Host an Affordable Family Reunion
Seven year’s ago my husband, two children and myself moved from York, Pennsylvania to beautiful upstate New York. As a result we don’t get to see our extended family members very often. This year my husband’s family is having a family reunion to celebrate his aunts 75th birthday. We are excited to be able to attend. At family reunions you are able to visit with family members, catch up on what’s going on in their lives, meet new additions, etc..
While creating lasting family memories this much sought after event can also become costly. There are several ways to maximize fun and quality time together while minimizing expenses.
Start Your Family Reunion with Creating a Budget
When creating your family reunion budget make sure to include every item you can possibly think of no matter how small it may be. Next determine where you plan on getting the money. Some expenses will be paid directly by your attending family members (i.e., travel, hotel, perhaps a couple of meals, etc.), so you don’t need to budget for those items. But, do make sure that you specify what is and what is not included in the ticket price when you send out the invitations. Keep in mind that you don’t want to plan a reunion that hardly anyone can afford. If you are planning a fancy or expensive reunion, such as a cruise or some other special trip, make sure you give your relatives at least a year or two advance notice so that they can save up.
Charging an Admission Fee is One Common Way to Fund Your Family Reunion
You will need money for advance fees and deposits such as tent, table and chair rentals. Set a deadline sometime in advance of the reunion date by which at least a percentage of the ticket price is required. This way you can use it for these advance fees (Unless you want to cover the costs yourself and have everyone pay you back at a later date.) Also when tickets are purchased in advance, people are less likely to cancel at the last moment. That way you won’t end up with a lot of leftover food that you paid for.
To figure out the cost per person take your final cost and divide it by the number of people attending. You will have to do some adjusting if you plan on creating special rates and/or discounts for seniors (senior citizens) and small children. Explain completely in your invitation the ticket price and be sure to state what this fee does and does not include.
Keep Good and Accurate Records
Record how much money is collected from whom, what the actual charges are for budgeted items and when you receive the money. Have a log of expenses, such as long distance phone calls and postage. Using a spreadsheet or home accounting will simplify this task, but is not necessary.
Fundraising is a Great Way to Help Pay for Expenses
If you don’t want to just collect money from your relatives, you could do a little fundraising. A friend of mine here in New York hosts an annual family reunion. Every year they have an auction as an activity at the reunion. Family members bring items that they have made, cooked or that they no longer use. This auction is so successful, not to mention very entertaining, that it pays for the next year’s reunion!
As long as everyone realizes this is to help fund the reunion, it can be fun even with the silliest items. You’d be surprised what people are willing to pay for when it’s all for a good cause. At my friend’s family reunion Grandma’s homemade pies could bring in up to $25 each!
A raffle is another popular and successful fundraising activity. Have the reunion committee purchase a few nice items, making sure that they would be popular with family members. Such as cousin Ed mowing your lawn this season (see ticket above.) Then just sell raffle tickets, making sure that you sell enough tickets at whatever price you choose to cover the cost of the item you’re raffling off as well as put a significant profit in for the reunion.
Visit Raffle Ticket Software for tips on making raffle tickets. It’s super easy to use. You’ll be making tickets for your raffle drawing in minutes
Don’t Forget to Start a Family Reunion Event Page on Facebook
A Facebook Family Reunion Event Page is a great way to invite people to the reunion, post updates regarding the reunion, ask and answer questions as well as share pictures with everyone after the reunion.
Family reunions are a wonderful way to visit with family members, catch up on what’s going on in their lives as well as meet new additions.
Check out our Family Reunion Ideas Board on Pinterest!