Our Guide to Creating an Effective Tribute Fund Scheme

An introduction

Tribute Giving is a long established method of giving whereby the primary motivation for the gift is the memory of a loved one who has died. Many donations and fundraising events are to a lesser or greater extent prompted by such a desire and the concept behind establishing a formal Tribute Fund scheme is to create a 'wrapper' in which to recognise such donations. By creating a scheme that both personalises and records in-memory donations in a sensitive manner, Tribute Funds can be shown to demonstrate a significant capacity to raise both money and supporters for the charity concerned.

Will it achieve results?

Tribute Fund Schemes will work much better with some causes than others. You are more likely to achieve significant results if you are a cause related to death, operate a tangible site (such as a hospice or shelter) or have a well established national profile.

Another good indicator is your current level of in-memory (and to some extent legacy) income. If your in-memory income is already above £25,000 p.a. and you fit some of the above criteria, then a Tribute Fund scheme should be successful if implemented with care and commitment.

Scheme Planning & Set up

Do take time to create a strategy. This can be very simple and short but it will help formalise your ideas and importantly get the scheme up and running.

As part of this you should set some achievable objectives regarding launch date, recruiting numbers of Tribute Fund holders and increasing in-memory income.

The scheme needs to be named with possibly its own brand to give your fund a distinct identity e.g. The Butterfly Fund or The Remembered Forever Fund.

This is also the time to pay considerable attention to the tone and style of the scheme in both design and copy content in order to reach the right balance for your charity.

Ensure that a system is in place for managing the data of each Tribute Fund holder, including identifying all donations registered for their fund.

Start to create marketing & PR plans for launch date, cultivating relationships with Funeral Directors in your area and raising awareness about the new scheme. Please remember that any promotion planned should be entirely on an opt-in basis only.

Finally but crucially you must select a dedicated in-house Scheme Administrator to 'own' the project. This will be key to the on-going success of the scheme.

Using a Memorial Website service to underpin the Scheme

The most successful Tribute Fund schemes offer multiple ways to raise money, encompassing both traditional as well as ever more ingenious alternative ways of fundraising.

A memorial website service such as MuchLoved will offer the dual role of not only collecting the online donations for each fund, but also acting as the vehicle for recording and keeping track of overall fund progress.

Offering a memorial website service, along with its many remembrance and commemorative features, can therefore prove a sensitive and appropriate method for underpinning the whole Tribute Fund scheme.

The MuchLoved integrated donation service securely processes all online donations including Gift Aid and acts as a real time record of the fund’s running total for all relevant people to be able to view.

As well as supporting the success of the scheme, the memorial website facility will also reduce your charity’s administration time and is also a helpful way of keeping in touch with all Tribute Fund holders over the medium to long term.

Internal Communication

Please ensure that there is extensive training and promotion of the scheme internally. This should include:

External Communication

The long term success of the scheme will depend on excellent communication and relationship building. Here are some ideas for helping make certain that this is the case:

Producing a Tribute Fund Literature Pack

There is a whole range of materials that you can create to support your scheme, particularly in relation to prospective Tribute Fund holders.

An explanation leaflet is essential and preferably this should be developed into a branded Tribute Fund pack sent to everyone who enquires or responds to a marketing effort, including the following sections:

  1. Why donations are so crucial to the charity (and thanking them for considering fundraising)
  2. An explanation of the scheme and a couple of testimonials / case studies
  3. Instructions on creating the online memorial website (if applicable)
  4. Other Fundraising Ideas
  5. Next Steps….How to actually set up their Fund
  6. Useful Leaflets and Cards: pre-printed Pew Cards, Funeral Directors Leaflet, Notification cards, Regular Giving Forms
  7. Scheme Administrator Contacts Details, Helpful Bereavement Organisation links

Other Things to remember

Each Tribute Fund Scheme can, and should, be unique but certain things will be common to all:

Finally, and most importantly, Good Luck!