MEMORY DONATIONS

Raising money for charity is a great way to remember a loved one and is taking over from the giving of flowers as a way of showing respect.

People are looking to create a lasting legacy in memory of a loved one by donating to a cause that was important to them during their life. It's estimated that about £100m a year is raised for charities this way.

Almost all funeral donations are collected in cash or by cheque by funeral directors themselves and then passed on to the charity.

This can cost funeral directors hours of admin per funeral and it means that millions are lost for charities each year owing to unclaimed Gift Aid which can be claimed only if the collector takes a Gift Aid declaration at the time of the donation, along with a full name and address. Evidence suggests that Gift Aid is reclaimed on few donations collected by the funeral industry meaning charities miss out on an estimated £25m a year in extra income.

It is now possible to make an online donation using Justgiving. This allows funeral directors to set up free "In memory" pages on behalf of their clients which they or their clients can customise to reflect the life and personality of the deceased. This then allows family and friends to donate online in one secure place.It also allows those who aren't able to attend the service to donate online from anywhere in the world.

After the funeral, the page can be passed to the family of the deceased and will remain open for as long as they need it. Many families find it comforting to look back at all the messages and for charities, it means the 25% gift aid is automatically added increasing the value of the donation.

By combining technology with charities and funeral directors, funeral donations can be much more impactful for everyone.

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