Funeral professionals have a very distinct role in their communities. They are called on to provide guidance and support during a family’s time of need. They are also viewed as community leaders and, in this role, can have a major impact on whether or not their communities prosper. Taking an active approach to becoming part of your community not only showcases your firm in a positive light but can also give your business a public relations boost with an increase in brand awareness. Here are several ways your funeral home business can benefit your community.
Sponsor a Community Event
All communities, large and small, host events to bring people together. Generally, these events cost money to create, which can open several opportunities to sponsor some (or all) of an event. Sponsorships generally feature perks like having your name displayed during the event or listed in print materials. If you have the extra resources available, this is an easy way to boost name recognition among community members.
If your funeral home has the time and resources, you could take the idea of sponsorship one step further and offer an event of your own. Many funeral homes host senior movie days, preneed lunch and learns or open houses to encourage community members to visit their facilities and learn about their services.
Support Local Businesses
Give credit to local vendors to show your community you are dedicated to promoting small businesses. Many funeral homes partner with local flower shops, caterers and car dealerships on a regular basis. Allowing a limited amount of advertising within your funeral home, like displaying business cards in common areas, tagging businesses on social media and posting their website’s links are easy ways to show you support local business owners. Not only will you be helping the economy of the community you live in, but you will also be creating relationships with business owners who may recommend you to friends and family.
Provide a Pro Bono Service to a Family in Need
A major news story from Iowa last spring was the funeral of Charles Lanam, a homeless Korean War Veteran who never married, had no children and outlived all of his relatives. Marty Mitchell, owner of Mitchell Family Funeral Home in Marshalltown, IA, sent out a simple request on Facebook asking people to attend this Veteran’s funeral. A few days later, more than 100 people arrived at the Iowa Veterans Home cemetery for the service.
This funeral home’s good deed brought the Marshalltown community together for a common cause. Plus, the service attracted attention from media all over the state, including one of Iowa’s largest news outlets, which featured stories about the Mitchell Family Funeral Home on-air, online and on social media.
Sponsor a Local Sports Team
Nothing says fun and dedication like supporting kids in your community. Sponsoring a Little League team or a kids’ recreational sports organization is a great way to earn brand recognition in your community. Your sponsorship or donation will help keep costs low for parents, which can get more kids involved with team sports and also generate goodwill for your funeral home business.
Set Up Quarterly or Yearly Charitable Donations
If you or your staff have strong ties with a local charity, consider making quarterly or yearly donations on behalf of the funeral home. Hosting a check presentation ceremony is a great way to give back to your community while also promoting the partnership between your firm and the causes you and your staff care about. There are many national charities that have local satellite offices, but more than likely there are small, homegrown non-profits that could benefit even more from your donation.
If you aren’t sure which charity to support, consider asking your staff which non-profits mean the most to them. Once you have a list, you could rotate on a yearly basis to partner with multiple local causes and support your staff.