SchoolAuction.net is a service of Northworld LLC, the premier provider of benefit-auction software solutions. Which is to say, we’re a software company who likes to help non-profits with their fundraisers.
Since the SchoolAuction.net Item Entry screen allows your team to track a lot of information about each donation, we often get asked by our customers if we have a special form that they can print to take with them when soliciting donations from local businesses.
The best form I’ve seen comes from one of our customers, though. I asked her for permission to share a version of it with you, and she was generous enough to say yes. Matter of fact, she gave me a few reasons why she designed it the way she did, and asked me to share that information with you, too. Here’s her advice:
First, you want to give the volunteers a checklist of the critical data you’ll need to enter into SchoolAuction.net. Especially the Fair Market Value - too often, our volunteers forget we need this, and I have to call the donor back. I’d rather get everything we need up front, so I included all of the critical fields from the Item Entry screen in the lower half of the letter.
Second, print your letter in two batches. One batch, you can print on regular plain paper - these are the ones you’re going to send in the mail. The second batch, print on two-copy NCR forms (you can have this done at Kinko’s). These you divide up between the volunteers who are visiting area businesses in person - they can fill it out with the manager right there on the store counter, and leave the top copy with them. It has the tax ID# on it, and so it works as a receipt. Of course, we also always send a thank-you note later!
Third, make sure you talk about why you are raising the money, and what you’re going to use it for, and then when you send your thank-yous after the auction, you can talk about what a success it was and refer back to your goals. This will help when you go back to them in future years.
Good luck, everyone!
I love Carrie’s letter, and am excited to share it with you. You can download a copy (it’s in MS Word format) by clicking here.