Frequently Asked Questions For Families

  • Why did you create this?

    We believe that consumer's selection of funerals today are largely impacted by uncertainty and consumers worry that they cannot afford a proper burial or cremation. We believe that the funeral service provides a tremendous healing for family and friends which should not be given up based on costs.

  • What does crowdfunding mean?

    Crowdfunding is the process of raising money for a campaign or cause by accepting financial contributions from a large number of people. In the case of A Helping Hand™, crowdfunding allows family and friends to make small or large monetary contributions toward the final expenses of the deceased.

  • Who receives the funds?

    The A Helping Hand™ program allows the participating funeral home to communicate with the next of kin and determine who should receive the funds. There are two options available:

    1. The funeral home receives all funds (after fees are deducted), allowing for the payment of its funeral services first. If there is additional funds available once the funeral bill is paid, these funds would be issued to the Next of Kin by the funeral home.
    2. The next of kin designates a beneficiary, which could be the next of kin or another family member. In this case, the beneficiary would withdraw the funds (after fees are deducted) and pay the funeral bill as they see fit.

  • How is the money withdrawn?

    When a campaign is created and a beneficiary is established, our partner GoFundMe will send an automated email to the beneficiary with instructions on how to setup their account and launch the campaign. Once registered, the beneficiary may withdraw funds once they get their first donation. There are no minimum requirements for amount raised to begin withdrawing money. You do not need to reach a goal to begin withdrawals. Once you enter your bank account information and withdrawals begin, it will take 5 to 7 business days to arrive. U.S. customers can also choose to withdraw via a check. For more information on GoFundMe withdrawals, see this help article.

  • How long do withdrawals take?

    Most withdrawals, via an electronic bank transfer, take between 5 and 7 business days (excluding weekends and holidays). U.S. beneficiaries can also choose between an electronic bank transfer or paper check delivery during the withdrawal process. Checks take 7 to 10 business days to arrive.

  • Can a refund be issued if the donor wishes?

    Yes, donors can be issued a refund. Contact GoFundMe directly with requests for refunds.

  • Does the donor receive a tax receipt for their contribution?

    Donations made to a A Helping Hand™ campaign are generally considered to be personal gifts and are not guaranteed to be tax-deductible. You can always check with a tax professional to be sure.

  • What if the campaign does not reach the goal?

    No problem. With GoFundMe, the campaign organizer keeps all of the money they raise. Reaching your goal is not required.

  • What happens if nothing is raised?

    Most campaigns for funeral expenses raise some money. The main reason that campaigns don't raise money is that they are not shared broadly enough to family, friends, co-workers, and community. We recommend that the campaign is shared via social media, especially on Facebook.

  • What happens to excess money?

    Families and the estate are free to use the money as they best see fit. However, it is not uncommon for the estate or family member to use excess funds to make a contribution in the name of the deceased to a charitable organization, to create a scholarship, or to help a family member in need.

  • Do I have to keep track of payments?

    No you do not, our partnership with GoFundMe allows the tracking of payments to be done automatically.

  • Can donors make contributions on their mobile device?

    Yes, donors can make contributions from any device.

  • What happens when people leave donations or comments on the GoFundMe page? Will they be visible in the Book of Memories™?

    Yes, if any messages or words of support are left on the GoFundMe campaign page, they will be instantly available within the Book of Memories™ as well.

When I lost my husband Mark unexpectedly, I didn't know what to do. I was between jobs and Mark had been making just enough for our family to get by. I was too embarrassed to ask family members for help covering the expenses. Fortunately, A Helping Hand™ was there to help cover some of the costs. Family members were able to donate to the funeral fund out of their own good will. If it wasn't for their donations through A Helping Hand™, I would have struggled to pay for Mark's services.

—Sarah Nottingham, Tucson Arizona