by Matt Florio
There are few people on this planet who dislike Excel documents more than I do. However, despite all of my formula mishaps and error messages, there is no denying the incredible value of an Excel spreadsheet to someone trying to fundraise. Raising money takes work and organization is definitely part of that.
Keeping track of your contacts and their information, how much money your contacts have donated to you and whether or not you’ve thanked your contacts is key to becoming a successful long-term fundraiser. Here are a few helpful steps:
- Step 1: Compile names and addresses, including emails, into a spreadsheet. This will serve as a living document that you can always refer back to when you start fundraising for another event.
- Step 2: Record donation amounts and when you sent thank you letters. This way you won’t forget to thank your donors, and you will have a sense of what is reasonable to ask of them for future events.
- Step 3: Make notes. If someone in your network has specific connections to your cause, write it down. It will help you to make your asks more personal in the future and to have a more personal relationship with your donor network. The more you value the people supporting you, the more likely you are to become a successful fundraiser.
Your product should look something like this, and you can always add more columns or different tabs for the various events you participate in:
The LIVESTRONG Foundation has added tools in your Fundraising Center to make managing your network more organized. You can upload entire email lists and keep track of who has donated or been contacted. Take advantage of these tools to maintain the health of your fundraising campaign. If you stay organized, donors will be less likely to fall through the cracks, and you’ll be able to make the most significant contribution to the fight against cancer!