Coord 227: Tracking Donations

Volunteers are the backbone, muscles, and lifeblood of the organization, and so, we must make sure that they get properly rewarded for their efforts. Whether the effort is part of an on-site charity drive, the simple act of dropping off a pack of pencils from a Storytelling team, or a longer-term drive such as blood donations, there are a few strategies that can make your job and the members’ much easier.

Setting up the Database

Given the increasing prevalence of digital devices like laptops and tablets, it is much easier to maintain a database in real time. Cloud based backups make this even easier. Remember, once upon a time — but not that long ago — spreadsheets were available only to those who owned office software. Now, we have Google Docs and Spreadsheets.

If your Domain does not  have a dedicated Coordinator Google account, get one. It is the responsibility of a Coordinator to pass on all documentation to the next coordinator and this is by far the easiest way. Just make sure that if a document is not created by the Coordinator account, it is shared with the Coordinator account.

All of these documents can be neatly organized into monthly folders in Google Drive, along with any receipts that may be required as proof of purchase or donation.

Google has some very fine tutorials and support documents (HTML tag #tutorial)

http://www.google.com/drive/using-drive

https://support.google.com/docs

If you’re interested in a video, here is an excellent one:

http://youtu.be/i125gM-UAoY

Storing Submitted Prestige Responses

If you are collecting Prestige submissions online and need to collect pictures of submissions, the easiest thing to do is to make a Prestige folder in your Google Drive. These records can be kept with the database in the same folder, or in an adjacent folder, depending on your preferences.  Inside the folder ,you can collect the submissions that are e-mailed in and name each file with the member name, Cam number, and submission details. This is highly suggested for Regional and National submissions that need to be sent up the chain.

On Site Tracking

When creating a spreadsheet — even if you plan on printing it off and having members write down their donations — don’t forget to include the following: Name, MES number, Date, Description, Award, as well as exact details on what has been donated. If you can keep a laptop or tablet in the out-of-character room, you can simply copy and paste this information into your Domain Report. Just remember, you’ll want to paste the information as plain text, as tables do not fare well over the e-mail server when you go to turn in your report.

Here is an example:

Busytown Domain School Supply Drive, March – April 2014

Name

MES Number

Date

Item Donated

Category

Award

Jane Smith

US200512346

March 2014

5 reams of paper to Busytown Elementary

Social/Non-Game Support

10 G

Joe Smith

US200512345

March 2014

4 12 packs of #2 pencils to Busytown Elementary

Social/Non-Game Support

8 G

John Carpenter

US200412345

March 2014

2 electric pencil sharpeners to Busytown Elementary

Social/Non-Game Support

20 G

Whether or not this is done on a tablet or laptop, remember to check that the totals are accurate, because the last thing we want is for a member to lose Prestige when the member’s log goes to be audited for their next MC!

Monthly Reporting

Some charity drives don’t require a central collection point, which can be easily tracked by the strategies above. Some members may be proactive, dropping off receipts to the coordinator at game, or e-mailing a copy of the receipt to the coordinator — or, of course, the “I Donated!” sticker from the Red Cross.

To help others, who might not be so proactive, use of another Google service is extremely helpful. This time, a Form may come in handy. (For more information, see above. [link to anchor point HTML tag #tutorial] )

For example, take a look at this example: Anytown Monthly Prestige Claim live form. This enables the members to quickly put their information into a central location — here — that the coordinator and any assistants can easily drop into a monthly report after adding the prestige amount in columns H, I or J (marked in green) .

*Sidenote: If you would like a copy of this form please email standards@mindseyesociety.org with your request!

Tracking and Reporting Regional & National Donations

While there may be a few different ways individual Regional and National drives are carried out, these things do need to end up in your monthly Domain report. You’ll need to be perhaps a bit more detailed than for local drives, but including the month, name, MES number, items donated. You do NOT award a Prestige total, only recommend the items to Regional or National.

For example, these things would be in your Domain Report :

Recommendations to Regional

==========================

Great Lakes Book Drive

William Smith US200123456 Donated 6 hardcovers to Anytown Public Library 2/15/14

Michael Smith US200123456 Donated 3 DVDs, audiobook and 5 paperbacks to Anytown Public Library 2/15/14

Recommendations to National

==========================

Andrea Smith US20051234 Red Cross Blood donation, Anytown United Methodist 2/15/2014

Sylvia Julius US20051235 Red Cross Blood donation, Anytown United Methodist 2/15/2014

Bruce Marcia US20061234 Transport two members to Red Cross blood donation (Andrea Smith US20051234, Sylvia Julius US20051235) Anytown United Methodist 2/15/2014

In Conclusion

The most important thing a Coordinator can do is continue to experiment with different methods for tracking item donations, adapting them to what works for the Domain and finally passing on this knowledge to future coordinators. Why do all this work only to have the next guy start all over again?