Covid-19: Charities urged to do more to address ‘memorial deprivation’ among donors

Charities are being urged to do more to help bereaved donors who are suffering “memorial deprivation” due to Covid-19 restrictions at funerals.

Funeral collections account for half of all donations made in the memory of a loved one.

But social distancing and lockdown has stopped many attending funerals and making a donation.

Research group Legacy Foresight says currently charities are failing to take into account the challenges supporters are facing around attending funerals

It urges charities to do more to support the public around Covid-19’s “catastrophic impact on UK funerals” and in memory giving.

Legacy Foresight reviewed the websites of 40 charities and hospices to assess the information being offered to supporters around funeral giving.

Only one charity offered to support donors with a future memorial event at a later date.

In addition, just a third made any acknowledgement of the pandemic to their bereaved supporters and the restrictions they are facing.

Just one in ten signposted supporters to government guidance on planning and attending a funeral.

Meanwhile, less than two thirds of charities offer supporters an online collection page as an alternative to a physical collection at a funeral.

“Charities have an unprecedented opportunity to support families who are planning memorials for their loved ones, but they urgently need to make their information about funerals more agile and responsive to the times,” said Kate Jenkinson, head of in-memory consultancy at Legacy Foresight.

“Offering dynamic and reliable information around funeral giving – including relevant donation options – is one of the best ways charities can help those who come forward in memory of a loved one. It should be a core part of their overall strategy of support in these times.”

Jonathan Davies, trustee of online in-memory giving platform MuchLoved added: “With the ongoing impact of COVID-19, we believe there is a particular need and opportunity for charities at this time to reach out to their supporters to provide information and assistance with bereavement, both at the time of the funeral and in supporting them afterwards”.

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