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Hit a major roadblock

Forums: General Discussion
Created on: 08/06/09 03:42 PM Views: 1555 Replies: 5
Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Ok, I just received an email from the person who had previously in past years been the one setting up reunions. But for this one, he's taking his name out of it and turning it over to a committee made up of a few alumni.
So here's what I found out....
WE HAVE NO MONEY!! We also have no checking accounts because apparently it was closed out 4 yrs ago, no EIN number, etc.
I had already submitted a post about using paypal on here but finding out that we are maybe a little more than a year away from our 20 yr reunion and in this prediciment, I have no idea what direction to take.
If we do reset up another account, would it need to be a business type account? Would it be better to pick a bank that's nationally known? Would it be beneficial getting another EIN?
A few of us were already nervous and worried...this isn't going to help settle our minds. Shocked

Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 5:04 PM - Response #1

It is fairly easy to get an EIN number online.

I also work at a bank and a lot of people open an account using their SSN and just have it listed something like:

Mr John DOE
Class of 1983 Reunion Account

Most banks have customers setting up accounts like this for social groups, etc.

Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 5:08 PM - Response #2

Hi Jamie....

First of all, Relax! Very Happy It's not that bad. You have plenty of time. First thing to do is get set up with a paypal account (Business type as you stated works best). Just get a local bank to whomever will be in charge of the monies. I do it for my site as well as the administrator. Secondly, if you look at my site, try to list all donators in the same box as the Donate button, near the top of the homepage (much better visibility). You'd be surprised how many will donate with just that little verbage that I have there, or something similiar. In 13 mos. we received over $1,000. Of course, you can always put an announcement up to get things started, and when you have a few that have donated, you can always pull it off. Just be sure to list all the classmates names in the Donate box. It'll make others want their name there also to be seen.
Good Luck!

Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 5:08 PM - Response #3

Hi Jamie,

If you know the bank that had been used for the account previously they might simply re-open a new account for the new Reunion. We've had a real mix of responses from administrators - some say they can go the bank and just open an account for the reunion without getting a separate EIN while others were informed they needed to have one. I'd start by asking your bank and seeing what they require if anything.

If you need an EIN you should be able to request one for banking purposes only. See this thread

If you are using the built-in credit card processing you do not have to have a separate business paypal account (unless you wish to accept donations via paypal).

Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 4:04 AM - Response #4

Hi Jamie,

We started with $186 cash in someone's safe at home! They had closed the bank account years ago too, as it was dwindling away due to monthly fees. I put a donation page on the website, and we got over $800 in 4 months, with no big donors and no Daddy Warbucks in our class.

I didn't differentiate donor names by amounts as I think that turns off some people from donating, if they can only donate $25. I thanked them on my Class Updates page as the donations came in, listed the names at the bottom of the donor page, as well as on the Message Forum and sent them each a personal email.

I went to my bank (Wells Fargo), where I have several accounts, told them I wanted a simple checking account with no fees and a savings account that would earn interest and have no fees. I told them it was for our reunion. They told me I could start each account with $100 and that I should get the savings account up to $300 and that I should keep that minimum amount in it to avoid fees.

They didn't want an EIN number, they just set it up with the info they already had on me on file and the info I gave them for two other people from my class. We all had to sign and return the forms and that was it.

We are doing a fundraising raffle on Reunion Night in October. We are not asking businesses to donate anything. We have people bringing wines or baskets of goodies from the region they live, 4 of us are doing small paintings, and crafty people are bringing homemade items. Our goal is to get at least 30 items to raffle and we're 2/3 of the way there. I added a question to my registration questionnaire asking if they were donating something.

We're also publishing a cookbook of recipes the classmates have been submitting over the past few months. The proceeds from both the raffle and the cookbook will go into the bank account for the next reunion. I cooked up the fundraisers so that we wouldn't have to start planning another reunion with no money. We've been registering for a week and have over 20 cookbooks pre-ordered. Camera-ready they will cost about $5 to print and we are selling the first one for $12.50, and each subsequent copy for $10 (which comes out even with a 16% discount if ordering on the site). If they wait to buy one at the reunion, it will cost $15. This money will also go into the future reunion fund.

I hope some of this information helps.

Good luck, it'll all be fine!


Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 9:47 AM - Response #5

We also did a cookbook and had tremendous success with that. People also donation as a "Memorial" or "In honor" of certain classmates or faculty. I am from a small town so we put a monthly list of donations in the paper with an address of how to donation and site information. This encourages donations and gets up more members.

We also have recruited members with an Alumni Facebook page and searched the school on facebook for alumni. In less than a year, we have been able to locate all but 6% of classmates in the 46 year history of the school The hard work pays off

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