A successful fundraiser is a well-planned fundraiser, and that means keeping tabs on everything. It can be a lot to take in, especially for first-timers, but there’s actually a pretty simple trick to planning and organizing your fundraising campaign. You’ll be shocked by how easy it is!
Get a notebook, and use it. That’s it! Ok, so there’s a little more to it, but that’s the general idea. Before the planning even starts, get a notebook with these qualities:
1. Durability – You’ll be taking it everywhere, so you want it to last. A plastic cover is ideal to protect your notes from spilled coffee, rainy days, or anything else that might be thrown your way.
2. Dividers – You’ll want to sort your fundraising information into categories, so dividers will be key. If you can’t find one with dividers, or if the dividers don’t have tabs that stick out, most office supply stores sell plastic tabs that can be stuck onto pages and labeled. If all else fails, sticky-notes work wonders.
3. Pockets – A notebook with pockets allows you to keep everything in one place, like product brochures, papers from past fundraisers and committee notices. Can’t find one with pockets? Envelopes made of heavy paper can be glued to the inside covers of your notebook.
Now you’ve got the perfect fundraising notebook! The next step is to label your dividers. The categories you choose will depend on what type of group you’re working with. For example, if you have a big group and are working with a committee, you’ll probably need a “Committee Notes” category to record anything discussed at meetings.
To help you get started, here are a few categories that should be included in every fundraising notebook:
1. Contact Information
– Keep phone numbers, email addresses and any other necessary contact information close at hand. People to include are: committee members and volunteers, group members, and the fundraising company you’re working with.
– Determine your fundraising goal by estimating tournament fees, travel expenses, equipment costs and anything else you may be raising money for.
– Work out a budget of what you can spend on fundraising products.
– Keep track of your group’s progress as results come in.
– Make a list of all products or programs you’re considering for your fundraiser. Include descriptions, pros & cons, prices, and profit potential.
– Once you’ve decided, record all the information for the program, or combination of programs you’ve chosen, like shipping times, final cost, etc.
– Keep track of the people who’ve helped including businesses that let you use their locale for your sale or event, and anyone who made a large purchase or donation to your group. This will make it easier to thank everyone later.
– This is where you’ll keep track of important dates, like committee meetings, fundraiser dates, when to hand out products or order forms to your group, when order forms need to be returned, etc.
The final step to successful planning is to be diligent in your note taking. Every time a decision is made, or a date is set, write it down! It only takes a second and it can save you countless hours of searching for a lost phone number or brochure.
Keeping tabs on your fundraiser doesn’t have to be difficult, and it really does make a huge difference in how smoothly your campaign will go. Start with a notebook, be diligent in your note taking, and your campaign should run like a well-oiled machine!