donation contact list building

Keeping a donation contact list of people who donated items to your fundraising event is key to making sure you can maintain the donation momentum year after year.  How do you do this?  What information do you need to keep?

  1. Names: Names are very important.  Are you contacting an individual?  Do they have a nickname they like to go by?  Are you contacting a business?  Is there one person who takes care of donations?  Who is your contact person?  Is there an alternate contact person?
  2. Addresses: This is very important in order send your letters.  Please note that mailing addresses and the place you might need to pick up the donation may be two different addresses.  Note both.
  3. Phone numbers: Is there a general phone number for a business?  Does the person you need have a private number or an extension?  Do they have a cell phone they would rather have you call?
  4. Fax numbers: You may never need it, but if they have a fax number, get it.  Letters get lost in the mail and they may want you to fax your request somewhere.  If you don’t have a fax machine, you can usually find them for use as public libraries and office supply stores.
  5. E-mail addresses: If you have an electronic letterhead and have a copy of the letter you sent them, you can e-mail them a copy.  You can also follow up with the person you are soliciting by e-mail, which comes in handy.
  6. Donation items: Note any items that the person or business has donated in the past.  This helps when making suggestions on what they should donate in the future.  You might also want to note the monetary value of the item and how much it sold for.

There are several ways to keep up with this information.  I personally like spreadsheets.  They are easy to sort, you can change information quickly, and it’s easy to pass on to the next person in charge of donations.  Another way is writing things on index cards.  There are also programs that allow you to build databases.  It’s up to you and your organization to decide how to best retain this information.  Next years auction chairs will thank you, one of the first documents they will be looking for is the donation contact list from last years event.

Have questions or need help building a donation contact list or planning your next fundraising event?  Contact us at

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