Did you recently agree to organize a fundraiser for your favorite non-profit? If so, then you need to get a plan in place for the upcoming event! Notion is a great tool to that will help you keep all of the event planning information in order.
What is Notion? Notion is basically a collection of blocks that you can organize in any which way you need. You can create task lists, simple tables, and even databases. I have been using it for years to keep my personal life and volunteer tasks organized. You can download Notion for free on Notion’s website.
This post is all about ways to organize a fundraiser with Notion
As I mentioned, Notion is FREE and so is the template that I have created for you! Trust me you won’t regret at least exploring this idea. You will first need to create an account at Notion.so, then you can download my template. If you want to learn a little about Notion before you get started, I would recommend the Thomas Frank Explains YouTube channel.
1. Set Goals for the Fundraiser
I have helped out with many fundraisers for a variety of organizations such as PTA’s, booster clubs, hospitals, community theater and more. It’s important figure out why your organization needs to raise money. Is it for new playground equipment, educational materials, scholarships, or something else? Knowing why you are fundraising with achieve two main purposes:
- It will keep your organization motivated while creating the fundraiser.
- It will help you explain to donors and sponsors why their contribution is vital to the organization
It is good to always have the goal in front of you and to break it down into a system of small goals. Remember to make it achievable and realistic.
2. Keep Track of a Master Task List
When you organize a fundraiser, there are so many different tasks to track. Notion is a great place to keep a master task list for your fundraiser. Once you have your tasks defined, you can setup views of tasks that are related to only certain parts of your fundraiser. For instance, if you are incorporating a silent auction & wine pull into your fundraiser, I would suggest tagging those task with a “Silent Auction & Wine Pull” tag.
If you are creating a social media campaign for promotion, setup a view for just the social media tasks. My template already has some basic views setup. However, you can change them to fit your particular event.
3. Keep Track of Donors and Sponsors
It is vital to keep track of potential and prior donors while you organize a fundraiser. They are a critical part of how you raise money for your organization. It is also important to keep track of how much they donated in the past.
Consider offering incentives to encourage people to donate. It could be a free t-shirt, a discount coupon, or special event access.
This template will give you a starting point on how you can start tracking your donors and sponsors. It also has the option built in for different sponsor levels if you choose to go that route. Your sponsor levels might have different names, but that is easy to change in the Notion template.
4. Track items for a Silent Auction or Wine Pull
Many of the fundraisers I have been involved with have some sort of a silent auction or wine pull/wall. For a silent auction, it is important to keep track of all of the auction items, who donated the item, the value, starting bid and bid increment. Similarly, for a wine pull/wall, you will also need to track the value and who donated.
Typically, the wines are all priced the same, so there is no need to track a price. If the auction items or wine bottles are donated, then you will need to keep track of the donors so you can send thank you’s after the event.
This Auction & Wine database is linked to the Sponsor & Donor database. So all of the donor names added on the Donor & Sponsor page are available with just one click on the Auction or Wine Donor Column.
5. Notion can Help Track Budget Income and Expenses
Every time you organize a fundraiser, you will need to keep track of your budget. All of your expenses such as food, event space, entertainment, invites, renting tables & chairs and more need to be tracked so you can effectively determine your profit.
Obviously, you will be tracking the money that you raise. However, if you don’t compare the money raised against the expenses of the event, you really don’t know if this event should be repeated in the future.
While you might choose to do this in a spreadsheet software such as Google Sheets, Excel or Numbers, you can definitely keep track of both in Notion. Check out the template to see if Notion will work for the task of tracking the budget.
6. Plan a Social Media Campaign for the Fundraising Event
It is important to make sure your audience is aware of your event. You will likely be creating posts and stories on social media. You might also have an email campaign. Planning this campaign out will help your event be more successful. “If you fail to plan you plan to fail.”
Ideally, use different channels to reach out to your target audience. Some of your potential audience might use email but no social media or vice versa. Remember to create a message that resonates with your target audience. Highlight the impact of their donation and how it will contribute to your cause.
7. Track Fundraiser Ticket Sales
You might choose to track your ticket sales through a specialized ticketing website such as Eventbrite. However, if you choose do it yourself there is a simple page in the template that will get you started. There are options for different ticket levels if you choose to go that route. If you only have one type of ticket, you can just delete the ticket level property in the Tickets Sold database.
8. Keep Track of Donor and Sponsor Thank you’s
It is extremely important to thank all of your donors and sponsors after an event. Notion is the perfect place to keep track of how many thank you notes you need to write, who is responsible for writing them and the status of each note. Thank you notes are a great way to build a relationships with your donors.
You might even keep their email address so you can update them on your the fundraiser’s progress. For instance, suppose you are a PTA that is raising money for new playground equipment. If you could email the donors and sponsors as you purchase the equipment and again email when it’s installed, it will help them understand the positive impact of their donation. l guarantee this will increase the chances of a repeat donation in the future.
9. Meeting Notes
As you plan your event, you will likely have lots of meetings with the key people that are making the event happen. Keeping notes on random pieces of paper or a notebook works can work relatively well. However, I have found when I keep my meeting notes in Notion, they are much easier to find. I spend less time searching for the note in a notebook and which buys me more time to actually accomplish necessary tasks.
This template is setup to show the meetings in a table view that is shown above. In addition, there is a calendar view if you preference to see all of the meetings in a calendar format.
Keep in mind this task list is part of a master task list. If you add a column related only to meeting information, you might need to hide that column in the other pages (i.e. Donors & Sponsors, Budget, Thank You’s, Silent Auction & Wine Pull).
10. Makes Transition Easier for Next Event Chair
When you organize a fundraiser with Notion, the transition is so much easier! All they need is a Notion account and you can share your page and they can copy to their Notion workspace. Better yet, if you setup the Notion account with an email that is related to your organization, they just need the username and password.
If you go the route of using an organization email, I would recommend making a duplicate of the main page before you start on the next year’s fundraiser. You you copy the main page, all of the sub pages are also copied.
Transition is so important. As you roll off your time as Event Chair, think how easy it would be if you could just share your Notion database with the incoming Event Chair. The new chair could even keep you as a collaborator and you could help her get the tasks setup for the next year’s fundraiser.
This post is all about organizing a fundraiser using Notion.
While Notion is online, it is a secure place. The only way for someone else to view your information is for you to share it with them. You might consider sharing the Silent Auction & Wine Pull page with the chairs to help them keep track of auction & wine donations. Then you can collaborate with these chairs seamlessly without having to search through emails.
The whole goal of the Notion template is to help make your experience of chairing a fundraising event more enjoyable. The more organized you are with this position, the more you can focus on the impact your organization can have in your community. I encourage you to check out the template to determine if it could help you while you organize your next fundraising event! If you don’t currently use Notion, click here first to download the Notion app.
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