What is a good monetary gift for a funeral?

Quick Answers

The amount you give as a monetary gift for a funeral often depends on your relationship to the deceased and their family, your financial situation, and cultural norms. Some common ranges include:

  • Close family member: $100 – $500
  • Relative: $50 – $200
  • Friend: $25 – $100
  • Coworker/acquaintance: $15 – $50

Other factors like the deceased’s socioeconomic status, number of mourners expected, and your ability to attend the funeral can also influence your gift. Ultimately, any sincere monetary gift expressing your sympathy is appropriate.

What is an Appropriate Monetary Gift for the Funeral of a Close Family Member?

If the deceased is a close family member like a parent, child, sibling, or grandparent, an appropriate monetary gift is usually $100 – $500. For immediate family, gifts on the higher end of that range or beyond are common. Consider factors like:

– Your relationship with the deceased: Were you very close? The closer the relationship, the more you may want to give.

– Your financial situation: Give an amount that is meaningful but also comfortable for your budget. Do not feel obligated to give more than you can afford.

– Supporting funeral expenses: Higher gifts help cover costs like the casket, burial plot, funeral home fees, flowers, catering, etc. Funerals are expensive so your gift helps the family.

– Culture/religion: Some cultures or religions have traditions around monetary gifts at funerals. Be respectful of those customs.

– Traveling for the funeral: If you had to travel far to attend, a higher gift is thoughtful to help cover your expenses.

– Memorial contributions: Making a donation to a charity or cause the deceased cared about is another way to give. This is in addition to (not instead of) a monetary gift for the family.

For context, the average monetary gift for a close family member’s funeral is around $200-$300 based on funeral home surveys. But any sincere gift of $100 or more is very appropriate.

What Monetary Amount is Typical for Other Relatives?

If the deceased is a more distant relative like an aunt, uncle, cousin, niece, nephew or grandparent-in-law, an appropriate gift is around $50 – $200. Considering your closeness to the individual, travel required, and what you can afford, choose a gift in that range.

Some guidelines:

– Aunts/uncles: $100 – $200
– First cousins: $75 – $150
– Second cousins: $50 – $100
– Close grandparent-in-law: $100 – $150
– Distance grandparent-in-law: $50 – $75

The amount may also be influenced by family expectations. Discussing gift amounts with other relatives can help make sure your contribution aligns with what others plan to give.

If the funeral requires significant travel, such as flights and hotels, it is thoughtful to give towards the higher end to help cover your costs. Any sincere gift is helpful for grieving families.

What is an Appropriate Funeral Gift for a Friend?

For close friends, an appropriate monetary gift range is about $50 – $100 or more. Casual friends or acquaintances may give $25 – $50. Consider:

– How close you were to the deceased friend and how often you socialized. Give based on your relationship.

– If you were part of the same friend group. Being part of the same social circle may merit a higher gift.

– Whether you attended the funeral. If so, give $75 – $100 to help cover any travel costs.

– If you cannot attend the funeral due to distance, still send a monetary gift. $50 is a thoughtful amount to send your regards.

– Your shared interests or memories together. Give to a related charity in their honor.

While funeral gifts for friends are smaller than for family, your thoughtfulness still provides comfort. Give an amount that sincerely reflects your relationship.

What Amount is Typical to Give for the Funeral of a Coworker or Acquaintance?

For acquaintances, coworkers, neighbors or other more distant relationships, an appropriate monetary gift is around $15 – $50.

For context:

– Casual coworkers: $25 – $35 is common
– Neighbors: $20 – $30
– Distant relatives: $15 – $40
– Your child’s friends/teachers: $20 – $40

The amount may be on the higher end if you had a closer working relationship, around $40 – $50. Use your best judgement based on your connection to the deceased.

Even smaller gifts are a kind gesture. The important thing is to give what you can to express sympathy to the family.

Are There Other Factors to Consider?

A few other things that may impact how much to give:

– The giver’s age: Older adult givers often give more generously. Consider your age and stage of life.

– Number of mourners expected: For a larger funeral, higher gifts help cover expenses.

– Deceased’s socioeconomic status: Wealthier families may merit larger gifts like $500 for close family.

– Local customs: Some communities expect set amounts based on your relationship. Ask locals.

– Multiple gifts: It’s fine to give gifts both to the family and in memorial to a related cause.

– Presentation: Gifts presented in a sympathy card are appreciated. Cash, check, or digital transfer are all appropriate.

The most important consideration is to give sincerely from your heart based on your relationship and budget. There are no strict rules. Any gift is meaningful.

Are Cash Gifts Preferred over Checks?

Cash and checks are both commonly given and accepted for funeral gifts. There are a few things to note about each method:


– Allows flexibility for grieving families to use funds as needed.

– Does not require a trip to the bank to deposit a check.

– Anonymity is easier if the giver prefers to remain undisclosed.

– Security risks if lost or stolen. Use caution when mailing cash.


– More secure and traceable than mailing cash.

– Name on check identifies the giver which may be preferred.

– Depositing is required before use but banks quickly clear funeral checks.

– Allows recording gift for tax purposes if desired.

Digital bank transfers are increasing in use and offer security, tracking, and instant access to funds. Ultimately, the family will appreciate any form. Consider their situation and preferences.

Is It Better to Make Donations to a Charity Instead?

Making a donation to a charity or cause relevant to the deceased is a thoughtful way to honor their memory. This is often done in addition to (not instead of) giving a monetary gift directly to the grieving family.

Some things to consider:

– Identify a cause tied to the deceased’s passions, hobbies, career, interests, etc.

– Charitable giving can be done individually or collectively as a group.

– Notify the family of memorial donations given in their loved one’s name.

– Donations provide tax benefits while monetary funeral gifts do not.

– With donations, families don’t have to manage or deposit funds.

– Choosing both a monetary gift and memorial charity donation is common. Amounts given may be adjusted accordingly.

The family appreciates any sincere act of kindness during their time of grief. Charitable donations also help continue the deceased’s legacy.

Should You Give More if You Are Unable to Attend the Funeral?

If you cannot attend the funeral service due to distance, health, or other factors, it is still appropriate to send a monetary gift to the family and your condolences.

Some tips on giving if you cannot attend:

– Send a sympathy card with a personal note about your relationship. This means a lot.

– Choose a slightly higher monetary gift like $50 more than you normally would give to make up for not attending.

– Call the family after the funeral to express your sympathy and ask if they need anything.

– Make a donation to a charity the deceased cared about and notify the family.

– Send flowers to the funeral home to be displayed at the service.

– Offer to help the family in other ways like bringing meals, sending a gift basket, or running errands.

While you cannot be there in person, your monetary gift and other acts of kindness can provide comfort and support during this difficult time.

What Are Some Sample Monetary Gift Amounts Based on Relationship?

Here are some sample monetary gift amounts based on your relationship to the deceased:

Relationship Sample Gift Amount
Parent $200 – $500
Grandparent $150 – $300
Sibling $100 – $250
Aunt/Uncle $75 – $150
Niece/Nephew $50 – $150
Cousin $50 – $100
Close friend $50 – $100
Casual friend $25 – $50
Coworker $25 – $50
Neighbor $20 – $50
Acquaintance $15 – $40

Amounts given commonly increase for very close relationships, when significant travel is required, and if you cannot attend the funeral. Tailor your gift to your means and connection to the deceased.

Are There Any Etiquette Tips to Keep in Mind?

Here are some additional funeral gift etiquette considerations:

– Present your monetary gift respectfully in a sympathy card. Never give cash alone.

– Avoid discussing gift amounts with others. Keep your gift private.

– Give to express genuine condolences, not social pressure or for show.

– Avoid giving gift cards, as families cannot use them for funeral expenses. Cash or checks are preferred.

– Never ask for your gift back if you cannot attend last minute. The thought still counts.

– If you bring a gift to the funeral home, do not expect it to be opened in front of you.

– Memorial donations are additional gifts. Do not give to charity instead of the family.

– Offer to help with food, tasks, errands, or rides after the funeral. Practical support is also appreciated.

– If you receive an inheritance from the deceased, you may still give a separate funeral gift.

Follow your heart. Any gift given genuinely and thoughtfully is appropriate.

What Are Some Ways to Present Your Monetary Gift?

Thoughtfully presenting your monetary funeral gift can be just as important as the gift itself:

– Place cash or check in a sympathy card with a personal note about your relationship to the deceased.

– If mailing the gift, use a tasteful card and envelope. Include your handwritten condolences.

– Bring your gift in a card to the wake, funeral, or memorial service if attending.

– For large gifts, you may present the family with a small token at the funeral and gift privately later.

– If desired, make a donation to a meaningful charity in memory of the deceased as well.

– Hand deliver your gift to the family following the funeral if logistics allow. This adds a more personal touch.

– For digital transfers, include a message of sympathy noting the gift amount and that the transfer is on its way.

– Take care to present your gift discreetly and tastefully. The gesture should be about comfort, not showmanship.

A beautifully presented gift honors both the deceased and the grieving family. Take care to give from the heart in a way that expresses your deep sympathy and compassion.


Monetary gifts to grieving families can provide much appreciated financial support following the loss of a loved one. While there is no definitive rulebook, typical gift amounts range from $15 for an acquaintance to over $500 for immediate family. Consider your relationship, whether you’ll attend the funeral, your finances, and cultural norms.

Most importantly, give sincerely and thoughtfully based on your connection to the deceased. Present your gift respectfully, aiming to help cover costs and provide solace. Any heartfelt gift will be valued by those mourning this difficult loss. With compassion and care, we can support one another through grief and remembrance.

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