If you have ever been moved by the death of a person whom you knew had lived a life filled with compassion and mercy for people in need then you know that helping other people in their memory would be an excellent way to honor them. Those who have left us do not necessarily depart from us—they stay in our hearts—and it’s nice to do something charitable to remember them.

What does it mean to make a donation in memory of someone?

Can you think of someone who would appreciate it if you made a memorial donation as a parting gift? Donating in memory of someone is done by giving a certain amount of money or donating something valuable to a charity organization as a way to remember the deceased.

Are appropriate funeral gifts with memorial donations possible?

Donating in memory of someone is appropriate in times when the family of the deceased asked for memorial donations to give a great and lasting tribute to the memory of the departed. In other words, it comes from an obituary request to give donations to a charitable organization to remember who has passed on.  Traditionally, in memoriam, flowers have always been offered at funerals. Most family members ask for flowers. 

However, if the family or the obituary did not request memorial donations, it doesn’t mean you can’t give what you have. You can still offer financial support by buying memorial gifts, flowers, or sympathy bouquets to show respect for their wishes. Or, you can inform the family that you will donate to charity to contribute to their deceased loved one’s memory. Other than flowers, there are other memorial gifts (requested or not requested) that you can offer along with memorial donations.


Giving food is a commonplace and popular funeral tradition. Offering the family of the departed something for their visitors to eat will reduce the burden of the expense associated with feeding everyone. You can choose to bake homemade goods for a personal touch, or simply pick up some fresh fruit or a salad from the grocery store.

Sympathy Card

This is inexpensive and almost effortless, but invaluable because you’re sharing your deepest heartfelt condolences as well as words of encouragement and other thoughtful messages to the grieving family. You can express what you feel for them, which connects you better to the family of the deceased.

Memorial Wreath

You can offer a wreath instead of individually picked flowers as a gift for the departed. This gift is also inexpensive and is very beautiful. The family of the departed will appreciate this gift. It can be laid on or near the coffin or tombstone.

Remember, your presence counts more than gifts, especially when you’re close to the family of the deceased. It may not be necessary to bring gifts to funerals, but it is a kind gesture to give one of the gifts listed above and also make a memorial donation in memory or in honor of the departed.


How do you donate to charity in memory?

Take a trip down memory lane and see what you can remember about your late loved one. 

Did they have a passion for helping the homeless, feeding the hungry, or rescuing the abused? Were they actively part of an organization with a good cause? Did they ever mention something they would do just to help others? 

These questions will help guide you when coming up with the best way to donate in memoriam. You can trust charitable organizations, such as Food For Life Global (FFLG), to ensure your memorial donation to your late loved one will be used appropriately. 

Once you have decided to donate to us, contact us or visit our donation page to get an idea of where to start. On our website, there are many ways to donate securely without risking any private financial details. You can even visit our headquarters to discuss a donation in person if you’re nearby.

Keep the Family Members’ Wishes in Mind

First and foremost, you should ascertain the wishes of the family. They might ask for money to go to a specific charity or cause. They may even decide to raise the money themselves in order to make a bigger donation in the deceased’s name.

Reviewing the memorial, obituary, or funeral invitation is the best method to find out what the family intends. This is where you’ll find any requests for “in lieu of flowers” or donations. When it comes to picking a charity and making a donation, it’s always crucial to honor the desires of the family.

If the family has already chosen a cause for which they are raising funds, the next action is to basically give your donation to the person in charge. This is usually a member of the family. Ascertain that your payment is safe, and maintain a note of your contribution for your own files.

How much should you give?

There’s no rule regarding how much you should donate in memory or in honor of someone. No pressure is bestowed upon you, and it is encouraged that you give with whatever amount—big or small—that you can wholeheartedly and genuinely. After all, it’s for the benefit of the charitable organization, as well as for the late loved one and their family.

Memorial donations can be as small or as large as the donor desires. If you’re on a limited budget but still want to honor someone special with a donation, $5 is an excellent choice. If that’s all you can afford, there’s no shame in donating just a few dollars.

On the other hand, if you have the resources and would like to make a larger memorial donation, the receiver will undoubtedly appreciate it. Any amount donated in memory of a loved one is a thoughtful gesture.

Making a single or regular donation in memory

You can talk with us to help you decide whether to make a one-time donation in memory of someone or to do it regularly. Either way, every penny counts in preserving the memory of your loved one and their family and friends.

Donating in memory of someone could include cash donations, and fundraising such as scholarship funds. While you can make a single donation and leave it at that, you could get others to join in a good cause to honor the deceased while helping those in need.

What do you write on a donation card in memory of someone?

A donation card for the departed should include the following:

  • The name of the deceased.
  • The address of the deceased.
  • The names of the family of the deceased.
  • A consoling message that expresses sympathy to those who knew the deceased.
  • Optional: A positive message to those surviving the deceased loved one.

Aside from these things, you can also add something that you would like to personally express to the family. Regardless, it’s important to always be sincere in whatever you choose to write.

memorial flowers on a black surface

After Donation

Ensure that you maintain track of your donation. Following your donation, you will receive a certificate or confirmation. If you’re making a donation in person, get verification from someone. Why is it necessary to keep such meticulous records? Even when you’re making a donation in somebody else’s account, it may be tax-deductible. This implies that when it’s time to submit your taxes, you’ll need this record.

After you’ve made your donation, inform the family. To inform the family that a donation has been made in their name, numerous agencies send e-cards or other correspondence. You also could send a note indicating that you have donated to honor the deceased.

Provide this information in your memorial card if you’re unsure. The greatest method to express the family you care about is to send them a memorial card. You’ve gone above and beyond to do something unique by including a statement of your donation.

How do “in memory of” and “in honor of” differ from each other?

“In memory of” serves to remember those who have passed on. Meanwhile, the phrase, “in honor of” is used when honor is due, often to show respect or admiration to someone who is still living. To put it simply, the dependent factor for when to use each of the two phrases is whether the person for whom the donation is made is alive or dead.

Make a donation in memory to FFLG

Make a heartfelt memorial donation to Food For Life Global. We are a charitable organization that feeds millions of vegan meals to the hungry every day. We’ve served over 7 billion meals so far! Be part of our cause towards ending global hunger now!

Together, we can help end poverty.

Donate Now


Support the important work of Food for Life Global to serve its international network of over 200 affiliates in 60 countries.
Food for Life Global is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization, EIN 36-4887167. All donations are deemed tax-deductible absent any limitations on deductibility applicable to a particular taxpayer. No goods or services were provided in exchange for your contribution.

Food For Life Global’s primary mission is to bring about peace and prosperity in the world through the liberal distribution of pure plant-based meals prepared with loving intention.

Paul Turner

Paul Turner

Paul Turner co-founded Food for Life Global in 1995. He is a former monk, a veteran of the World Bank, entrepreneur, holistic life coach, vegan chef, and author of 6 books, including, FOOD YOGA, 7 maxims for soul happiness.

MR. Turner has traveled to 72 countries over the last 35 years helping to establish Food for Life projects, train volunteers, and document their success.

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