If your family has a website you can generate sales 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can stock your “online store” with reunion related items, like t-shirts, sweats, magnets, note cards, plastic cups, mugs, dinner and cocktail napkins, tote bags, cookbooks, buttons, lapel pins and more.
If you don’t have a site there are many places that provide low cost hosting and it’s well worth the investment. You can normally recoup your monthly hosting fee by only selling a few items each month. If you start a site at least six months before your reunion, you may be surprised at how much you can make.
Even if you sell one kind of item, like t-shirts; you will be surprised at how much you can bring in. The good thing about a website is that you can provide “pictures” of the items without maintaining an inventory until the item(s) are ordered and paid for. In other words, you can pre-sell the orders. For item that you know will be popular, like t-shirts, you can order in bulk to save money. With a website or blog, you can also take online polls and surveys to obtain feedback on the items you’re offering.
You could advertise the reunion website and product offerings by word of mouth and on other family member’s websites/blogs, flyers, etc. You could also use the website as a convenient way to take t-shirt orders for your reunion. Since most family members are scattered throughout the country/world, web orders are much more convenient that U.S. Mail.
If you provide a background or family history on the site, you could refer potential donors to the website where they could learn about your family and get a reminder of their contribution to the local travel revenue. They could make donations through PayPal or credit card processor.