Elevating the Funeral Service Profession
Backed by four generations of funeral service professionals who understand that a gift to the Funeral Service Foundation elevates the entire profession, every dollar helps our mission become a reality. From awarding scholarships and grants to funding resources and initiatives, the Funeral Service Foundation works to identify and respond to mission-centered opportunities.
Each year, the Funeral Service Foundation awards grants to mission-aligned organizations, that, like the Foundation, work to strengthen funeral service and lift up grieving communities. In fact, since 2002, the Foundation has awarded grants to more than 50 organizations that work alongside funeral service professionals to support the profession and provide communities with tools, comfort and space to grieve.
Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support
Share is a community for anyone who has experienced the death of their baby. With chapters across the US, the organization serves parents, grandparents, siblings, as well as the professionals who care for grieving families.
A 2021 grant from the Funeral Service Foundation allows Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support to build online tools and resources aimed at helping medical professionals and funeral service professionals who support families who have lost babies provide quality perinatal bereavement care. Resources available in 2022.
“We are so grateful for the Funeral Service Foundation and all of you that believe that supporting bereaved parents that have lost their baby is important and that babies no matter what gestation, have the right to be laid to rest with dignity.”
Sarah Lawrenz, MA
National Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition
Thanks to a multi-year grant from the Funeral Service Foundation, the National Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition is on track to create resources for funeral directors and families to help inform and guide choices when a child dies. The resources are the result of collaboration among funeral service and death care professionals, grief experts, bereaved parents, and hospice and hospital professionals. Slated for completion in early 2021, the resources will be available in the Resource Store.
“We often hear from funeral service professionals that ‘it never gets easier’ when a child dies. Thank you, Funeral Service Foundation, for supporting our important work. Your grant and professional support will allow us to equip funeral service professionals and families with tools and resources that will help inform and guide choices for healing memorialization and grief support.”
Kristin James, Executive Director
Greater Illinois Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition
Donors and supporters often identify the Foundation’s award-winning resources as essential tools in helping build meaningful relationships with families and communities, and building strong, well-rounded careers.
Used by professionals across the country and around the globe, the Foundation’s resources are available free of charge in our Resource Store.
Our families are grateful to receive the Grieving Alone & Together guides. We share them during the arrangement conference, and take the materials out into our community. The guides are a useful resource for planning meaningful and healing funerals and memorial services, and help families understand that they are supported in their grief.
Mark Krause, President and Licensed Funeral Director,
Krause Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, Milwaukee, WI
Initiatives & Outreach
From bridging relationships with hospice and grief professionals through our work with the National Alliance for Grieving Children to promoting healthy, healing memorialization through the Have the Talk of a Lifetime consumer education campaign, we are committed to promoting the importance of funerals and memorialization, and the value of the funeral service profession.
Created in partnership with the ICCFA Educational Foundation, the Journey to Serve initiative aims to connect military veterans with careers throughout the funeral service profession. Endorsed by NFDA, ICCFA, and FSAC, the landmark profession-wide initiative positions the funeral service profession as an ideal career path for military veterans to deploy the skills, traits, and talents acquired and earned during their tour of duty. At the same time, the initiative equips deathcare and funeral service professionals with free tools and resources specifically designed to engage with military veterans.
“I am so pleased to see that the Funeral Service Foundation and the ICCFA Educational Foundation have joined together to create Journey to Serve. Employers from all areas of funeral service will benefit from this partnership, as will our nation’s veterans looking to continue their service to their country as they start the next chapter in their lives.”
Christine Pepper, CEO
Academic and Professional
The drive to keep learning is a common characteristic for many funeral service professionals, and education is at the heart of everything we do. More than 6,000 funeral service professionals have benefitted from our involvement in education since we were established in 1945. Today, we make education accessible to more than 500 funeral service professionals per year.
More than 25 academic scholarships ($2,500-$5,000 USD) are available each year to students studying for a first, second and third career in funeral service at an ABFSE- or Canadian-accredited program. Veterans looking to enter the funeral service profession may also apply for academic scholarships.
Professional development opportunities are available throughout the year to funeral service professionals looking to grow through networking, mentoring, leadership training, and certification. Open to all funeral directors licensed in the US or Canada, opportunities include scholarships to attend NFDA’s Professional Women’s Conference, Advocacy Summit and International Convention & Expo, and Career Development Scholarships, which cover costs for selected NFDA training and certifications.
The Foundation also sponsors NFDA’s National Emerging Leaders Program, and wholly funds the association’s highly-regarded Meet the Mentors Program. These mentorship programs are available to NDFA members.
“The Foundation provides a wealth of information to our profession. And–wow–when I learned about all of the available scholarship opportunities, a whole world opened up to me. I was like a kid in a candy store! I would like to express my gratitude to those donors whose support makes these scholarships possible. They advance not only my career, but also the careers of my future colleagues, and those coming into the industry.”
Angela Clough, Licensed Funeral Director, Foundation Scholarship Winner