I have been working for a non-profit organization for just over 2 months now and it has really opened my eyes to how time consuming processing donations can be. Non-profits depend on these donations to keep their organizations alive and running and the donors depend on getting that tax receipt for the end of the year.
Because most of these organizations are living on the bare minimums they most likely only have one or two people processing these gifts. This can take a lot of time, especially at the end of the year when everyone is trying to get in last minute donations.
Here are a few tips to make this process run a bit smoother for both the donor and the processing officer so you get your tax receipt that much quicker.
Use the donation card: If you receive a card in the mail, please use it. Sending just a check in an envelope with limited information can be very difficult, especially if you have never donated before. We strive to get all of your information correct in our systems to make sure you are properly thanked and receive your tax receipt promptly.
Handwriting: We understand that everyone does not have perfect handwriting, however if we can not read what it is you have written to us, we could make a mistake. This is especially true if you would like us to send a card in honor of someone. If we cannot read the name it may be impossible to do that.
Details: If this donation is for something specific or you would like us to send a notification to someone on your behalf, please provide the proper information. This includes: full name and address. We do appreciate everything you do, and can understand you may be in a hurry when sending out your donation, but the process goes much quicker and more accurate if all the information is there when we receive your donation.
Credit card information: If you decide to send us a credit card to use, please make sure you give us all of the information. We need the full card number as well as the expiration date. It is clearly marked on the donation card what is required. Going back to the handwriting category, this would be another area to make sure you are writing clearly.
Patience: We love each and every donor who donates to our organization, and we understand you may get concerned that you have not received notification from us right away. We ask that you have confidence and patience in us, as we are trying to weed through and decipher numerous donations on a daily basis. We strive to get your acknowledgement out promptly, but there will be times where it may take a few extra days.
I think I have covered the basics here. A few steps to make your donating experience a pleasant experience. The more information you can provide the better. We are happy to go out and look for this information for you, but this will push back the time it takes us to get your tax receipt out to you.
I hope this was helpful to anyone out there who makes donations, or someone who is debating making a donation.
Let me know if you have any further tips in the comments!