20. Fundraising: Staying Organized
Staying Organized While Fundraising
Fundraising involves a lot of paper work, a lot of ideas, and a lot of action lists. You can easily
become overwhelmed and lose track of the entire project if you allow yourself to become disorganized. This is why
it is crucial to stay organized.
The system of organization that is best depends on you. Financial software is ideal for some,
while others prefer organized files. It does not matter which organizing method you choose. What does matter is
that you use it faithfully to stay organized. Among the items you will need to keep organized during
- Income tax receipts - Your donors will want to receive income tax
slips to claim their gifts on their tax forms. In some cases, they may write to you again during tax season for
another slip. Also, you will need to keep good records of the money donated for your group's income tax and
- Volunteer information - Contact information, emergency information,
and any other items of interest will need to be stored so that you can contact your workers or help them in
case of an emergency.
- Donor Information - You will need to file away information about those
who have donated to your fundraising - not only will you want to take care not to contact those people again
too soon, but you will want to contact the same donors again some time later as they are likely to contribute
again. You will need a very good organizational system to keep track of who you should be contacting them and
when. For each donor, you will want to keep contact information, amounts donated, times when the donor donated
money, the donor's preferred method of being contacted, and the time you should contact them again. It is
important that you keep this information and use it.
- Market Research - You need to file all the information you gather
about potential donors and potential fundraising ideas. This information needs to be quickly accessible when
you start fundraising in earnest.
- Research - You will want to keep information about other similar
non-profit groups with successful fundraising ideas.
- Grant applications - You will want to keep grant application deadlines
in a visible place so that you will be able to put in the applications for grants that you qualify for in time.
You will also want to keep copies of these completed applications on file to help you with future
- Letters - Keep track of any letters you send and the responses you
get. You will want to keep letters from donors and from companies who are willing to help your fundraising
efforts, for example. You may be able to use part of their letter in your fundraising leaflets.
- Legal Issues - You will need to file deeds or leases for your group's
space, licensing agreements, proof that your group is a registered non-profit organization, and other legal
papers that might be crucial at a later date.
- Meeting Minutes - Keeping your group's records and ideas together will
make it easier for you to see who needs to be doing what. You can also refer to earlier brainstorming sessions
if you need to be reminded why a certain idea was turned down or why someone was scheduled for a specific
- Operations of Your Non-Profit - Non-profit organizations have lots of
paper work - utility bills, legal bills, notices from government about changing laws, and so on. You need to
keep these records organized and together so that any disputes can be resolved quickly.
- Expenses and Income- Keeping track of money is crucial in proving that your
business is fundraising in a fair way and in order to prove that your group really is non-profit. Some
charitable groups think that their records cannot be seized or audited, but this is not true. Keep excellent
financial records and check them twice - a non-profit organization accused to misusing donor funds will have a
very tough time trying to fundraise again. Keep track of every penny you spend on your group to offset any such
- Time - For a non-profit group, keeping track of time is important too.
Volunteers may request letters of reference, and if you have kept track of the time your volunteers have
donated, you will be able to write a more accurate reference. It can also enable you to look back and see
whether the time involved in a particular fundraiser was worth it financially.
- Records -There are many records and papers that need to be tracked for
the optimization of time and money. Medium-sized and larger non-profits often find that they require the help
of an accountant and one or more office assistants to keep track of the paperwork. Even in smaller non-profit
groups, having one secretary or office manager can be a big help. One person should interact with all the
incoming papers and information each day and should either file papers or act on them. Money spent and donated
needs to be recorded accurately each day. Workers should always return papers to the same files after each use.
A once-weekly meeting during fundraising can help keep papers and ideas better
organized. Purchasing a fundraising software package (even a basic one) can help you
keep track of donors, grant applications, and the other important details of your non-profit
Next page: 21. Fundraising -
Communicating With Your Donors
Practical Fundraising Ebook - Table Of Contents
- Fundraising - The Basics
- Fundraising - Terminology
- Fundraising - Money
- Fundraising - Where
to Find Donors and How to Reach Them
- Fundraising - Targeting Your
- Fundraising - Research
- Fundraising - Your Donors'
- Fundraising - Ideas
- Fundraising - Donated
- Fundraising - Bought
- Fundraising - Marathons
- Fundraising - Lotteries, raffles
- Fundraising - Fairs, Auctions and
- Fundraising - Fun Events
- Fundraising - Drives
- Fundraising - Services
- Fundraising - Tips for
Choosing a Fundraising Idea
- Fundraising - Your Plan
- Fundraising - Your Team
- Fundraising - Staying
- Fundraising - Communicating With
- Fundraising - Advertising
- Fundraising - Letters
- Fundraising - Emails and
- Fundraising - Person to
- Fundraising - Thank You
- Fundraising - Grant
- Fundraising - Press
- Fundraising - With
- Fundraising - Secrets to
- Fundraising - Problems
- Fundraising - Conclusions
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