As a funeral director, your first priority is to serve families and help them in their time of need. For many funeral directors though, this trait doesn’t go away when you leave the funeral home.
Many family members of funeral directors often share stories about how they’re always going out of the way to help others whenever the opportunity arises. They’re walking through a restaurant and see a rug is bunched up, they stop to fix it. An elderly woman is struggling to load her groceries, they put them in the car for her.
Helping your community is just an extension of helping families. There are plenty of opportunities for your funeral home to get involved with your community and help others. Community involvement not only benefits others but also creates a popular perception of your funeral home and gives you the opportunity to network and establish pre-need leads. By becoming more involved with you others, you can help strengthen your community and see an increase in leads.
Today we’ll look at 7 ways that you can get involved with your community.
Serve on a Community Board
By serving on a community board, you can network with other business professionals in your area and put yourself in front of the consumers in your community. Serving on a board shows that you care about bettering the community you live in and want to help your neighbors. Many cities offer several boards that aim to serve different causes and concerns related to community improvement and wellbeing.
School boards, downtown business development, city council, and Rotary clubs are all examples of boards in your area that could benefit from your service.
The great thing about many of these boards is that they are often led by influential people in your area. By aligning your funeral home with these people of influence, you will gain authority and credibility which will make people turn to you in their time of need.
Participate in Community Events
In almost every community, there are events throughout the year for various causes and celebrations. Participating in these events is a great way to get your funeral home out there and interact with people in your community.
If you set up a table or booth at the event, you can interact with people as they walk by and introduce them to services you offer. Often people are moving from booth to booth quickly so try to collect some sort of information to follow up with the person later.
Giving away free promotional gear is an excellent way to attract people to your booth. The giveaway doesn’t have to be anything big either, something simple like a water bottle or free food/drinks is a something small people can grab while passing by.
A large prize giveaway can also serve as a way to gather contact information. To enter people for the draw, you can collect contact information like an email address and have them opt in for communication. Once you have that you can begin sending newsletters and other forms of communication to keep them up to date with your funeral home and what you have to offer them.
Share Engaging Content
By posting engaging content online, you can help entertain and educate consumers in your area. In today’s “Google It” society, everyone goes online when they need to find out information.
If people in your community want information about funeral services and pre-planning, consider posting and sharing content to help educate them. Think about it, if you become the go-to source for information about funerals, grief, and end of life resources, a family will most likely come to you when it’s time to arrange a service for their loved one.
Thought leadership is also a great way to subtly promote your own services. If people are turning to you for information, you can highlight services you offer and how they can benefit people. If you want to boost your number of pre-arrangement clients, consider posting about the benefits of pre-arranging a service.
Make A Donation
A donation is a great way to offer assistance to others in your community. Donations can come in different ways including monetary, time, and space.
Financial donations are a great way to help the community or a cause. In most cases, if you donate to an event, organization, or cause they will thank your business somehow and publish material with your name and logo on it. This gets you name in front of people and shows that your funeral home is community oriented.
Many funeral homes often have beautiful and large gathering spaces. Consider donating the use of your space for local groups to gather and hold events at. A donation like this will allow your community to visit your funeral home and see the beautiful facilities you have to offer.
Volunteer Your Time
Volunteering is a powerful way to support a cause or your community. By choosing to volunteer, you’re showing that you are a team player and willing to get involved to help others. If you really want to make a splash in your community, consider recruiting and organizing your staff to join you and volunteer as a team.
A great example of volunteering as a team is Brunswick Memorial Home in East Brunswick, New Jersey. This funeral home was interested in helping others in their community and coordinated with two local shelters in their community to coordinate a “Christmas in July” celebration to help local homeless families.
To read more about funeral homes volunteering and doing good, check out The Good Funeral for inspiration.
One of the best ways to connect with those in your area is by hosting events at your funeral home. As mentioned earlier, opening your space to the community allows people to walk through your funeral home and see how beautiful the facilities are.
It also allows you the opportunity to promote features of the space and talk to people about how they can utilize it if they want to host a service or event. If your funeral home holds a liquor license, hosting a community event is a great way to promote this unique feature to those in your community.
The options are endless for the types of events you can hold at your funeral home. Some great examples are holiday celebrations, concerts, guest speakers, grief support workshops, local business meetings, and company parties.
Develop Relationships With Other Professionals
Before a family comes to you for a funeral service, think about all the other local professionals and groups they deal with. By networking with these groups and forming relationships, you can create a referral resource to direct people to your funeral home.
If there is a local business community for end of life professionals in your area, you should join this group and begin networking within it. By successfully selling your funeral home to these people, you can ask them to refer people to you.
A partnership is a two-way street though, make sure you’re not just benefiting from others and offering nothing in return. Does a local grief support group need a space to meet? Offer your funeral home as a space for them to gather for meetings. By supporting others in your community, they will be more likely to reciprocate and connect you with their contacts.