Asking family for money can be challenging. And, you probably already asked each family to donate a flat fee for the family reunion but need a little extra cash for some activities. More families will be prepared to share money if they know there is a fundraiser at the family reunion. So announce the fundraiser in advance.
Now, for a few fund raising ideas.
Items you can sell
Get something specially made with the family name to sell for your family reunion fund raiser.
Some Items to Sell:
- Welcome sign with the family name
- Garden sign with the family name
- Notepad with family name (maybe date and location of the reunion)
- Etched glass pie plates or casserole dishes, wine glasses or vase
- Family Recipe Book
- Embroider or silkscreen hats, t-shirts, polo shirts, jackets, bags
- Book with family history stories
- Book with current family stories
- Photo album of family reunion pictures (to be delivered sometime after the reunion, obviously)
- Family photo calendar
- Antenna balls
- Pens with family name
Ask family members to submit items to be sold at an auction. They can offer crafts, food items or even a coupon for service, maybe a week at their personal cabin in the mountains. A good auctioneer will keep the auction lively and moving quickly.
A silent auction replaces the auctioneer with paper and pens and works very well with a mix & mingle activity.
Label each item for auction and include a blank numbered list for family members to write their names and a price they want to bid for the item. Encourage family members to bid, and outbid each other. Allow a set amount of time for the silent auction.
Again, invite family members to donate items for a raffle, or use just one large, special prize for the raffle. Then sell tickets for a set price, maybe $1 or $5. You can purchase carnival style tickets from a party store. If you have some high end items you can do a separate raffle for those with different color tickets that cost more.
Set a container (like a plastic cup) next to each item for raffle with a label for the item it matches. Have everyone put tickets with their names in the container labeled with the item they are interested in. Dump the tickets from the container to mix them before drawing names to announce a winner for each item. Have a few people available to deliver the goods to waiting family members.
Funniest Home Video
For a $5 or $20 entry fee invite each family to submit their funniest home video. Videos should be 2 minutes or shorter. And announce if they need to be candid, or if they can be staged. Review the videos before the reunion so they can be edited if needed. Keep them family-friendly. The winner should be decided by a panel of judges, from several different families, who have not submitted any videos. Offer a prize for the winner. You can make it monetary or something with the family name engraved on it.
Invite families to remake a scene from their favorite movie. Set a time limit of 2 minutes or less and charge a $5 entry fee. Review the videos before the reunion so you can keep it family-friendly.
Ask family to donate items for a yard sale and hold it in a prominent place-near a busy road. Announce the yard sale in local papers and websites. Many classifieds have sections for yard sales, both printed papers and on-line newspapers. Decide before the yard sale what to do with items that don’t sell. Does everyone want them returned or donated to a thrift store?
50/50 Raffle (50% to winner and 50% to reunion)
Offer a cash-only raffle. Sell tickets for $1 or $5. At the end of the family reunion draw a single ticket and split the cash 50/50 with the winner, and with the family reunion fundraising coffers.
Pick your favorite sport. And compete. Charge an entry fee to compete and offer a reward for the winner.
Miniature Golf Tournament
Ask family members to submit miniature golf holes to create a unique golf course for your family reunion. You can do this on a volunteer basis or ask for a submission fee and offer a prize for the best hole. Then, of course, there will be an entry fee to compete in the miniature golf tournament. Make everyone aware if they need to bring their own golf clubs, if golf clubs will be provided, or if those creating the golf holes will need to provide a unique set of clubs for each hole Golf, and the winner take a prize. But the reunion takes the greatest prize from the entry fees.
You know what your family loves to do. Turn it into a contest. Is it art? Is it singing, dancing, theater? Writing? Lop eared bunnies? Scrubbing toilets! I knew I’d find it. Create a contest. Entry fees, prizes, blue ribbons, honorable mentions and judges. Keep most of the money from the entry fees for your reunion fund. And use some for a prize for the winner. And if you get clean toilets out of it…then that’s just awesome!