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If you’re part of a big friend group, it can be overwhelming for your schedule (not to mention your bank account) when everyone’s weddings, baby showers, and 30th birthday blowouts start happening all at once. A group gift is a great way to streamline everyone’s shopping lists, while also getting the guest of honor something big that might be out of their financial reach otherwise. Of course, there are some pitfalls to be wary of when organizing a gift with others, whether they’re your closest friends or your coworkers. If you’ve decided to take the lead putting together a big group gift, here are some tips to make sure it’s a success.

Get started early

Don’t wait until the last minute to try and wrangle people into a group gift. In fact, the earlier you reach out, the better chances you’ll have that someone hasn’t already bought their own gift or made other plans. When reaching out to float the idea of a group gift, be sure to include the monetary commitment you’re asking for (even if it’s a ballpark) and offer everyone the chance to say, “No thanks, I’ll do my own thing.”

Give clear instructions

To avoid confusion and drama later on, make sure to give everyone a clear deadline to confirm they’re on board, and tell them exactly how and when to send you their share of the money. It’s fine to keep your tone friendly, but a clear payment deadline is crucial to avoiding awkward follow up conversations or worse – having to front the cash yourself.

Choose the right gift

If you’re pooling resources with friends, make sure they’re going towards a big item from the registry or something you 100% know the recipient will use, and make sure everyone knows up front which gift they’re contributing towards. The last thing you want is your friends wondering if they’re chipping in for something super expensive that the newlyweds or parents-to-be don’t even want.

Make sure it arrives on time

As the group gift organizer, it’s your responsibility to make sure the present gets there in time for the party, so pay close attention to shipping times and any instructions detailed in the registry. If it’s a virtual celebration, it’s also a great idea to sign a digital card from everyone,  and schedule it to send at the same time the gift arrives. Hint: to take your birthday card game to the next level, check out these tips.

If you tackle a group gift the right way, your friends will be grateful that you saved them the time and effort of shopping, and the recipients will be thrilled that you delivered on one of their big-ticket registry items. Just make sure to plan ahead and stay on top of the details so it doesn’t turn into a massive headache for you, or major drama for the group. Ready to rock your first group gift? Browse these popular gift ideas on Amazon.

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