After all, paying for the hotel room (hopefully, you got some great group rates for hotels), the banquet, and one or two activities alone will make it very difficult for people to attend.
In order to increase the attendance, the family reunion fundraising committee has to come up with various ways to raise funds to help offset some of the costs.
Here are some tips and fundraising ideas to get your family reunion planning started.
How much will you need for your family reunion?
This really depends on the type of family reunion you are having.
Are you having a potluck dinner at a local park?Or is it a much fancier event that requires travel to a nearby city?
Regardless of the size of the event, it is always best to use a family reunion budget to get a cost per person. Once you know that, you want to try some of the following ideas to raise funds.
Keep in mind that hotel rooms along with travel costs typically make up the bulk of the costs. Make sure to negotiate great group rates with hotels and airlines.
Host An Online Auction Or An Offline One
Have everyone in your family donate an item that is unique. Get uncle Bill to build a swing set, aunt Martha to put together one of her famous quilts, or the family artist to make a great sunset. Once you have a collection of these, auction them of on Ebay or sell them at a local flea market. Alternately, you could also host the auction at the family reunion itself. Auction off services (5 Hours of plumbing by cousin Tom) or donated items.
Raffle Prizes or Lottery Tickets.
At the reunion itself, have a grand prize that may be coveted by all (A trip for two to someplace not near the reunion?) and sell tickets for it. Make sure to cover the cost of the tickets and make some profit to cover some more of the reunion expenses.
Host A Baked Goods Sale
Aunt Martha can cook and we all know that. Well, have her make a bunch of baked goods and donate them to a flea market sale. You can even sell the baked goods at the fundraiser itself to raise even more money
Publish a Family Reunion Cookbook
You got many aunts and uncles that are great cooks. Why not put together a family cookbook to sell at the reunion. We all have that one great dish we know how to make. Why not use this cookbook as a resource to share our recipes and get new ones. Typically, these books will sell faster than you think. You can make the cookbook in Microsoft Word and print out copies yourself or have a company make a fancy one for you. Blurb, a company featured in places like the Washington Post and National Geographic is a good resource. Blurb personalized cookbooks start at $2.95.
Host a Fund Raising Car Wash
Admit it, you’ve see them and always wondered why there are people in the world that are ready to wash cars at 7am on a Saturday. Well, here is your chance to find out. Get out there and host a car wash, charge five dollars and help raise some money for the family reunion. Family members in different cities can each hold their own car wash to increase the amount raised.
Sell Family Reunion T-Shirts
You can make personalized family reunion t-shirts ahead of time and sell them at the reunion for a tiny profit. These shirts will typically be a hot seller as they are a great keepsake and definitely should be on your list of fundraising ideas. Classb is a good resource to get your family reunion t-shirts printed.
Sell Used Items At a Flea Market
As we mentioned earlier, you can sell lots of goodies a local flea market but it does not have to only be donated stuff. If you have family members that are willing to donate items that they don’t use or are slightly used, you can get rid of these too at a local flea market. Rent a booth and make sure to haggle.
Multiple Garage Sales
Consider having multiple garage sales, preferably over one weekend. Having grown sales at the homes of different family members all over the country will make for unique event that creates stronger bonds leading up to the family reunion. You can even make a competition out of which family raised the most funds.
If, after you have used the techniques above, you still do not have enough to cover the costs of the family reunion then charge an admission fee. You can charge this ahead of time (recommended) or at the door. Having the money in advance ensures you are meeting your family reunion budget. By charging at the gate, you may end up taking in less since people won’t be as committed to coming.
While the above fundraisers are meant to help lower the overall cost of the family reunion, they’re not meant to replace the registration fee that each family pays. The proceeds from these fundraisers should first and foremost be used to repay any reunion related expenses that are incurred by the volunteers.
Use some or all of the ideas above to increase the likelihood that you wont have to charge any admission fee for the family reunion. Planning ahead is usually the best way to make sure that the funds are there when you need them.
What should you read next?
Since you’re planning a family reunion, take a look at some money saving ideas for your next event.