Making a Charitable Donation in Memory of a Loved One

Posted on November 17, 2020 by Bevis Funeral Home under Dealing with Loss, Memorials, Preplanning
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Hand placing a heart in a box

When a loved one passes away, donating to an organization or charity on their behalf can be a meaningful way to honor their memory. Making the donation arrangements can feel overwhelming, particularly during a time of grief. Here is a detailed guide to assist you in making a donation in memory of a loved one.

Choosing an Organization

Because there are many deserving organizations, it can be difficult to choose one when making a donation in memory of a loved one. It is important to regard the interests of the deceased. The charity that is most meaningful to you personally may not align with that of your deceased family member or friend. If they suffered from a terminal disease or condition, it may be appropriate to donate to a group that cares for those who suffer from the same condition.

Another thing to consider may be causes the deceased was passionate about during their life. For example, an animal shelter or refuge might be fitting for someone who cared deeply for animals. If you are unsure what type of organization would be best, it may be helpful to reach out to a family member or friend of the deceased.

Evaluating and Comparing Charities

Once you have chosen a cause or organization, it is important to carefully evaluate its reputation and history before making your donation. An organization might sound wonderful on its website while hiding a questionable history. Online tools such as Charity Navigator and Charity Watch assess various organizations and charities to help you make an informed choice about your donation. According to Charity Navigator, the three most important things to look at when evaluating a charity are the financial health of the organization, its accountability and transparency, and its results. Both sites are valuable tools in making an informed and thoughtful donation.

How to Make a Donation

There are several ways to make a donation in memory of a loved one. While it is often convenient to arrange your donation online, it is a good idea to make your donation with a personal check, if possible. Making your donation with a personal check ensures that you have physical record of your gift and often guarantees that the immediate family of the deceased will be notified. Donating with cash is not advisable as it burdens the grieving next of kin with the donation arrangements.

According to The Spruce, your donation to the charitable organization should include the name and address of the deceased, the name and address of a close living family member, and your name. Even if you believe the charity will provide notification directly, it is appropriate to notify the deceased’s next of kin of your gift with a note of sympathy. Use the language “in memory of” which refers to someone who has passed away, as opposed to a donation “in honor of” someone who is still living. It is considered appropriate to arrange your donation within 10 days of a funeral or other service.

Pre-Planning Final Wishes

Grieving the loss of a loved one is incredibly difficult, particularly when the loved one’s passing is unexpected. Pre-planning your own end-of-life arrangements is a way to lift the burden of determining what would be most meaningful to you from your loved ones. For example, there may be an organization or cause you would like to support in lieu of flowers. The more personal your memorial service is to you, the more meaningful it will be for those you love. Pre-planning these arrangements is a gift to those you leave behind, as they can rest in the knowledge that your final wishes are being honored.

Are you ready to get started with your plan? Call Bevis Funeral Home today at 850-385-2193 to speak with a knowledgeable funeral director for assistance.

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