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  • Tips For Simple Bookkeeping For Any Volunteer Fundraiser [Includes Ledger PDF]

Are you a volunteer tasked to sell candy bars or gift wrap for a sports team or class? You’re not alone! According to PTO Today, school groups raise more than $1.5 billion annually from informal fundraisers.

But while it might be super simple for you to convince others to buy snacks, candy, or gifts, it’s easy to forget or downplay keeping track of your sales.

Here is a simple ledger system and sample you can use for any product based fundraiser to keep track of your sales.
Tips for fundraiser bookkeeping and ledger

>> Click here to download fundraising ledger.
Looking for more printables? Click over to our fundraising checklists.

1. What a ledger should contain and why

Ledgers are a table or sheet that tracks what products you are selling and for how much. It really just needs the following elements:

  1. Date
  2. Customer
  3. Purchased items
  4. Purchased items cost
  5. Total purchase from customer

Those basic elements will allow you to keep track of how many of each product you have sold, for how much, to whom, and when. It is important to know the latter (to whom and when) in case you have any trouble with your bookkeeping later, and to keep track of which customer likes which products (to advise your future sales events!).

Also read: Start Your Fundraiser Right By Setting Clear Goals

2. Extra ledger line items that can help your cause

Along with this basic data, a few additional line items are recommended.

  1. Who is the fundraiser? Attach a name to each ledger sheet, to make it easy for your fundraiser coordinator to keep track of who sold what items, to whom, and when. This is also helpful if you are leaving a box of candy in the break room or passing it around silently at a meeting, so that your coworkers know who they are supporting.
  2. What is the date of the overall fundraiser? It is a best practice to note when the fundraiser started and what the deadline is for sales, for your own sales reference! This is not a critical element, however, if your group does not have a formal deadline.
  3. What is the fundraiser for? Again, if you are passing around your treats during a boring work meeting, or passing around the ledger as a sign up sheet for orders of products, you want your coworkers or purchasers to know what the funds are supporting! Generally these products are overpriced above consumer levels, but people like to support each others’ kids and causes. Linking to that cause can boost more sales.
  4. What is the overall fundraising goal? It is always great to keep your project in context, of how you are helping a bigger cause!
  5. What is the fundraiser’s personal goal? At the same time, we feel much more useful and complete when we have small goals as part of larger goals and can see our progress toward attaining them. In the attached sample, if you are not a math or spreadsheet wizard, the percent toward goal formula is the wholesale cost divided by the fundraiser goal.

Also read: Peer-To-Peer Fundraising – New Trends And What They Mean For Your Nonprofit

3. Do you need to know the wholesale cost?

Not necessarily. Often fundraisers are not involved in the wholesale costs, but are asked to purchase a kit from the fundraising coordinator and make back their purchase price by selling the products. It can be helpful to know, however, what the school or community group paid for the kits themselves as a wholesale price so that you know what your fundraising contribution is!

4. Other tips for your bookkeeping

  1. If a customer purchases several items, list the different products out on individual lines. For example, if she purchases 3 chocolate bars, 2 gift boxes, and 8 lollipops, put the chocolate on one line, the boxes on another, and the lollipops on a third. Then use a fourth ledger line for a customer total. This can help you tally up the purchase total and also keep track of items in your care.
  2. If you are leaving the box of goodies in a break room as an honor system, make sure you make the guidelines clear at the top of the ledger sheet. “Please note the item you are selecting, your name, and the date.”Then follow up personally with each coworker. You can even bill with PayPal or another online system if you ask for emails! The ledger can then just be a tally sheet for you to keep track when you fill in the totals for each customer and collect payments.
  3. You can easily use an app like Google Sheets on your smartphone for the entire process.

In sum, it is easy to keep track of your fundraising sales! Keep a simple record to stay organized throughout the process, and totaling up your amazing sales stats at the end of the fundraising period will be a breeze.

Source: PTO Today.

>> More about Product Fundraisers
>> 101 Fundraising Ideas!
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