Item donors are supporters who donate auction items for your event. They are listed in myBidPal Planner alongside other supporters like attendees and sponsors on the Supporter List, found under Supporters > Manage Supporters. Because item donors are supporter records in the system, they can be imported and updated the same way your attendees are. For details, please review how to set up supporters. Fundraising Suite customers can take advantage of enhanced management tools for item donors and donations as detailed below.
Please click on links below to jump to sections:
Receiving item donations from Giving Center
Tracking item procurement
Adding item donors
Managing item donors
Using solicitation status
Recognizing and thanking item donors
RECEIVING ITEM DONATIONS FROM GIVING CENTER
Your Giving Center can be set up so that visitors can request to donate auction items for your event. This is configured by going to Setup > Giving Center > Enabled Features tab and checking the box for "Online Item Donations."
Visitors looking to donate an item will register on your Giving Center site, immediately creating a supporter record with contact information for you in myBidPal Planner. If the Quick Links panel is enabled, prospective item donors can click on the "Donate Auction Items" link there. Otherwise, they may hover over the "Donate" dropdown menu and click "Auction Items" to open an item donation request form.
Here the prospective item donor will fill out Item Name, Value, and any relevant Details and then submit. This item donation request form will automatically trigger a notification email to the contact(s) you have set to receive Giving Center messages ("Email List for Giving Center Messages" found under Setup > Giving Center > General Settings).
Under Packages > Manage Items, a corresponding item will be added to your Item List based off the details provided by the prospective item donor. The Procurement Status on these online item donations is set to Requested, and the prospective item donor is already associated to the item for you. You may decide at this point how to follow up with the prospective item donor.
TRACKING ITEM PROCUREMENT
On your Item List, click Edit View Options and check the boxes for Procurement Status, Date Received, and Solicitor to display these columns. You can now sort your Item List by Procurement Status or Solicitor to see a full picture of your organization's progress on item procurement.
On individual Item Edit pages, your item procurement team can manually track Procurement Status, Date Received, and even the item's Storage Location as desired. If you are delegating the solicitation of specific items to certain team members, you may also assign an existing supporter record or add a new supporter as the solicitor on the Item Edit page.
Available Procurement Statuses include:
- Awaiting Pickup
- In Transit
For detailed, printable reports, check out the following under Reports > View Reports:
- Items and Packages section:
- Item Procurement Status - group item donations by current procurement status
- Item Storage Locations - group item donations by where they are stored
- Solicitors section:
- Solicitor Summary - which solicitors are responsible for which item donations
To get a refresher on the basics of importing and adding items, please review how to set up items.
Tip! Don't forget to package your items when you are ready for guests to start bidding or purchasing! Items must be assigned to a package in order for guests to see them on Giving Center or mobile devices. For help on item packaging, please see how to package items.
ADDING ITEM DONORS
As previously mentioned, item donors may be added or imported just as you would any other supporter.
If you have detailed item donors and items to import, we strongly recommend first importing your item donors under Supporters > Import Supporters. Be sure to include an "Attendee" column on your CSV import file and mark all item donors as "N" for any item donors who are not also attending your event; this will ensure that these item donors will not skew your Attendee count in BidPal.
Once your detailed item donors have been imported, we recommend next importing your items. With the item import you have the option to include a "Donor" column on your CSV import file; this column can be used to automatically associate imported items to your item donors!
If you plan to utilize the "Donor" column on your item import, first ensure donor names in the Donor column are formatted exactly as follows:
- For individual donors: <FirstName LastName>, e.g. John Doe
- For companies: <CompanyName>, e.g. BidPal
Imported items will automatically be linked to existing supporters whose names match up to the Donor column on your CSV import file. This name-based matching works for both people & companies as long as the formatting above is followed. Any entries in the Donor column that do not match to an existing supporter will create a new Person supporter and link that supporter as the item donor.
MANAGING ITEM DONORS
Items can be assigned to item donors in two ways:
From the item: On the Item Edit page, click the Assign Donor button to open a list of supporters. To assign an item donor, check one or more existing supporter(s) and click Assign, or click Add New to create a new supporter and then Save and Use.
From the item donor (supporter): On the Supporter Edit page, open the Item Donations tab and then click Assign Item. Check the box next to any desired items and click Assign to designate this supporter as the donor of these item(s).
Tip! Item donors can also be attendees at your event. Unless the supporter has separate contact information (e.g. address, phone #, etc.) to be used for correspondence in their capacity as an item donor versus an attendee, we recommend using a single supporter record for both purposes! Just be sure to check the "Attendee" role on the Details tab of Supporter Edit for your item donor to ensure your attendee counts are accurate.
Upon assigning an item to a donor, you will notice that the "Item Donor" role is automatically checked on the Details tab of Supporter Edit. If you wish to add prospective item donors who have not yet donated an item, you may simply create the supporter, fill out any relevant contact information, and manually check the Item Donor box to have that supporter included in donor-based reporting.
Once your item donor's supporter record is created and items are assigned, there are several fields to populate on the Item Donations tab:
Use the Donor Summary report under the Donor section of Reports > View Reports for a printable list of item donors with contact information and a list of donated items.
USING SOLICITATION STATUS
Your item procurement team may make use of Solicitation Status and Solicitation Notes to record communications with the supporter and his/her up-to-date item donation status throughout the process. Solicitation Status is fully customizable. Click "Edit Status Options" to add new statuses, update existing statuses, or reorder them as they appear in the Solicitation Status dropdown. Available default Solicitation Statuses include:
- Left Message
- Call Back Requested
- Check Back Next Year
- Do Not Solicit
Use the Donor Solicitation Status report under the Donor section of Reports > View Reports to group your current and prospective item donors by status.
RECOGNIZING & THANKING YOUR ITEM DONORS
When the item is assigned to a package, the Donor field on the package will automatically populate with the Donor Display Name(s) of any assigned items' donors. The Donor field will remain in sync with any changes made to the item donors as you add/remove items from the package and/or update the Donor Display Name on item donor supporter records. If you wish to use custom text instead that will NOT sync with changes made at the item level, click the "Use Custom Donor Text" checkbox on Package Edit > General tab and enter the desired text.
BidPal allows you to recognize & thank your item donors in several ways:
From the Item Details page on Giving Center: The Item Details page on Giving Center will show the Donor field from on Package Edit > General tab. If the donor of an item assigned to this package has a Donor Website populated on his/her supporter record, the Donor Display Name will appear as a hyperlink to the specified site.
From the Item Details page on mobile devices at the event: The Item Details page on Giving Center will show the Donor field from on Package Edit > General tab.
On tent cards & the auction catalog:
With personalized Thank You Letters & Item Donation Receipts: Use the Donor Thank You Letter and Donor Receipt Form reports under the Donor section of Reports > View Reports to thank your item donors and provide them with a receipt verifying their tax deductible donation. The Donor Thank You Letter's text can be customized under Setup > Preferences > Letters to add your personal touch:
For tracking purposes, you may also wish to mark which item donors have been sent their thank you and item receipt. Use the Multi-Edit functionality to add a send date for multiple item donors on your Supporter List at once, or add a send date for individual item donors from Supporter Edit > Item Donations tab. If you obtain new item donors who require a thank you letter and item receipt, you may re-run these reports and choose to filter so that the reports print only for "donors not marked sent."
Tip! If an item donor wishes to remain anonymous on Giving Center, mobile devices, and reports (including tent cards & the auction catalog), you may simply clear out the Donor Display Name field on Supporter Edit > Item Donations tab.