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Organizing Your School Fundraiser

Organization of your fund raising events cannot be stressed enough. There is much to keep track of right from the very beginning.

Organizing a school fundraiserFirst of all, you need to organize time, not just YOUR time, but the time that is going to be required to fulfill your goals and the time, in man hours, that you are going to need volunteers for. This may be an estimate that gets revamped several times during the process, but you still need to do this big step.

Preparation is key. Write everything out on paper and outline the plan and each step of the process. This way, you can catch mistakes that could prove to be costly later on.

Who is going to supervise what? You cannot control everything and if you try to be the one that does everything, then you are simply going to burn yourself out completely. Learn to delegate tasks and put people in charge of small portions of the entire project. Choose these people carefully and hold them accountable for the tasks that they are assigned. If you don't take care in who you assign things to, then they will not get done and could put the whole of your plans in jeopardy.

Be open to new suggestions and feedback from your group. As stated above, you will no doubt revamp your plans more than once. Some things simply won't work as you thought that they would. Be open to ideas that others in your group might have and let them try new things. You never know what great thoughts can come your way if you are open to them!

Make sure that people have what they need to complete their delegated tasks. Follow-up with everyont on a regular and consistent basis. It might be a good idea to have a regularly scheduled meeting, even if it is by phone conference. Skype is a GREAT tool that will allow you to conference with several people at one time, either by phone or by chat. You can use tools like this so that people don't have to waste time and gas driving to meetings. It is less of an imposition to people with children and hectic schedules if they can just log in and take a phone call of 25-30 minutes of their day.

Offer challenges and rewards to people who raise the most money. Having incentives in place will always drive people to try harder. A good healthy competition is good for the soul. Just make sure to keep it all friendly.

When you collect funds, depending on your fundraising project, you will want to decide whether funds are going to be prepaid or collected when goods are delivered. This is only in cases where you are selling something to raise money that is going to be ordered from a company, such as gift wrap, canned foods like coffee, nuts, chocolates, etc. Be sure that you are complying with all local, state and federal tax regulations and that you have proper permits for selling your goods in locations that may require permits to go door to door or sell on a street corner. Each municipality is going to be different.

Keep records of EVERYTHING. It is better to be safe than to be sorry. If someone loses their copy of an invoice, you will have a copy to back it up. If your sales taxes ever become an issue, your copy of all documents can keep you out of hot water later on.

If you are delivering goods, have a plan for damaged goods, returns and police in place. This will spare you a nightmare later on. A good plan will create a great fund raising event. Have fun!

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