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Family Reunion Fundraising Ideas: How to Raise Money for your Next Family Reunion

Updated on April 9, 2012

Raising money for a family reunion is something that you might not consider when planning the event. The problem is that hosting the reunion is an expensive prospect, even if you only run a day-long event. If your family decides to go camping or take a trip together, you need even more money. Utilizing family reunion fundraising ideas provides an easy way to gather the funds needed for any type of family reunion.

Family Reunion Auction

A family reunion auction is one of the easiest fundraising ideas for a reunion. My own family started using this idea in the 1990s, and now it is a tradition. With the auction idea, everyone brings a small gift that they wrap prior to the reunion. We usually ask that everyone bring something for a specific type of person, including adult females, golf lovers, a baby girl, a male toddler, etc. Most parents bring a small gift that they bid on for their own children.

Appoint one person from your family to serve as the auctioneer. Everyone has the chance to bid on items and because the items are wrapped, few people know what they get when they win. You can add some humor to the event by adding a few gag gifts. One year, one of my uncles wrapped an inflatable doll. You can also add items that have historical value to your family. Our highest item one year was a copy of my grandmother's birth certificate, while another year it was a handmade wishing well my cousin made. You can raise big money for your family reunion with this auction.

Sell Family Shirts

Another fun way to raise money for a family reunion is with tee shirts. You can make your own shirts or hire a graphic designer. Check with your local flea markets and printing companies for cheap shirts. You can add almost any type of design, though the more complicated designs often cost more. Add the date of your reunion, family name, location of the reunion or any other details that you want. You can even find some websites that have templates with reunion designs.

The best way to use tee shirts for fundraising is to charge a higher amount than the shirts actually cost. For example, if it costs $12 to make and print each shirt, charge $15-20 for each one. Depending on the size of your family, you can often make quite a bit by charging just a few extra dollars for each shirt. You can even offer hats, bags, buttons, aprons and other items. If you decide to make and design the shirts yourself, work with a site like Zazzle. Family members can go online and order the items, and you get a check for the amount sold.

Accept Donations

An even easier way to raise money for your family reunion is to accept donations. At the beginning of the reunion, let family members know that you need donations to cover the cost of the reunion and future reunions. Pass around an envelope and ask that people in the family donate a small amount.

A similar idea is to set an amount for the event, such as $20 per family. Request that each family donate the same amount to cover the cost of next year's reunion. You can also adjust the size of the donation based on the size of the family. For example, ask couples to donate $10 and those with children to donate $15-20. We used this in the past when the auction did not raise enough money for the next reunion.

Sell CDs

Selling compact discs is a relatively new way to raise money. Turn ordinary CDs into a family reunion fundraising idea by gathering items relating to your family. In the months before the reunion contact your family members, asking for photographs from past reunions and get-togethers. Scan the non-digital images and upload the other photos onto your computer.

Organize the photos into different folders based on the year or event. Once you have your photos organized, burn the photos onto individual discs. Sell the discs to your family for a set price. Depending on how crafty you are, you might want to create a special cover for the CDs.

Another similar idea is to create a family cookbook on CD. Ask family members to send you their favorite recipes. Organize the recipes into a Word document or simply add each file separately to a disc. You can even make a combination CD that includes recipes and photographs. Every CD that you sell puts money back into the fund for your next reunion.


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