Founded in 1939, People's Memorial Association (PMA) serves its members and the general public throughout Washington. PMA was created in the height of the co-operative movement in the U.S. in order to establish an alternative to the high prices and predatory sales practices of the funeral industry. PMA founders set out to provide affordable funeral services that honored the deceased’s social and spiritual values.
In 1962, PMA and its affiliates nationwide established the Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA) to function as a unifying force at the federal level. In the early 1980′s, the FCA was instrumental in getting the Federal Trade Commission to adopt a set of standards for funeral home pricing called The Funeral Rule (1984). PMA's biennial Funeral Price Survey was a key component of this successful effort. The Funeral Rule standards were revolutionary in enabling consumers to get accurate price information from funeral homes. PMA and the FCA are now working to update the Funeral Rule to the 21st Century, by requiring funeral homes to post their pricing on their websites.
In 2007, the members of PMA voted at their annual meeting to open a co-operative funeral home in Seattle coined The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial. Over the past decade, PMA merged with its sister organizations, the Memorial Society of Central Washington and the Spokane Memorial Association, expanding their reach statewide.
People’s Memorial Association is a federally registered 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. All donations are tax deductible. Tax ID: 68-0621888
Advocacy Wins in Washington State
PMA played a key role in changing Washington law to place the funeral industry under the state’s Consumer Protection Act (2002) and helped pass another law legalizing the scattering of ashes of the deceased.
PMA succeeded in protecting the rights of families to care for their own dead (2005).
PMA successfully advocated for the right of religious and cultural minorities to have up to 24 hours to perform religious or cultural rituals with an unembalmed, unrefrigerated body (2007).
PMA worked side by side with the funeral industry to bring about passage of Designated Agent legislation, once again benefiting consumers (2011).