There are lots of ways to memorialize someone you loved. And if that person tragically died of cancer, there are several ways you can do a memorial donation. A memorial donation can help further a cause that affected your loved one — it’s a great choice in lieu of flowers. Your loved one’s memorial donation can truly make a difference.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How to Donate to the American Cancer Society in Memory of Someone Else
- How to Start an American Cancer Society Memorial Fund for a Loved One
If you're interested in other unique ways to honor a loved one, you can consider a custom urn from a store like Foreverence or even have a memorial diamond made from ashes with a company like Eterneva.
How to Donate to the American Cancer Society in Memory of Someone Else
The American Cancer Society does a lot for cancer patients and their families, from education to research to financial support. All that work takes a lot of money — so be a part of the cause. Here’s how to get started.
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1. Choose how you want to donate
The American Cancer Society is open to most forms of donation. You can mail a check, call in a donation over the phone or you can also pay online. As you might imagine, the online option is the most common.
2. Donate now
Here are a few simple steps you can take to donate online:
- Go to the American Cancer Society’s site and find the donation page.
- Look at the top bar of options.
- Click on “Get Involved.”
- You’ll be able to navigate to “Donations” from there.
- Click the red “Donate Now” button.
You have two options when you donate. You can either donate in memory of someone who has died or you can give money in honor of someone who is fighting or survived cancer.
3. Walk through your options
Choose the type of donation you’d like to contribute. You can opt for a recurring donation option or a one-time donation.
Once you’ve done that, decide on the amount you’d like to give. You can choose from preset amounts in common increments — $50, $75, $100 and $250 or you can input a custom option.
You’ll be asked whether this gift is in memory of someone. Click “Yes.”
4. Get personal
Once you’ve worked through these options, you’ll have the opportunity to get personal. To do this, select “In Honor” or “In Memory” and type in your loved one’s first and last name. It’ll give you an opportunity to personalize the card sent from the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society will send a card in the mail or an e-card — whichever you prefer.
You can also choose a sample design. Each one is a little different, but all are beautiful and uplifting. For example, one option says, “Courage, Determination, Passion, Empathy, and Caring” on a watercolor-style background. You can add more details to this step after you’ve paid.
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5. Payment options
The American Cancer Society offers lots of payment options, including credit card, PayPal, or Google Pay. Once you’ve chosen, input your billing information.
Check to see whether your employer matches donations before you click “Continue.” Type the name of your employer into the appropriate box — you might be able to double your money!
6. Fill out your card
Once you’ve put in your payment options, it’s time to personalize your card. This is why your donation category counts, too. If you selected “In Honor,” the American Cancer Society will send the card to the recipient listed. On the other hand, if you select “In Memory,” the American Cancer Society will send it to the deceased’s family.
You can add a personalized message and input your email, too. Once you do, the American Cancer Society will likely use it to send updates and a thank you letter for donating.
How to Start an American Cancer Society Memorial Fund for a Loved One
Crowdfunding is one of the most effective ways to raise money. It rallies a lot of people around a common cause and leverages the money power of lots of donors to help that cause. If a group of people each give a few dollars, that’s more than one person might be able to contribute alone.
The American Cancer Society has an app you can use to raise money. Here’s how it works.
1. Pick an event
Have you heard of Relay for Life or Making Strides Against Breast Cancer? Both types of events are crafted around participants and raising money.
These events rely on the American Cancer Society’s FUNdraising app and you can create an event in your community. If you like participating in community events, choose which type of event you want to do.
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2. Start raising money
You’ll need to register ahead of time for this event and you can do it easily from the American Cancer Society’s FUNdraising app or find already existing Relay for Life or Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events in your area. Once you’ve found an event and registered, you can start raising money.
The American Cancer Society’s approach relies on leveraging your network. Who do you know online who would be willing to participate? You can ask for donations through the app, text or email requests and send them through Facebook and LinkedIn. Once you’ve sent requests, you can also send reminders.
The app is a secure portal that lets you accept donations in lots of ways. The app accepts PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay, credit cards and checks.
3. Make a page
A page lets everyone know more about your event. Which event are you participating in, and when? Why are you participating? This is a great opportunity to share your story. Everyone participates in these events for a reason. But most people want to know as much as they can before they donate money.
Of course, you don’t need to go into great detail. It’s okay to be private! You can mention that you or a loved one has been personally affected by cancer. That’s enough if you don’t want to share more.
Once you’ve developed your page, it’s time to set a goal. How much money do you want to raise? It’s important to be ambitious and realistic at the same time. You may not reach your goal and that’s okay! Any money raised is better than nothing at all.
Look around at other pages, too. What goals have they set? Take your community into account, too. Let’s say the event will take place in a very wealthy area — you might feel comfortable setting your donation goal a little higher.
Make a Donation
Cancer should be attacked on all fronts — with medicine, research, and money. It’s a heartfelt gesture when you donate to the American Cancer Society in memory of a loved one.
Maybe your loved one started end-of-life-planning ahead of time and has asked donations to be sent to the American Cancer Society after he or she dies. If that’s the case, do everything you can to be sure all donations go toward this noble cause.
- The American Cancer Society. “Memorial and Honor Giving.” n.d., www.cancer.org/involved/donate/memorial-giving.html
- The American Cancer Society. “American Cancer Society Mobile Fundraising App.” n.d., www.cancer.org/involved/donate/download-mobile-app.html