A recent trend called “crowdfunding,” which consists of soliciting online donations or investments from a wide audience, has gone one step further. What may have began as individuals or organizations seeking help paying for medical expenses, rebuilding after disaster or granting one last wish, has blossomed into much more. Starving artists, technology startups and a multitude of charitable and personal endeavors are receiving money through crowdfunding sites.
With funeral expenses often exceeding $7,000, according to a Forbes August 21, 2014 report, websites like YouCaring, Graceful Goodbye and Funeral Fund are popping up on the internet to help loved-ones finance family funerals. Most sites take a small commission; 2 or 3 percent of funds raised, and the industry is growing with nearly 2,000 crowdfunding sites expected to be online worldwide by 2016. Like it or hate it, the movement has caught on and seems to be here to stay. Relatives faced with unplanned expenses are now using Fund Me style websites, asking friends and family for a direct donation rather than funeral flowers or a gift to a selected charity.
Not everyone will support subsidizing funeral expenses for elderly people, who many believe should plan for their own death expenses with savings, insurance or prepaid funeral arrangements. But with the growing number of seniors, and the number of deaths bound to increase over the next 20 years, funding a final resting place is one more expense to consider in older age.