5 Small Changes That May Save Your Nonprofit Event

by Jill Boyer,  Dec 15, 2016 | TOPNONPROFITS

Every nonprofit event has some hiccups, so we’ve come to expect them.

But imagine if you didn’t have to stop five, ten, or a dozen times throughout your event to troubleshoot the guest list, or fix a data entry error. Imagine how much faster registration and check-out would move. How much of that time could be better spent giving the best service possible to your guests?

All it takes is a tiny bit more preparation, practice, and organization. Make these five small changes to your process, and you’ll find you can breathe much easier on the big night.


Maintain Physical Organization
Consistent organization for all your important documents sounds simple, but can be the difference between order and chaos.

So let your inner perfectionist out! Be meticulous about paper, and keep all like things in one place. Create an “auction binder” for all your event-related materials (for things like your contract with the venue, caterer contact information, your timeline, etc.). Store a hard copy of every ticket you sell, and every piece of guest information you collect over phone or email, and keep it in one place for future reference.

Keeping things organized is the easiest to start, and the hardest to remember as life at the office gets hectic. But prioritize it and you’ll no longer have volunteers asking a million questions on event night that they can find answers to in a box or in a binder. Order breeds order.
Practice Data Safety 
There’s one rule for data: treat it like you’d treat your big VIP donors. (Some of your data are VIP donors!)

Good data is a good event—it means fewer fires, fewer “special cases,” and faster movement at registration and checkout. So practice “data safety” with these rules:

Don’t rush yourself. Double-check all entered data against the physical record before pressing “OK.”
Data doesn’t track itself! Enter everything as it comes in, keeping things that have already been entered separate from the rest.
Keep physical records together and labeled, so you can find them again.

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