Getting ready to receive donations

Before your group jumps head-first into the world of fundraising, it will need to prepare itself to receive donations. Sticking money under the mattress just won’t do. Your group will need a system in place for receiving donations of both money and goods.

What to do before receiving donations

Get the ‘ask’ right

Plan the method and wording of your donation request. Make sure you know what you will ask potential donors, and how you’ll ask them.

Know your DGR status

Having Deductable Gift Recipient (DGR) status will allow your group to receive tax-deductible donations, but not every group is eligible for DGR status. Check the DGR Status and Donations help sheet for more information.

Decide what you want

Your group will need to decide exactly what it needs or wants to receive – monetary donations or goods? If it is goods your group is after, what type of goods would it prefer?

Know your target

Who will be your prime targets for donations? When making this decision be sure to consider what you are appealing for.

Decide how you will receive donations

Will people be able to donate to you by cheque through the post? By credit card? Through an online giving facility on your website? Through GiveNow? Do you have processes in place for receiving cash donations?

Whatever the case may be, make sure all donation receipt points are ready for use and that the relevant technology or personnel are in place to receive the donations.

What you’ll need when the donations arrive

If you are going to receive donations for your not-for-profit group then you'll need:

A receipting system

To allow you to takes donors' names and addresses (and email addresses, if you can get them), and can issue them with a receipt.

An accounting system

To make sure the receipted money is recorded, deposited, tracked, and accounted for.

A bank account

One that's protected by a requirement for at least two signatures to move or withdraw money.

A reply process

This process should ensure that anybody who's been generous to you is thanked, flattered, and, if possible, recruited into a permanent relationship with the organisation.

A database

One that stores all the detail you'll need to mail donors again later – including all the data on how much they've given and how often, and any other details that would help you with your appeals.

A budgeting system

That can tell you how much you've taken in and how much you've spent month by month and year by year.

A reporting system

This system should show the public what you've spent the money on, and how it helped people.

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