How often do you get this question at your cemetery? We are asked multiple times a day for the location of a long lost relative. How do you monetize this service? Do you monetize this service?
With over 110,000 interments at our location we get this question all the time. New Cathedral Cemetery in Baltimore, currently charges for genealogy research done by request. Now, we don’t charge for a simple, “Can you tell me where my uncle is buried?” request…but when those request turn into, can you tell me where my relatives are buried and they pull out a list that unfolds like grandma’s wallet photo album of her 30 grandchildren…well then you have to charge something to cover your time.
If you don’t currently charge for this service, consider this: These records are being managed and maintained, they are being updated and converted into new software formats at times (which costs money), not to mention the time your staff is spending to look up all this information.
I recommend considering a multi-tiered pricing schedule. Start with Free location and directions for one or two individual in same lot. But if Rebecca Smith request the name, dates and other info of her family in the lot, consider charging a minimal fee of $25 dollars. This would get her names of everyone in a lot and the full info available in the lot book.
Now consider a premium genealogy research service for $100.00. NCC purchased a membership to Ancestry.com and uses it to gather as much information about the individuals in question as possible. In Rebecca’s case, we would tell her all about her family buried in the cemetery. Anything we find we turn over, in addition to the records we have on hand, and photos of the headstones at the site.
We offer all of these services for purchase online and regularly get purchase notifications.
Genealogy can sometimes turn into memorial sales….if there are family members buried in a site without a memorial let the inquirer know, they may want to purchase a permanent memorial for their distant relative.
If you don’t want to charge but do want to cut down on the labor going into these searches, consider adding your burial database to your website. You can include as much or as little as you want online for free and it will cut down on income phone requests and create good will in your community.