Hardly a week goes by when you don’t hear a story about someone in your community who had their life tragically cut short either due to an accident or an illness like cancer. Often the victim leaves behind a family including small children.
And the common denominator? The deceased had no life insurance. The story will often conclude by mentioning that a memorial fund has been started to help the family, typically using a crowdfunding website like GoFundMe.com.
Launched in 2010, GoFundMe is the world’s largest social fundraising platform, with over $3 billion raised so far. But the for-profit site also takes 5% of the proceeds raised in every campaign.
Enter ALittleHelp.com, a brand-new crowdfunding website dedicated to exclusively to memorial funds launched in late February by Frederick, Md.-based life insurer Legal & General America. And Legal & General doesn’t take any of the money raised on ALittleHelp.
“There is no greater loss than that of a loved one, and at Legal & General America, we believe everyone deserves a little help when tragedy strikes,” said Jim Galli, executive vice president, business strategy and innovation, Legal & General America. “We launched ALittleHelp.com with a strong conviction that memorial funds should never be a source of profit or vehicle for others to take advantage of grieving families. That belief fuels our promise: we will never keep any portion of contributions.”
According to the 2016 Insurance Barometer Study, one in three households would have immediate trouble paying living expenses given the loss of the primary wage earner. In far too many situations, surviving family and friends find out too late that a plan isn’t in place to cover funeral and burial services, medical bills, and monthly expenses such as mortgages or rent, car payments, child care, and school or college tuition.
For families without life insurance coverage, memorial funds can help bridge short-term financial crises and meet surviving family members where they are, when they need it most.
How it works
Visitors can set up a memorial fund on ALittleHelp.com by following four simple steps:
- Sign up using your Facebook account or email address.
- Provide some important details about your loved one.
- Link a PayPal account to receive funds throughout your 60-day campaign. Contributions will go directly to the intended recipient’s PayPal account.
- Share your memorial fund—each is assigned a unique URL—and raise contributions from your friends, family and community. Contributions can be easily made by credit/debit card or PayPal account.
Setting up a memorial fund is free and ALittleHelp.com will never charge administrative fees. The only cost is a required PayPal transaction fee of 2.9% when a recipient withdraws funds, and a $0.30 fee per contribution.
The site features a blog and a resource center to help people dealing with grief and loss. According to a March 5 article in the Frederick News-Post, that’s in an effort to build a community within the niche, which should help the website grow.
The company will use online contributors to create content for the blog and build a following, as well as find digital influencers on social media to help push the campaign.
The company gives guidelines for what someone starting a fund should ask for and why. The average fund goal has been between $3,000 and $5,000 — which is about $2,000 less than the average funeral cost — but there are no boundaries for what a family can seek.
• Thoughts on an insurer launching a memorial crowdfunding site for people without life insurance? Please comment on this thread: Insurer Launches Memorial Crowdfunding Site