Thursday, May 14, 2009

4 Tips for Fundraising and Bookkeeping

When you run a not for profit organization or other type of firm that needs funds raised by methods other than retail sales or other types of financial transactions, chances are you will be involved in the world of fund raising. A fund raiser is often time a fun event and one that is very important for you because it provides potential donors with a specific moment and cause for which to donate funds to you. Also, when it comes to money, you need to be highly organized and make sure that the event does not become too difficult for you to handle and that the funds being raised surpasses the cost of the event itself. For this, you need good book keeping and below are four tips to help you achieve in this area.
  • Unless you are soliciting donations of which the amount is freely chosen by the donor, come up with a specific donation amount that people can give. In this scenario your book keeping can be largely uniform and easy to comprehend. Also, inviting the opportunity for donors to choose their own amount can cause time wasted if they are giving too little and your costs are not met. The only downside to discouraging these types of donations is you might not receive a very large and generous sum that a person might otherwise give to your cause.
  • Make sure that all necessary personal information is recorded from the person giving you a donation. Should their donation be ill conceived, a check they write bounce or another problem arise, you need to know exactly who is giving you what and how to be able to keep track of them should a legal problem arise. Lack of information and documentation could spell disaster in some cases like this.
  • Monitor your donations and costs being invested into the event very often, such as once a day or two times a week. Staying on top of the cash flow can alert you to any problems that arise such as costs not being met, funds being lost if you are renting a space or paying for professional fundraisers in a situation where you are not getting sufficient donations. These types of situations going unchecked can not only fail your fundraising efforts but also put you into financial ruin which should never be the outcome of a fundraising effort.
  • Use good computer software to do the book keeping for you. While some information input will always be required from you or an employee, the computer software can do much of the mathematical work behind book keeping that we might sometimes make a mistake on or otherwise skew without realizing it. Also make sure book keeping information is backed up onto a remote hard drive in case your computer system goes down and the initial information is lost. You can also print out reports just to be safe.
So you see, good book keeping is key when having a fund raiser. Never risk your funds raised by an accident resulting from bad record keeping


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