Why Credit Card Memorial Giving Needs To Be Offered

February 24, 2013
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Article from: Michael Kane, Expression Guest Registry™

Last night, I had dinner with some friends at a French restaurant in town.  Somehow, when the check came, we started discussing credit cards.  Paul, an age 50 ER doctor, commented about what he does when a restaurant does not accept American Express.  First, he does not blame the server nor reduce his tip for good service.  He writes a note on the back of the receipt letting them know that he will not be returning solely because he was unable to use his American Express card.

It got me to thinking about what the baby boomers and younger generations expect when they attend a funeral.  First, do they even understand memorials – why they are established and why people give? Are they prepared to give at a service when the only option is an envelope for check or cash?  I can think of very few places where I can’t use my debit or credit card.  As a result, I (and the majority of people my age and younger) do not carry a checkbook or much cash.  This has to have effected the average contribution from guests at a service.

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I would like to say that offering a means of contributing to memorials by credit or debit card will make your funeral home look progressive, but I think we might have gone beyond that in the last decade.   It will soon be expected.  Earlier this month, I was at a service outside of Milwaukee that provided such a means.  I found out after the services that $620 was raised by credit cards… three contributions were $100!   We can debate whether this is money that would have been given in the more traditional way, but I would bet that the majority of this would not have been given at all.

In my opinion, credit card memorial giving is becoming an expected feature by those who visit our funeral homes.  And helping the family raise more money for their loved one’s memorial seems to fall in line with what we do as funeral directors.

About Author

Wisconsin funeral director Michael Kane is founder of Expression Guest Registry™, located in Green Bay, Wis. For more information, visit www.expressionguestregistry.com.

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