What Is Memory Giving?

Posted: 22/12/2017

In the UK, over 500,000 families experience bereavement each and every year, and a significant proportion of these can be unexpected deaths. As a result of these untimely deaths, many families may struggle to pay for funeral costs. In order to raise money to help bereaving families, other loved ones may choose to take part in memory giving.

What is memory giving?

People may choose to take part in memory giving for numerous reasons. It could be to raise money for expensive funeral costs, memorial benches, memorial plaques or donating or raising funds for charity in memory of a loved one who has passed away or even creating a charity in their honour. Memory giving can be a meaningful way to remember someone by both honouring their life and also helping others in need. It can also help to create a positive out of what is clearly an awful thing to go through. In fact, memory giving is becoming ever more popular, here are some statistics on the matter:

  • Over £80 million is raised by families and friends in the UK every year through memory giving
  • Memory giving has grown significantly over the past five years
  • JustGiving has reported a 350 percent rise since 2007
  • The average donation is considerably high, at around £60-70 per donor
  • 98% of donors said they would support the same cause again
  • More women than men (64% to 36%) choose to take part in memory giving
  • The average of a person who is being remembered is 58 years old
  • Over 71% shared their fundraising page through Facebook
  • According to a report by JustGiving the most popular events for memory, fundraising include the Cancer Research UK Race for Life, the Brighton Marathon, the London Marathon and the Bupa Great Manchester Run
  • More people than ever are using digital technology in order to raise money in memory of someone who has passed away

Why take part in memory giving?


Raising money in memory of a loved one can help to fund important medical research.

  • Memory fundraising can be a more meaningful and sustainable alternative to giving flowers or a sympathy card
  • It may help with bereavement and channel your energy in a positive way
  • It can help keep the loved one’s memory alive
  • It can help raise awareness depending on the cause of death
  • Those who are grieving may find the messages of condolence on a crowdfunding a comforting experience
  • Your generosity may inspire and give hope to others suffering
  • It can help fund medical research into a disease that may have caused the death of a loved one and give hope to others who may be also suffering from the condition
  • It is a special way of remembering someone special to you
  • It can help relieve the stress on a family or community who are already grieving for a close family member

How can you take part in memory giving?


As a way of raising money on behalf of someone who has passed away, many choose to take part in runs or marathons.

There are various ways in which you can honour the memory of the deceased, such as

  • Making a donation in their name
  • Take on a fundraising challenge, this could be an extreme sport, such as going on a skydiving or abseiling challenge, or doing a marathon, coffee mornings, bake sales, head shaves or silly fundraising activities, but all going to a good cause
  • You may decide to create a fundraising page in memory of them through sites such as JustGiving
  • Collecting contributions at a funeral or a memorial
  • Create collection boxes can be an easy way to encourage donations, many charities can provide you with donation envelopes, which can be passed onto those who would like to donate money and can be ordered online on most charities websites or by phone
  • You can set up a tribute fund
  • You can send a cheque to a charity of your choice or that the deceased supported

What is a tribute fund?

A tribute fund is a fantastic way that you can pay your respects to someone who has passed away. It can be a positive way for friends and family to celebrate and remember someone’s life. On an online tribute page, people can post stories, share their favourite pictures and treasured memories of a loved one, as well as use the page for making a donation or for events and fundraising. An online tribute page is stored centrally, meaning everyone is able to access it whenever they want to, and they can be easily set up. Sites such as Much Loved and Just Giving show their web pages a simple step-by-step guide for users to create their own page for a loved one.

In addition, a tribute page can be an efficient way to keep on track of what has been donated or fundraised so far. The page will show up all the amount raised in someone’s name, so it is possible to see what you have achieved and who has paid contributions so far.

Things to remember when making a memorial donation

If the family of the deceased requests donations to a specific cause instead of flowers and you decide this is something you would like to do, you should take note of the following:

  • Any donation made should be made within 10 days of the funeral service, so that the deceased’s family is able to know who to thank
  • Make sure the charity knows the name and address of the bereaved family
  • Memorial cash gifts should be given discretion, to avoid any potential embarrassment to the family. The money may well be needed by the grieving family, but try to figure out the most discrete way possible to give it.
  • Don’t choose a different charity to the one chosen by the family, if no charity is specified by their loved ones provide flowers to show your respect instead
  • If the family has specifically asked for contributions to a charity instead of flowers, follow the family’s wishes
  • Consider giving the same amount if not more than you would have done for a flower arrangement