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Memorial Monetary Gift Etiquette


    • Consult the obituary in your local newspaper or the obituary section on your newspaper's website. Often information on bereavement gifts are listed in the obituary.

    Funeral Home Staff

    • Ask the funeral home director about the family's preferences for cash gifts and other bereavement gifts. Do not call the bereaved during this difficult time. The family has hired the funeral director to take care of logistical questions such as yours, so honor that by asking the director and allowing the family members to focus on grieving.


    • Make your donation to the family's selected charity as soon as possible. If it is possible, make the donation before you attend the memorial service or shortly after.

    Extra Cash Gifts

    • You may give additional cash gifts beyond a charity donation, but Emily Post advises that it is "best to stick with their request at such a sensitive time." Follow the family's instructions first. Then, if you feel led to bless the family with an additional, creative cash gift, then do that several weeks after the funeral. Send your gift along with a card of condolence.


    • Help the family raise money to pay for the cost of a funeral or memorial service they cannot afford. It is best to do this on the sly with several close friends and family members and to present the donation as a gift from the group. Many people often will not agree to this gesture if they know about it ahead of time.

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