A large reunion can involve a lot of money going in a lot of directions. You have invitations, hotels, food, decorations and much more to pay for. You want someone to oversee the money handling…hopefully someone who's a good record-keeper, a great negotiator, and someone who has a good sense of humor. This reunion treasurer will have four major responsibilities.
Creating a Budget.
This should include the common expenses for the group. Some expenses will be paid directly by attending family members (travel, hotels, and some meals). Don't include these items in the budget. Everything else, even the smallest item should go into the budget. Those little things add up. A stamp costs a few cents, a hundred stamps costs quite a few bucks. Be sensitive to differences in income. A $70/person meal at a swanky restaurant may be nothing for some but a real burden for others. Take everyone's means into consideration.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Phone calls
- Printing and mailing costs for invitations and other printed materials. Deposits for services and facilities
- Prizes and favors
- Meal expenses (including serving products)
- Table and chair rentals
Once you have clearly identified the expenses, then look at ways to share them.
You have to fund the budget somehow so you'll have to collect money. A common way is to charge an admission fee. This also helps with knowing who is really going to show up or not. Make sure you explain what this fee includes (e.g. all picnic expenses and Sunday morning brunch. You will be responsible for all other meals.). Many of our clients give a discount to small children or seniors. Set a deadline for collecting or you will be collecting money the day of the reunion. Make sure you keep accurate records of all collections and expenses. Or set up a seperate bank account and deposit the money collected into it, and use it to pay reunion expenses
You can encourage some fund raising events. Some options are raffles, baked goods sales, or holding an auction.
Dealing with Vendors.
Someone has to negotiate with these people. Hotels, restaurants and even parks offer discounts to groups. A good negotiator can save the family some significant dollars. This person should review and pay all bills.
Dealing with the money is an important and thankless job. By watching every penny and negotiating with vendors your finances committee can save hundreds of dollars. Make sure to thank them with a hug and a mention the day of the show!