Ali Haines & Rebecca Noble
“Digital in-memory giving is here to stay”, according to Kate Jenkinson, Head of In-Memory Consultancy at Legacy Foresight. In this article, we explore the growth of in-memory giving and its power to generate much-needed funds for charities and good causes, as well as celebrate the lives of our loved ones.
When someone we love dies, supporting their favourite cause, or an organisation that was involved in caring for them can be a positive and meaningful way to commemorate them.
Traditionally, this would have been a collection in-person at the funeral, with cash and cheque donations processed by the funeral director. Many families now instead prefer to request donations to a favourite charity in lieu of funeral flowers, boosting the trend for in-memory giving. This can often lead to longer-term support for a charity or good cause, and regular supporter engagement with the charity.
Online tribute pages play an increasingly key role in driving in-memory donations and fundraising, which is a crucial income stream for charities across the UK. Last year, our award-winning funeral notice, donations and tribute service raised £25 million for good causes, in partnership with over 300 charity partners and 500 funeral directors.
A 2019 report by Legacy Foresight predicted that legacy and in-memory donations to UK charities would be worth twice as much in real terms in 25 years' time, reaching £10 billion by 2045. Further research conducted during the pandemic noted that donors had used tribute pages more than ever to donate, light virtual candles, or simply leave thoughts and memories.
Kate Jenkinson reported in August 2020, during the heart of the pandemic, that “In-memory giving is moving online. The trend has been propelled this year, partly born out of the restrictions of social distancing, but also because the online connections people make are highly relevant. They reflect the ways that many of us live our daily lives and answer many of our fundamental needs in the aftermath of bereavement.”*
Here at MuchLoved, the number of tributes created each month continues to increase, growing to over 5,100 tributes being created on average each month in 2022. This is a 160% increase since 2018.
Not only that, but we’re also seeing more families revisiting and developing their tribute pages as a lasting memorial tool - which is not only hugely gratifying for us but also means that families are finding comfort in their pages.
Candles are also increasingly popular - quadrupling in use between 2018 and 2022, with over 16,500 candles being added each month last year. People have become more comfortable with engaging with online tribute pages, and using them to remember their loved ones - especially for those milestone moments like birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas.
Similarly, we saw an increase in the number of Thoughts being posted on our tribute pages - with a 60% increase from 2020 to 2022 - perhaps reflecting the broader social trend for connecting and sharing online.
A growing number of families are also using the Events feature on their tribute page to help their in-memory fundraising efforts. We say a 100% increase of Events being added to pages between 2020 and 2022.
We are delighted that our enhanced Events functionality, introduced last year, is helping many of our charity partners with their own events programmes. Of course, events don’t have to raise money and we’re pleased to give families the option to share details of memorial and celebratory events too, like a family memorial walk or tree planting.
If you'd like to find out more about working with MuchLoved, and how we can help grow your in-memory income, please contact us at 01494 722818 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.