Wouldn’t it be great to see old classmates in person, rather than LOL at their Instagram posts?
As one of the former class leaders, you’re bringing everyone together for a class reunion, and you’re committed to making it an unforgettable blast from the past.
But before you can laugh at old jokes and say “No way!” for the umpteenth time, you’ve got some planning to do.
You’ve come to the right place. This article shows you:
- How other class presidents and committees plan reunions
- A 7-step checklist for smooth planning
- 6 potential ways to pay for class reunions, and
- How to use Braid Money Pools to collect, manage, and spend reunion money easily
By the end of this article, you’ll know how to plan and pay for a class reunion people will talk about for years to come.
How do you plan a class reunion?
Who plans the reunion?
Class presidents usually take the lead and plan reunions. But anyone can take the initiative, including former student government officers.
If it’s about that time to start planning your next reunion, reach out to fellow student officers to make sure you’re all on the same page.
Official vs unofficial reunions: what’s the difference?
Reunions generally fall into two categories: official and unofficial.
Official reunions are typically organized by members of the student government. Sometimes, they outsource the reunion to an event planner.
Official reunions usually feature a hotel ballroom or similar venue, a dress code, catering, bars, DJs, photographers, and various activities. Tickets tend to cost anywhere between $60 and $120.
In contrast, unofficial reunions are laid back. They are usually organized informally on social media platforms, like Facebook. And the venue is simpler, like a bar and grill or a gazebo at a local park.
Because unofficial reunions are simpler and come with a lower price tag, prospective attendees may feel more comfortable about registering for them.
7-step checklist for your class reunion
Whether you’re busy with a new startup, corporate demands, or a growing family, there’s a lot on your plate.
Adding “Class Reunion Organizer” to your resume could put more stress on your plate. But it doesn’t need to be.
Use this 7-step checklist to smooth out the logistics:
- Form a committee
- Find your classmates
- Schedule the reunion
- Book a local venue
- Choose activities
- Send out the invitations
- Manage finances
We’ll flesh out each of the seven items below, with a special focus on Number 7, “Managing finances."
You’ll learn salient ways to pay for your class reunion. Plus, how Braid Money Pools simplify every aspect of your reunion's finances.
First, let’s explore this checklist:
1. Form a committee
Draw on your former role as class president and form your committee.
- Who sees the big picture and keeps the train on the rails? That’s your chair
- Who’s detail-oriented and enjoys tracking expenses and scoring bargains? That’s your treasurer
- Who’s the networker that spreads the word? That’s your promoter
- Who can implement a plan and make things happen? That’s your producer
These are the people you want on your committee. Together, your collective talents tackle both the planning and the responsibilities.
2. Find your classmates
You can’t have a reunion without your classmates. Some would even say this step is the most important one. But how do you go about finding your old mates?
Social media platforms are the primary places to find people whether you’re looking for linebackers or musical theater stars.
Use Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and LinkedIn to track everyone down.
If social media leaves you high and dry, your school may also have an alumni database you can refer to.
You might want to set up a Facebook group, where you can track members, share relevant information, and send out reminders.
3. Schedule the reunion
Class reunions usually take place 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years after graduation.
Whether you’re planning your first or fourth class reunion, there are two popular times of the year to corral everyone together:
- September and October: homecoming and football games attract former classmates to their alma mater
- November and December: more people may be in town for the holidays than at other times of the year
Whenever you choose to schedule your reunion, give everyone at least six months’ notice.
4. Book a local venue
Do you want a great turnout? Book a venue in the same city or town as your school.
This caters to both local attendees and to people traveling from out of town, many of whom may still have family in the area.
Having a reunion in their hometown gives them an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family.
5. Choose activities
What do you think would be a great way for people to spend their time together?
Consider using some or all of the following ideas:
- Cocktail hour
- Ice breaker games, like Name Tag Hunt
- Jog-That-Memory game
- Team jeopardy
- Match-That-Melody game
- Dance parties with hits from graduation year
- Memorials for classmates who have passed
6. Send out the invitations
Once you know your date, venue, and activities, start inviting everyone.
You’ll need to include a registration form with an option to purchase tickets. (We’ll cover this in the next section.)
If you have everyone’s physical address, you may choose to send out physical invitations. But it might be easier to invite everyone for free via Facebook groups, or for a fee via platforms like Eventbrite.
7. Manage the finances
Class reunions have many financial parts:
- How much does a reunion cost?
- How do you budget for reunion expenses?
- How do you pay for your reunion?
- How do you collect money for your reunion?
We’re going to answer these questions next, and show you how to simplify your reunion’s finances with Braid Money Pools.
Braid is a shared wallet where you can collect, manage and spend money together with committee members.
Keep reading to discover more about Braid and why it’s a superb tool for group money.
How much does a reunion cost?
The overall cost of your reunion is an important decision. Collectively, you need to choose the venue, caterer, and activities.
These choices add up to the overall cost of your reunion.
As a committee, you need to strike a balance.
That is, you need to offer a high-value event so you attract attendees and keep prices accessible so you don’t deter them.
We’ll explore ways to pay for your class reunion shortly!
Create a budget for your class reunion
Once you nail down the venue and event activities, you’ll have a better idea of how much the reunion will cost.
Set budgets for each expense, like venue or caterer, to see exactly how much you need to collect and what your spending limit is.
A great way to simplify your budget is to set up a free Braid Money Pool for each item, like “DiPizio’s Banquet Hall” or “DJ deposit.”
Having individual pools allows you to collect and spend for specific reunion expenses while staying within budget. It also means reunion money never mixes with your personal account.
It’s always accounted for in your shared wallet.
How do I pay for a class reunion?
How can you make sure you have enough money to pay for the class reunion? There are at least six ways to fund your big event:
- Registration fees
- Money from your last reunion or class fund
- Financial support from your school
- Donations from classmates
- Ad sales
Here’s a closer look at each one. Use one or all to have adequate funds for every part of your reunion.
1. Registration fees
What is a reasonable registration fee?
Too-high prices deter sales and result in low attendance, especially for people coming in from out of town. Too-low prices may not provide a great experience.
A good rule of thumb is this: tickets within the $60 to $120 price range tend to garner the most purchases.
To boost registration and collect money sooner, offer a 20-25% early bird discount.
If you set up a Facebook group, include your pool link so classmates can pay their registration fees directly into the pool.
If you set up a special class reunion website, you can link your pool so people can pay for registration that way, too.
The great thing about using Braid is classmates don’t need a Braid account to contribute to the pool. They just need your pool link and a debit card.
Neither you nor they incur any transaction fees, so you get to keep 100% of the registration fees you collect into the pool.
In addition to registration ticket sales, here are five more ways to collect money for class reunions.
2. Money from the last reunion or class fund
Is there money left over from your class’s last reunion?
Leftover funds are sometimes held by the school’s alumni office, or by a class government member.
If these funds are available, easily add this money into your money pool and decide how it fits into your budget.
You might decide to use it to secure venues, DJs, photographers, etc.
3. Financial support from your school
Your alma mater may maintain a small fund to help you start class reunions.
In exchange for providing financial backing, schools are grateful for alumni donations later on.
Collect money for your class reunion with Braid Money Pools.
4. Donations from classmates
Do you need help paying for start-up costs? Your committee might consider asking financially affluent classmates for donations.
For example, you may need anywhere between $1000 to $2000 for the venue, catering, and photographer deposits.
You may be able to secure this by receiving one donation from a single classmate, or by obtaining smaller donations from three to four classmates.
To collect donations tactfully, offer to text your pool link to the classmate so they can contribute quickly and easily.
In exchange, recognize them with a big thank you banner and the honorary chair position at the reunion.
Fundraising is a fun way to raise money for your reunion.
Whether you sell custom-made T-shirts or raffle tickets, it’s a win-win for everyone.
You get to cover reunion expenses and attendees get to take home a special reminder.
6. Ad sales
Ad dollars are a great way to get financial backing for your reunion and support small, local businesses.
Chances are, some of these businesses are still run by school alumni, classmates, or their family and friends.
And whether they’re doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, insurance agents, bakers, or mechanics, they all have value to offer to classmates and their families.
Don’t forget about your venue, photographer, DJ, and caterer! They can advertise at your reunion and increase their bookings, too.
Many are happy to pay $100 in exchange for advertising space in your reunion book or website or providing a coupon in the welcome bag.
What is the best way to collect money for a class reunion?
There’s no need to open a new bank account or set up a PayPal account for class reunion money. Just use Braid.
Braid Money Pools are shared wallets. It’s where you can collect and manage money with your committee for free.
You can also pay for every reunion expense directly from the pool in a simple and transparent way.
You’ve already seen how to incorporate Braid into your financial management. Here are five additional reasons to use Braid for your class reunion:
1. Braid is easy to use
Set up your free pool and invite other committee members to join in a matter of minutes.
When it’s time to collect registration fees or raffle ticket sales, reunion attendees pay into the pool using their debit cards.
They don’t need a Braid account; they just need your pool link.
And because you don't have to funnel money in and out of different accounts, it’s easier to track transactions and stay within budget.
2. Your pool is free
Set up your pool and use it for as long as you want without paying a single service or maintenance fee. It’s free.
Classmates can pay into the pool with their debit cards without incurring fees, too. That goes for fundraising dollars, donations, ad sales, registration tickets, etc.
There are no balance limits so you can accrue as much or as little money as you need for your class reunion.
3. Share admin roles with committee members
As pool admin, assign admin roles to your fellow committee members so they can share pool tasks with you.
Admin can view transactions, receive instant notifications for pool activity, invite others to the pool, spend with the Braid card, etc.
For example, you can give one committee member spending permission so they can pay for the caterer while you take care of the venue deposit.
However you divvy up the tasks, everyone can see these various activities in your shared wallet.
4. Create as many pools as you need
Together with your treasurer, you might decide to create multiple pools for your reunion.
For example, you might collect money from registration fees and raffle tickets into one main pool, and then divide these funds into separate pools for the photographer, printing services, caterer, DJ, etc.
Or, if you have various streams of income for your reunion, you may prefer to have them coming into separate pools. For example, “Donations”, “Fundraising” and “Ad sales.”
You get to decide what works for you. Braid is flexible.
Another reason why people love Braid is that it keeps reunion money separate from personal accounts. And no one has to start a brand new bank account or transfer money in and out of PayPal.
Your class reunion money comes into your pool and stays there until you spend it with the Braid debit card.
5. Pay with the Braid debit card
Every pool comes with a free digital Braid debit card to use anywhere Mastercard is accepted. You can also request a physical card to cover in-person purchases, too.
As pool admin, set spending permissions so other committee members can spend with you. Worried about staying within budget? Don’t be.
You can set spending limits per card user so everyone stays on track.
Instant notifications show you card activity in real-time, and you can also view transactions directly in the app.
If you ever need to freeze the card, you can do so with a few quick steps right in the app.
Since the Braid card doesn’t come with transaction or overdraft fees, you get to spend 100% of what you collect for your class reunion.
Make your class reunion a celebration people remember for years to come. Use Braid money pools to help.
This shared wallet can simplify reunion money and even make the financial part of your reunion enjoyable.