As part of our Boost My Business initiative Fiona Alston speaks to the founder of an app which brings the book of condolence to a more personal level and gives friends and family the opportunity to donate to funeral costs.
Graeme Burke had been working on a method to enhance the experience of the condolence book at funerals for the past 14 months and last month launched his product called App Of Condolence.
The latest in funeral tech, the app is available on both android and IOS and is free to download.
The main features of the app allow the user to create a listing with the funeral details of their loved one, and send it out in various forms be it text, email social media messaging or WhatsApp.
Users of the app can upload photos, share stories and comments and after 14 days these messages are taken and made into a book of condolence for the family.
"At the moment we have funeral services where you can go in, upload your photograph, you put your details in, and people can comment, but after that is gone," explains Burke.
"So, I was thinking, what if we did this to an app?" he says. "You don't need to go to the funeral directors, you can do all the details yourself, it gives you more time and you can do it all from your own home."
"People can upload comments or photographs for two weeks" he continues.
"When people upload the comments or photographs, they can make donations – you can't actually comment or upload a photograph unless you make a donation and donations are between €5 and €700."
The donation amounts are kept anonymous from the family.
"Within three weeks a printed book of condolence is made available with all those comments and photographs and given to the family as part of the fee," he adds.
The fee is a €50 cost to the family member using the app to create the listing, use of the service and includes the final condolence book. Other copies of the book can be made for other friends or family at cost of €49 per book.
The monies gathered, from the donations made to upload memories and photos to the app, are all given to the family to help with funeral costs, charity donations or to do with how they wish.
"It's threefold really," he says. "It's a notification service that's easier and brought into the next generation. People can get a lovely book of condolence, which is an actual printed copy, and then the donations are passed on to help the family."
"This is the first kind of service, that's combining all three, in the world right now," he continues. "Every country has an element of a service, but nobody has brought it together like us."
"It's a really simple service, it's easy to use, it takes it takes the pressure off people, and you're not asking people for money," he adds.
The app launched at the beginning of October and has already seen users from around the globe.