Now is the Time to Plan for End of Year Reporting
A little advance planning can spare your organization a lot of headaches at year end.
Now is the time! We are entering September and we all know that from the beginning of October through mid-January is just a crazy time for all of us both in fundraising and in our home life. Now is the time to set aside a few hours to pull out your end-of-year business processes and review them. Often these documents need to be updated. When you start reviews earlier, you have the time, and often the patience, to think through everything that needs to be done.
Some of the things this document may outline are:
- Who will get the end-of-year tax receipt.
- What will be the minimum giving amounts to show in the document?
- Is the text being printed still correct for the organization? (You should do a preliminary pull and print some samples for review.)
- Do you have enough letterhead in stock for printing year-end tax receipts?
- Are there any new flags or custom data fields that need to be created for the new year?
- Are there flags or custom data fields that are no longer need to be active?
Checking all of this in advance will make the final run in mid-January much less stressful for all involved.
Also, organizations like to create some new general appeals such as White Mail and Acknowledgment Income to ease the tracking of annual giving into those giving areas. Rollovers are created for older appeals allowing scanned documents to continue to be processed. We have organizations that add up to 50 new appeals annually. Having all of that decided early and assigned to the appropriate staff and outside consultants allows everyone to set their schedules in advance. Again, another way to prevent last-minute stress.
Do you have automated scheduled appeal pulls that need to be updated at year-end with a new Appeal-ID? Get ahead of the game by taking an inventory of your automated processes and schedule those needs in advance with all parties involved.
Once you have updated this year-end document, it is a great time to distribute it to all parties who have action items assigned to them within. This includes sharing with us at Aegis if we too have assignments within, so our staff have your needs scheduled based on your expected timelines. Trust me, after over 35 years in the industry I know that by doing this early you will be much happier by the results.