No cemetery wants to operate at a loss. In addition to the annual cemetery operations budget, the “Perpetual Fund” also needs to be considered, as cemeteries adapt to more forward financial planning. The pricing of each niche must address these financial considerations in order to effectively meet the cemetery’s future financial needs. One strategy to consider when deciding on the pricing of a columbarium niche is to divide the cost of each niche into thirds. The first third is applied towards the payment of the initial columbarium, the second third goes towards the payment of the Perpetual Fund and the third is applied towards the purchase of the next columbarium. Eventually all future columbaria purchases will be self-financed by previous niche purchases.
Although the trend of scattering ashes outside of cemeteries exists, there are also urns sitting on mantels and in closets awaiting interment in a different commemorative space. The columbarium can provide an interment option that may appeal to this specific group of individuals. Identifying the market need in your community is essential. Through public engagement and easy online surveys cemeteries can better understand the needs of the surrounding community and help guide a collective vision for future generations.