The importance of organization can’t be stressed enough. If you’re running a fundraiser, you’re working with money, and when you work with money organization is crucial.
Whether you’re new to fundraising or you want to avoid chaos, here are some organizational tips:
1. Use your household organizational skills
If you can organize a closet, you can keep the physical aspect of your fundraisers organized. No matter who runs your booth, make sure you do your own setup or at least create a protocol for setting up that your staff can follow.
Once you create a setup you like, don’t change it and don’t do it differently each time. Be consistent with your setup and you’ll always know where everything is. With the same setup for each event, you won’t need to fuss over how things look.
2. Embrace simplicity
There are hundreds of popular quotes that give weight to the power of simplicity. When you’re running a fundraiser, simplicity allows for better organization. The fewer things you need to fuss with, the easier it is to stay organized.
For example, if your fundraiser offers 50 products to purchase, you’ll have a lot to keep track of. If those products are further varied into physical and digital goods or even subscriptions, you’ll need a complex back-end system to keep track of it all. On the other hand, if you sell just one or two products to raise money, you’ll have less to manage.
The power of simplicity applies to all aspects of your fundraising efforts, including any events you attend. For instance, when you’re running a booth at an event, it’s natural to overthink your setup and want to deck your space out and bring in every possible item you think people might want. That’s a fast way to create clutter.
Keep it simple and professional. Instead of cluttering up your space with décor in an attempt to show people your brand, get a custom canopy printed with your logo or design. Make your brand visible with simplicity instead of complexity. You’ll have less to set up and less to take down.
3. Create specific and clear goals
You’re more likely to achieve your goals when they’re specific. For instance, if you want to “be a millionaire” how will you know you’ve reached that goal? How many millions do you need, and is it determined by your net worth (money minus debt) or money in the bank?
A vague goal produces vague results. If you set out to raise “as much money as possible” then two things will happen. First, the money you raise might not be enough. Second, you won’t experience that “close-to-the-goal” rush of determination to succeed. If you set out to raise $10,000, you’ll have a target and you’ll know where you are every step of the way.
Exactly how much money do you want to raise overall? At each fundraising event? You need a clearly defined goal for the amount of money you want to generate and everything in between.
4. Train your host committee to be consistent
The leaders you put in charge of your events carry more weight than you think. All the people you have meeting and greeting people, speaking to audiences, and being the face of your organization need to be consistent with each other. Their messages need to match without any room for interpretation.
If you’ve got people representing your organization at events and they aren’t trained to align with company values, you’re facing a potential mess in the near future. People will wonder why they’re getting mixed messages from your representatives.
Train everyone you put in front of people to represent your organization at all times. Think of all the possible topics of conversation that might arise and come up with a planned way you’d like your representatives to address those topics.
5. Define your target audience
You might think defining your audience is easy, but it’s not as easy as it looks. While you might have an idea of who your audience is, you also need to know who your audience isn’t. You don’t know your audience well enough unless you can disqualify people as easily as you can qualify them. Once you´ve targeted your potential donors, you can create custom fundraising flyers, as they are an affordable and effective marketing tool that draws attention to your message once it reaches your key recipients.
Stay on top of all tasks
Between purchase receipts, leads, expenses, and inventory, the tedium will pile up. Stay on top of everything from the beginning. Don’t allow even the simplest of tasks to go undone. Saving the tedium for later might make you put it off or let it slide altogether. Small tasks pile up. If you want to stay organized, you must stay on top of them all.