The fundraising industry is a very cyclical one. With the year coming to an end it is important to start thinking about your donors in more detail. Specifically, how can you make their lives easier now that their fiscal years are ending? Well in a little over a month they’re going to start getting their W-2’s, 1099’s and other forms that they’ll need to file their taxes in April.
Taxes are a big responsibility, usually with a lot of moving parts. It’s critical that your organization not be the one to throw a wrench in a donor’s potentially already complicated tax process. However, to leave it at that would be missing out on a huge opportunity. This is a great opportunity for you to accomplish some good old fashioned stewardship by actually making their lives easier come tax season. If donors have to go chasing down records of their donations to your organization they’re going to be annoyed.
This is where the Tax Summary report comes in.
While there is a canned report in Raiser’s Edge that is pretty simple to use, it is possible to create custom reports that feature an intro letter or your organization’s logo (which helps them associate you with the positive emotions of ease and convenience).
The more custom you can make these reports the better they will be, under one condition: They are accurate. If the reports aren’t accurate then you can have all the customization in the world and these reports will do more harm than good. You have to have a plan in place to ensure the accuracy of these reports.
The first step in this process is timely and accurate data entry, but there are more ways to get there! Periodically spot checking your reports against donor giving profiles will help you produce more accurate reports that make your donors’ lives easier and help you steward them for future fundraising!