FundRaiser Blog

The FundRaiser Software Blog is an excellent resource for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about fundraising, donor management, membership management, and much more.

Managing & Reporting Fund-Raising Campaign Progress, part 3: Tracking, Collecting and Acknowledging Gifts

Managing & Reporting  Fund-Raising Campaign Progress, part 3: Tracking, Collecting and Acknowledging Gifts

Tracking Gifts and Collecting the Money

(read part 1 and part 2 of this series.

Receiving and recording gifts is simple to do, but very often poorly done. When donors make a gift or a pledge, solicitors notify their team captain and forward the pledge card or check to the organization’s development office that day. If the deal is struck in the evening, they do it first thing the next morning. The timing and process is where the first mistakes are made. The timing is do it immediately. The process is send the paperwork to the development office. There is no need for checks and pledge cards to go anyplace other than to the organization. These are official documents and should be collected in one central location as soon as they are signed. No solicitor should ever hold a check or pledge card while waiting for others to come in. Stamps and envelopes are relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of the bad will created by a lost or slowly processed check or pledge card.

Once the paperwork reaches the organization, checks and pledges should be recorded, checks deposited, and acknowledgments sent to donors that day, or at the very latest the next. Held checks too easily become misplaced checks.

You want to avoid having any donor call to tell you the check hasn’t shown up in their bank statement and have them wondering whether you received it. Quick acknowledgment shows that the gift is appreciated and the organization efficient. That acknowledgment need be nothing more than a preprinted card or a form letter from the chair of the campaign. However, in this age of the computer, what could be easier than a personalized form letter from the campaign chair on his business letterhead, that of the organization, or special campaign stationery?

The acknowledgment letter brings closure to the solicitation process. It records the outcome of the solicitation, and it announces any follow-up yet to come on the part of the organization. A copy of the acknowledgment letter should be forwarded to the appropriate solicitor and team captain to let them know that the organization can account for the paperwork and checks.

Announcing Results and Saying Thank You

The campaign’s over and the goal has been achieved—life is good.

Issue a press release and a final newsletter thanking campaign leadership, volunteer solicitors, and the donors. Single out people who should be commended, and praise the campaign chair. I like to host a thank-you function or functions for my volunteers. The format should be in tune with the organization and the community—a cocktail party, picnic, or open house, for example. (Don’t forget to seek underwriting for this event.) If appropriate, have a function for large donors.

The campaign’s over and the goal has not been achieved—life has been better.

This has happened to me more times than I like to admit. Goals and resources do not always match, campaigns do develop insurmountable problems, and sometimes you just can’t pull it off. Fund-raisers have to be prepared for the occasional failure. However, bear in mind that a campaign can come up short of its goal and still have demonstrated a lot of accomplishment. You may still be able to say congratulations to volunteers and donors. The money raised may be an all-time high for the organization’s annual fund. More donors than ever before may have given. The campaign may have come within 10% of a goal we knew to be very ambitious. It is the rare campaign in which you cannot find a positive accomplishment to call to the attention of volunteers, donors, and the public.

So issue a press release and a final newsletter or email announcement thanking campaign leadership, volunteer solicitors, and the donors. Single out people who should be commended, and praise the campaign chair. Thank-you functions are still appropriate. Donors still need to be told how much they are valued and appreciated. With the people who worked on the campaign, you need to be practical and honest about the disappointment, but don’t let words of regret, frustration, and unhappiness get to the ears of those who gave. If you become preoccupied with the shortfall and forget about all the good things that happened, you do a disservice to those who worked a campaign and to those who gave to it. They should never be left to think their efforts or gifts were a waste.

To learn how FundRaiser makes receiving, recording and acknowledging gifts simple

Register for a free tour of the software  


Managing & Reporting Fund-Raising Campaign Progre...
Managing & Reporting on Fund-Raising Campaign Prog...

Related Posts

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar
salutation prospects Groupings password protection donor contact information anonymous donors grants Company culture ticket sales communications Network for Good follow up donor retention major gift prospects community broadcasting large donations raffle Facebook campaign donor loyalty volunteers donor source endowment campaign the Ask small donations charity golf tournaments GoFundMe project letter add ons Reminders tax summary letters Importing Data adding personal notes to letters foundations relationship tracking case study how to handle auction gifts updates FundRaiser Basic announcements vacation brick campaign SYBUNTS premiums capital campaign data analysis security donor relations giving history corporate sponsors volunteering happiness End of Year Letters texting donors donor targeting ticketsales Snow Birds new version spare fields GivingTuesday pledges thank you letters overview online donations membership benefits Congratulations merge notes holiday giving ROI social media Donor Portal donor preferences importing csv mode code new features membersip benefits correspondence gift entry welcome packet alumni custom page donor profile Cloud data entry entering auction gifts donor attrition holiday letters upgrading donors mission driven planned giving personalizing letters National Change of Address Personalizing community supported gardens new nonprofit tribute gifts online donations lapsed donor understanding giving trends PayPal operational costs appeal upgrade Reporting to IRS customer service appeal letters community arts nonprofits increasing giving amounts training tip arts Volunteer module new donors fundraising letters support FundRaiser Hosted nonprofit fundraising Codes grassroots campaign annual campaign reports motivation Thank You auction fundraising event management spreadsheets recurring gifts office board members training look and feel Thanksgiving donor prospects legacy giving how-to videos flash sales budget gift notes field advanced tab building donor relationships Resiliency user interface transparency features general tech tip donor retention rate role of nonprofits Alternative Addresses product news disaster relief donor engagement donor slip NCOA processing motivation code mailing correspondance on site training word processor donor recognition In-Kind gifts Excel memorial giving data conversion development director new leadership giving levels donor advised funds letter templates repeat donors moves management planning #GivingTuesday Facebook email Task List FundRaiser Spark major donors banquet Constant Contact user spotlights animal rescue backing up data solicitors annual maintenance plan change of address updating holiday merge fields segmenting donors donor attrition rate targeted mailings accounting software government grants New Year monthly giving membership programs donation history LYBUNTS technical support pictures campaign customer portal direct mail operating systems donor phoning donors in honor of donations campaign management publicity materials gift acceptance policy Tickles Crowdfunding Campaign

Connect With Us

  800-880-3454 ext 3
  Email Us
  Request More Information
      8:30AM-5:30PM CST

Customer Portal Login Form

User Name:

If you are not sure about your Customer User Name, please call 800-543-4131 and we will be able to help you.

Or you have lost your password, Request Password