There are times when sponsors simply don’t follow our recommendations. Either they think their way is better or they just don’t see the need. We recently worked with a small group on a discount card sale that was raising money to pay for equipment and travel expenses.
We emphasized the importance of using our discount card fundraiser tracking sheet as a sign out sheet for distributing their cards to their group. Each participant was told to put their name and phone number on the sheet along with the number of cards they were taking with them.
For example, if someone agreed to take 10 cards, they would document that on the sheet then bring back the money after a specified time period. If they then wanted additional cards, they would need to write down those cards as well. If any cards were returned, those were to be written down as well and then redistributed to other group members to sell. In other words, every discount card needed to be accounted for.
Why Fundraiser Tracking Sheets are Important
However, this particular group failed to use the tracking sheet and simply handed out their discount cards whenever people asked for them. As a result, they ended up having a big mess on their hands. It wasn’t because people didn’t turn in their money. The problem was no one knew who had turned in money and who hadn’t.
Money was unaccounted for and the sponsor still had cards out that he had not collected money for at the end of his sale. He didn’t even know who to attempt to collect from. Consequently he had no choice but to take people at their word. If that wasn’t enough, no one was told when to turn in their money so the fundraiser went on much longer than it needed to. He had lost complete control.
Did this sponsor eventually understand the value of the discount card sales tracking sheet? Absolutely, but was it too late? Unfortunately for him, the answer was yes.
Use your Tracking Sheet like a Checkbook
So how can groups avoid being in this same hopeless predicament?
- Use the tracking sheet like you would balance your checkbook:
- Write down the seller’s name.
- Get their phone number.
- Write down the number of cards that they take.
- Report the amount of money they bring back and note any discrepancies.
- Track additional cards that are issued. It is recommended that you only give out additional cards after all initial money has been turned in.
- Account for returned cards and redistribute to others to resell.
- Understand that your cards have a monetary value. Would you hand out money to people with no strings attached?
- Have a deadline date for turning in the money. Most groups can sell 5-10 discount cards in a week or less.
Keeping track of your discount cards may be a little more work up front but in the end you'll be glad you did.