Building Strong Community Connections

By: Guy V. Winstead
Monday, December 4, 2023

Funeral homes have a unique opportunity to build trust and provide comfort by being deeply ingrained in their community. When families face the difficult prospect of arranging a funeral, they often find solace in turning to a funeral home with local deep roots. This trust is not built overnight; it emerges through shared experiences and a history of mutual support. Families feel more at ease knowing that their local funeral home is not just a service provider but a trusted neighbor ready to offer support when it is needed most.

Your funeral home’s reputation is intricately linked to its level of community involvement. When a funeral home actively engages with its community, it builds a reputation as an institution that cares deeply about the well-being of its neighbors. Positive perceptions about your funeral home’s professionalism and compassionate approach can lead to increased business and referrals. Families facing the challenging task of choosing a funeral home are naturally drawn to those with a stellar reputation for not only providing dignified services but also for being pillars of support within the community.

Participation in local events and community initiatives can serve as a powerful tool for building brand recognition. Attending these events is also a great opportunity to showcase your services and build awareness for your preneed program. While these events may not result in an immediate business, the more individuals encounter the funeral home in the context of their community, the more familiar and comfortable they become with its presence. This familiarity fosters trust and confidence, crucial elements in the decision-making process during times of preneed planning or loss.

At Security National Life, we are a preneed company focused on helping funeral homes build their preneed programs. Our approach is built on an outreach-based approach to serving families. Instead of sitting back and waiting for customers to come to you, a community-first mindset can help you reach families you might otherwise miss.

A robust preneed program, coupled with a dedicated preneed advisor, can be potent tools for your funeral home’s success. In addition to attending local events, many preneed advisors organize workshops and seminars, to educate the community about preneed and pre-planning. These seminars provide valuable information and showcase the funeral home’s commitment to helping families prepare for the future. Events like these can help your funeral home build relationships, increase preneed business, and establish yourself as a resource for families in your community.

If your funeral home can support a dedicated preneed advisor, this is an excellent opportunity to supercharge your funeral home’s by GUY V. WINSTEAD Building Strong Community Connections Southern Funeral Director Magazine October 2023 19 outreach efforts. As someone focused on reaching families outside the funeral home, they can seek out additional events and spaces to represent your funeral home.

This frees up your funeral directors and other staff to focus on serving families in their greatest time of need. A preneed advisor is also equipped to discuss preneed options with event attendees and can focus on a consultative approach to representing your funeral home. Security National Life encourages our preneed advisors to find non-traditional opportunities for community outreach. Don’t limit your funeral home’s potential to just existing events. Seek out places your potential customers frequent. Security National’s preneed advisors have found success representing their funeral homes at grocery stores, shopping malls, flea markets, and more. As we in the funeral industry know all too well, many people avoid thinking about and preparing for their passing. Community outreach, especially in places your customers visit frequently, can help them feel more comfortable with your funeral home over time and help normalize funeral planning. Your presence in these spaces makes accessing the resources your funeral home has to offer easy and accessible.

Of course, community outreach shouldn’t just be limited to promoting your business. Beyond their primary role in providing funeral services, funeral homes have a profound opportunity to give back to their communities through volunteerism. Volunteering serves as a vital means of reinforcing the connection between funeral homes and their neighbors, fostering a sense of unity and support within the community. Funeral homes can engage in various forms of volunteer work, such as organizing food drives, participating in disaster relief efforts, or actively supporting local charities. By participating in these initiatives, funeral homes extend their commitment to the overall well-being of the community, demonstrating that they are not just service providers but dedicated contributors.

Volunteerism allows funeral homes to build deeper and more meaningful relationships with community members. It transcends the traditional client-service provider dynamic, emphasizing the funeral home’s role as an integral part of the social fabric. These acts of service not only strengthen trust and goodwill but also create a more empathetic and supportive environment when families face the inevitable challenges of grief and loss. Funeral homes become more than just places to turn to in times of need; they become beacons of compassion and solidarity, enriching the lives of their neighbors through their active involvement.

Finding the right charity or cause to sponsor can help you establish your funeral home’s priorities in the community. At Security National, we’re proud to support Canopy Children’s Solutions–a Mississippi-based charity that provides behavioral health, educational, and social services solutions for children and families. Our parent company also contributes to the Taylor Hagen Memorial Foundation, a non-profit committed to raising mental health awareness and supporting suicide prevention programs. By aligning with these initiatives, Security National Life demonstrates our commitment to strengthening the well-being of communities beyond just offering preneed services.

WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK? Get in the game with Preneed results that pack a punch. Security National is your better way to preneed success. LET SNL SHOW YOU A BETTER WAY. Visit PreneedSuccess.com 20 Southern Funeral Director Magazine October 2023 Security National also encourages our employees and agents to volunteer and make meaningful contributions to their communities through various avenues, including support for local charities, food drives, and disaster relief efforts. If members of your staff have a particular cause that is close to their hearts, consider making a donation or arranging for your staff to volunteer towards these programs. Creating a culture of giving back underscores your commitment to the well-being of others and solidifies your reputation as a compassionate and socially responsible institution.

As funeral homes foster deeper connections and actively engage with their communities, they morph from being simple businesses into community connectors. Through these connections, they gain an intimate understanding of the unique dynamics and culture of the area they serve. This understanding, coupled with their unwavering dedication to the welfare of their neighbors, results in more empathetic and personalized interactions when families are navigating grief. In knowing a familiar face, families find an added layer of comfort and support during life’s most challenging moments.

What you do matters and the role you fill in your community is important. By engaging with your community, you can become more than just an institution of ceremony. Your funeral home becomes a living embodiment of support, compassion, and unwavering dedication to your community, forever elevating the quality of support offered during life’s most profound and challenging moments. We hope you will join Security National Life in our commitment to community outreach, meeting people where they are, and making sure families are prepared for one of life’s most difficult moments.

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