This is my family's first actual family reunion. I am part of the planning committee, and we are asking family members to make a donation towards the upfront cost of the venues we are using. my question is - what is a good way to ask for donations? Or is there a better way to go about it? We only have a month to pay the upfront cost.

Comments for Donations

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Jan 25, 2013
Just ask
by: Lydia

Sometimes the first reunion is the easiest - everyone's anxious to get together and just plain grateful to the event planner(s) and willing to pitch in and do whatever. There are no (or few) expectations about what has been done before or the way things should be.

But sometimes the first reunion is the hardest, and for the same reasons - you've never done it before and there are no expectations or traditions to follow!

Ideally, your family inherited a family trust that pays for all reunions. Or maybe there's a passionate, wealthy older family member who wants to foot the entire bill.

But then again, maybe you're like most of us - working with pennies and passion to create something grand.

I think you just have to state your vision, outline the help you need, and tell family what you want/need them to do. You'll get some who will step up and you'll get others that can't or won't.

The recipient of a donation request will probably want to know:
* How much money is needed?
* What will it pay for?
* When is it due? (To you and/or the facility.)

Are you going to be asking for more money or some sort of registration or entrance fee later on? If so, be clear about your intentions from the beginning.

My grandpa's family has a tradition of all of the current year's reunion "donations" go into a family reunion checking account that is then used to plan the *next* year's event. I'm not sure how they initially started that - it's been going for years.

As far as logistics are concerned, I know many families use PayPal to collect fees. If you select the "personal" tab as a way to send money, PayPal won't charge either of you a transaction fee.

And, of course, the bigger the event, the more people involved,the more complicated the logistics become. As that happens, I recommend using to accept donations and sell tickets. You can figure out how to track everything yourself and make your own forms and that, but honestly, it's easier and makes a better use of your time to simply tap into existing resources and pay the small monthly fee.

By the way, I also posted this question on my Facebook page for additional responses.

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