FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How is Tender Funerals different?
Tender Funerals is different to commercial funeral providers because our model is:
- Not-for-profit. Tender Funerals services are not-for-profit social enterprise charities. Once a service achieves financial sustainability, all surplus goes towards its mission of providing meaningful and affordable funerals.
- Community led. All Tender Funerals services are owned and operated by their local community as social franchises of Tender Funerals Australia. Families and friends are able to participate in as much of the funeral process as they want to.
- Dedicated to providing meaningful and affordable funerals. It is core to our mission to ensure that everyone can afford a Tender funeral and that families are empowered to have meaningful funerals which reflect the wishes of the person who has died, their family and community.
- For the whole community. To ensure our services are affordable to everyone we have a unique pricing model which enables us to offer a concession rate through our Benevolent Fund to families experiencing financial hardship. This is made viable by families using Tender Funerals who can afford to pay full price and is further supported via donations from the community.
- Built on an innovative blended finance model developed in collaboration with Social Enterprise Finance Australia (SEFA) comprising community funding, philanthropic funding and a SEFA bespoke social finance loan.
Why do we need affordable funerals?
Funerals are a major cause of financial hardship in Australia, especially for people experiencing financial disadvantage. According to data published by Finder the average cost of a funeral in Australia is around $7,300. Anecdotally we have heard of people paying up to $15,000 for a funeral.
While the cost of a funeral can be a significant shock, particularly if it’s unexpected, funeral affordability goes beyond the financial impact. It’s about families being able to have the funeral that’s right for them. Too often people may feel like they have to choose cremation because they believe a burial is too expensive or opt for a lower-cost funeral package from a commercial provider that doesn’t meet their, or their loved one’s, wishes.
We know that not being able to afford to farewell a loved one in the way that is right for them can cause shame and contribute to complex grief. Which can in turn cause or exacerbate other issues affecting wellbeing such as family violence, misuse of drugs or alcohol and mental health challenges. For these reasons, we aim to ensure that all Australians can afford a meaningful funeral that reflects the wishes of the person who has died, their family and community and that meets their spiritual and cultural needs.
How does Tender provide affordable funerals?
The average cost of a Tender funeral is around $2,800 (not including burial or cremation). Tender Funerals’ blended finance model enables our services to keep costs low. And unlike commercial providers we don’t make a profit on things like coffins, flowers or transport and don’t require families to buy costly funeral packages.
It is core to our mission to ensure that everyone can afford a Tender funeral. Through our Benevolent Fund we offer a concession rate to families experiencing financial hardship. This is made viable by families using Tender Funerals who can afford to pay full price and is further supported via donations from the community. For more information see our information on affordability.
What is a meaningful funeral and why is it important?
A meaningful funeral reflects the wishes of the person who has died, their family and community. What this looks like is different for everyone.
Most commercial funeral providers have one-size-fits-all funeral packages that don’t offer choice to families. They also assume that people don’t want to be involved in the funeral process.
Tender Funerals empowers people to choose the funeral that’s right for them and to participate in the process as much as they would like. This might mean decorating the coffin, holding a vigil before the ceremony or participating in after-death rituals like washing and dressing the person who has died. Or if preferred, we can care for their loved one on their behalf. Ultimately we are focused on enabling people to have the funeral experience they want to have.
How does Tender Funerals work?
Tender Funerals services are not-for-profit and operate as social franchises of Tender Funerals Australia. Social franchises operate like commercial franchises but with the aim of achieving social purpose rather than profit.
All Tender Funerals services are part of the Tender Funerals Network. Tender Funerals has developed a unique social franchising agreement that binds Network members to operate in accordance with the principles of the Tender Funerals Credo, Vision Statement, business model and manual. Their common aim is to ensure that people in financial need are able to access affordable, customisable funeral services.
Where does Tender Funerals operate?
There are currently two operational Tender Funerals services – Tender Funerals Illawarra and Sydney and Tender Funerals Mid North Coast.
Tender Funerals Australia is working with communities to establish Tender Funerals services in Brisbane, Canberra, Eastern Melbourne, Far North Queensland, Newcastle, Perth, Tasmania and Western Sydney.
Who supports Tender Funerals?
Tender Funerals Australia and the Tender Funerals Network are supported by:
- Social Ventures Australia
- Social Enterprise Finance Australia
- Philanthropic foundations including the AMP Foundation, Ecstra Foundation, Snow Foundation and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
- Community donations through crowdfunding campaigns and events
How can I get involved?
Tender Funerals is truly a community undertaking. Support from the community is core to our existence. Tender Funerals sites are often looking for various kinds of support including donations, volunteers and pro bono legal advice. We encourage you to get in touch with your local Tender site to see how you might get involved. If you think you might be interested in starting a Tender in your community, please go to Start a Tender.