Five Years of MuchLoved

Freeman Brothers was first established as a funeral director in Horsham, West Sussex, in 1855. The business remains independent in 2023, and now has further offices in Billingshurst, Crawley and Hurstpierpoint. The company’s ethos has always been to provide the best service possible to customers, including technological innovations where appropriate. Community Co-Ordinator, Becky, shares more […]

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Freeman Brothers was first established as a funeral director in Horsham, West Sussex, in 1855. The business remains independent in 2023, and now has further offices in Billingshurst, Crawley and Hurstpierpoint. The company’s ethos has always been to provide the best service possible to customers, including technological innovations where appropriate. Community Co-Ordinator, Becky, shares more on a recent anniversary…

As we complete another year in partnership with tribute platform, MuchLoved, it’s hard to believe it was ever a service that we weren’t able to offer customers. With our busy lives increasingly being led via the internet, tribute pages have become an incredibly popular way of communicating funeral details, and offering the chance to share messages and donate money in memory of those who have died.

When we first launched our tribute pages in August of 2018, the impact made was minimal. It was still a challenging concept for a lot of people, and webcast funerals were rare in the UK. They tended not to be seen as ‘good enough’ in terms of the effort made by attendees – many people would tell us that it was important for them to be at a funeral in person, and that watching online instead either wasn’t necessary or wasn’t the right thing to do.

As a result, people tended to still make significant use of cash donation boxes at the funeral service or reception, or send us cheques in the post. There were some who immediately appreciated the ability to donate online, but for many people it was a while before this option became favourable.

A lot changed for funerals and our lives in general in March of 2020, and we saw a surge in donations online throughout that year. We weren’t able to offer cash donation boxes for an extended period of time, and with a lot of people increasing their use of digital technologies due to staying at home, more of the population was familiar with online transactions, and therefore confident to make use of tribute pages in this way.

Our customers and those they know were incredibly generous throughout 2020 – the year quickly became a strong record when over £180,000 was donated in total. This was a significant increase on 2019, when the total passed £120,000. The following two years surprised us further – during 2021 and 2022, the total exceeded £200,000; in 2021 there was £229,000 donated, and in 2022 it was £233,000. These amounts make a huge difference to the chosen charities, and demonstrate the power of memory giving.

In just under four years, the total amount donated via tribute pages set up by Freeman Brothers passed £750,000. As I write this a year later, we’re tantalisingly close to £1,000,000 and are forming plans of how to mark this achievement, which seems to be a fairly inevitable occurrence before the end of 2023.

If you’re still uncertain as to whether an online tribute page is right for you, here are some of our favourite reasons to make use of one:

  • Ability to share information – funeral details such as date, time and location can be shared, allowing attendees to find this out without contacting you during the days prior. For those who wish to have private services, this can also be communicated
  • Nomination of charity or charities – if you’d like to choose more than one charity, this is possible via the same page, and it is up to you whether donations are split evenly, or donors choose
  • Convenience – it’s easy to share a link via many methods of digital communication, and we find that particularly those who are based internationally appreciate this, as they can log on and engage with the page at a time which suits them
  • Personalisation – tribute pages can be customised by you to share thoughts, photos and memories of the person who has died. You may find some photos coming your way via friends which you’d thought were lost!

It’s been another exciting year of tribute pages and fundraising, we’re looking forward to the next one already.

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Written by Becky Hughes

Community Co-Ordinator

August 9, 2023

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