The best bet is to avoid third-party sites altogether. By donating directly on an obituary, loved ones don’t have to worry if they’re visiting a real crowdfunding page. They can be sure that any donations will go toward the funeral or memorial wishes.
That’s why many funeral homes now offer crowdfunding directly on their website and avoiding the hassle of third parties. By running a campaign directly, it puts the funeral home and the family back in control of the process.
In addition to protecting families from the problems brought on by things like Facebook’s fundraising feature, many funeral homes are also seeing other benefits, such as:
- An increase in organic traffic to their website and obituaries.
- A guarantee that the money goes to the funeral expenses first.
- An easy way to keep track of who donates, so funeral directors can help families send thank-you cards at a later date.
- Offering families a check for excess money raised after meeting the funeral expenses.
Isn’t it time you made crowdfunding a safe option for the families you serve?
To get a crowdfunding feature that works for you and your families directly on your website, give us a call at 866-372-9372 or fill out the form below to talk with one of our Tribute Pay specialists. Watch the video below to learn more.