Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How to Plan a High School Reunion on a Budget: Part 1

In June 2013, alumni of Coral Reef High School, Miami's Mega Magnet, class of 2003 gathered for a remarkable weekend remembering life, friends, and youth during our 10 year reunion. Along the way, organizers Anais Sori, Cynthia Palanquet, Raul Garcia and Leonardo Santos Araujo were helped by fellow 'Cuda alumni, friends, family, and community to accomplish the goal of giving '03 Alumni the reunion they asked for-- on a budget.

If you do not have a reunion company hired, this series is for you. If you have hired a company, please comment with your recommendation! Your contributions are always welcome. Over the next few posts, you'll learn how to plan and execute your reunion with little trouble and lots of fun! This is a five part series of posts which will later be summarized for those who missed it. So what to do first?

1. Establish your committee and its members.
Groups need leadership. Assign roles and tasks so that everyone does their part.
2. Determine how the committee will communicate throughout planning, i.e. Private Facebook Message, Secret Facebook Group, Email, Google Group?
3. Claim and EIN Number from the IRS
Typically the treasurer of the committee will do this as they are the keepers of the funds.
4. Open a FREE checking account with the EIN to manage all reunion related funds *This is especially important so that committee members are not mixing their personal bank funds with reunion funds. You will be able to track costs and reimburse members for any out of pocket costs (and there will be out of pocket costs).
5. Create a FREE PayPal account and link the checking account.
We live in a digital world. Many businesses now accept PayPal as a method of payment. It's also a simple way to reimburse committee members. When ticket sales start you will want to either host a PayPal button on your site or link your PayPal account to the ticket sale tool you are using such as Eventbrite. PayPal creates a smooth flow of payment going out and coming in. *Keep in mind these sites have minimal fees to consider when budgeting and planning on ticket prices. Pricing and tickets will be addressed in a later post.

If you're Coral Reef High School alumni there's good news, we already did most of this for you. All that's left is selecting your committee! If you're planning a reunion for a CRHS Class email for permissions and access to the CRHS Alumni Association account to help you budget your reunion. Need a email address for you and your committee members? Just ask! The alumni association exists to support you!

The next post will be about selecting your events and setting up your tickets including what should your rate be and how do you launch your sales. How much in advance should you notify and start tracking down alumni? What are the costs to include in ticket pricing? How do we track sales? Lots of questions we asked in our own planning and thankfully were able to get answered!

What questions would you ask? Post a comment and it may be addressed in the next post!