6 Event Ideas To Better Engage Your Funeral Home’s Community

When it comes to hosting events at your funeral home, it’s important not to fall into the trap of what has “always been done before”.

Sure, a food drive or Christmas ornament event is beautiful and for some funeral homes, these are staple events in the community. 

But for many funeral homes, we are in a period of shifting how we are perceived by the community, because we are reinventing how we show up for our communities.

So for a few minutes, let’s get our creative juices flowing and think about NEW and DIFFERENT kinds of events we can host to become a greater pillar in the community, thought leaders, and an important resource as funeral professionals.

Below, we share 6 event ideas you can host with your community at your funeral home, and some tips on hosting that we’ve gained from our own experience:


#1: Death Cafes

If you don’t already have a Death Cafe in your community, it’s time to jump on the trend. Death Cafes have exploded all over the US. In fact, more than 10,000 of Death Cafe meetings have occured in 7o countries all over the world, according to our sources. In case you have been hiding under a rock and don’t know what a Death Cafe is, in the simplest terms, it’s a place to “drink tea, eat cake and discuss death”. 

Sounds pretty great, right? Truly, Death Cafes have taken the world on by storm and are changing the way we talk about death. What better way to support families dying well and planning well for their death than hosting a Death Cafe?

If you’re interested in hosting a Death Cafe, check out our blog “Drink Tea and Talk Death: How to Host a Death Café”.


#2: Art installations and workshops

One of the biggest topics expressed through art are death, loss and grief. Connect with local artists and see if they’d be up for an art installation at your funeral home. This gives families and your community a chance to connect with death, loss and grief in new ways, through art. Maybe the artist could even host an Art Therapy workshop for grief. Get creative and see how you can be of best service to your community. For inspiration, check out the “Before I Die” global art installation project.


#3: Grief wellness events

Grief wellness is having a moment right now. It seems like many people in the Wellness field are beginning to dip their toes into the very untapped fields of death, loss and grief. Now you can find grief coaches, grief retreats, grief workshops, grief journals, and so much more. What if you tapped into these grief wellness trends yourself? What if you hosted a grief workshop, or hired a grief therapist or coach to do so for you? 

The benefit to holding grief wellness events is that you truly establish yourself as a pillar of support in your community after the service is complete. Hosting workshops is also one of the best ways to extend your reach in your neighborhood. 

Some ideas for events are: grief meditations (you can hire a local meditation teacher or try these scripts to start), yoga for grief or grief therapy workshops. 

Give one a try, and see how you go! 


#4: “Ask a funeral pro anything” nights

It’s true that many people are highly uneducated in the realm of funerals, death, and planning for such events. It’s also true that many people don’t know how to access that information. And, there is also truth to the fact that many people are intimidated by, and even dare we say scared of, funeral homes and funeral directors. Why not cut right through that block with interactive events that give your community a chance to ask whatever questions they may have on all things death, loss, grief and funerals?

You could even host other death professionals such as embalmers, Death Doulas & Soul Midwives, Grief Therapists, and so much more. Again, by collaborating with other professionals in your field, you both gain something from that. And your families do, too!


#5: Book readings & book clubs

When families are grieving, they want to be able to connect to people who understand their grief. Book readings and book clubs are a great way to do just that. You can choose a book every month to read that will help your families’ grief journey and have a meeting to discuss it each week or month. 

As an alternative, if there are any local authors in your area who have written books on topics that could help your families, you could host them at your funeral home for a reading. This will help out local authors and also connect you to the families who need your support.

Read more: How to Start a Book Club: 8 Things You Need to Think About


#6: Grief dinners

Have you ever attended a grief dinner before? Neither had we, until we heard of The Dinner Party, a virtual space for grief dinners that cater to 20-40 somethings who are facing loss. We loved this idea so much that we thought we’d invite you to utilize your physical (or online) spaces at your funeral home to host one yourself. You could have a local caterer cater the event, or you could even have it potluck style, where everyone brings their own dish to share. The theme of this post is creativity here! Find what feels right for you and your community and give it a try.


A few things to remember before you begin

Of course it’s going to feel intimidating to break into the world of hosting workshops and events at your funeral home. It might feel awkward and unnatural, and you might make mistakes. It could happen that no one shows up to your event the first one or two times!

The important thing to remember is that the more you continue to show up and host events, the more you will find your confidence, and the more the word will spread. 

Another thing to remember is that if you don’t tell people about your event, no one will come. It might feel like you’re repeating yourself over and over again in the beginning. But they say it takes people 7 times to hear something before they can consciously recognize it! 

So remember that when you begin promoting your events. You will make mistakes, and from those mistakes you will learn. We recommend hosting your first event with someone who has experience and an audience, and learning alongside them. Then, you’ll gain confidence to host on your own! It takes time, but trust us, you’ll get it.

If you have any questions or insights to share on hosting events at your funeral home, leave them in the comments!

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