6 Things to Know When You’re New to Greater Giving
So now you’re a Greater Giving customer. Congrats! Or maybe you’re thinking of signing up, but haven’t made the plunge yet. Well, I’m glad I caught you now.
We know your time is valuable. To help you make the most efficient time investment in Greater Giving possible, we’ve compiled a list of the most important things for you to know, and the pitfalls to avoid—before you dive into preparing for your upcoming auction!
Keep your login information handy. And make copies!
The very first thing you should do once your sign-up with Greater Giving is complete? First, check your email, and look for a message titled, “Welcome to Greater Giving!”
Next, copy down all of the new login information—one copy for each person who may need to use the software, or who will be receiving financial statements.
Then, store the information somewhere safe, yet easily accessible. You’ll need all of it during the event planning process.
Train, train, train!
Stop! Drop! Roll! Before creating your first event project in the software, make sure you know what you’re doing.
We have tons of fantastic training resources available to you, and it’s all totally free, so don’t hesitate to sign up for a live training course. When you’re done with the basic lessons, you’ll have the knowledge you need to start out right.
Organize and condense your data.
One of the first things you’ll want to do when you log into the software is to import your organizational contacts into Greater Giving. That way, all your contact numbers, addresses, and emails will be ready and waiting for you to recruit volunteers and send out those first solicitations.
Before you import, sort all of your past donors, volunteers, staff, and event attendees into a single Excel file. If you have questions about how to do it, make sure to check the online help .
Orient yourself with the online resources.
At first, everyone wants to just “dive in” with Greater Giving, because it’s so user-friendly and intuitive. But don’t get too excited and start off on the wrong foot, or you may wind up fixing a lot of mistakes later!
Outside of our live training offerings, we also have a wide variety of on-demand, online resources to help you get started.
Get familiar with the vocabulary.
Here at Greater Giving, we’ve been specializing in auction event software for over 15 years. In that time, we’ve developed some specific vocabulary that you may or may not have encountered before. Once you start working on your event, you’ll understand why we make the distinctions that we do. Here are some basics to get you started:
- ITEMS are individual donations of any type—auction items, gift cards, decorations, even services. If you receive multiple items, enter each one separately, even if you think you’ll bundle them together later.
- PACKAGES are single items or bundles of items that you’ll put up for sale at your auction. (See the important distinction between “items” and “packages”?)
- DONOR is an important one! When we use the word donor, we mean someone who has donated an item to your event—whether that item is ending up as food on a table, or in a package in your auction.
- SPONSORS are your big dollar contributors, making large gifts or sponsoring your event. (Not to be confused with DONORS of items!)
- STAFF are your paid staff and your volunteers—anyone working on the organization side of the event.
- And last, but not least, BIDDERS are your event attendees.
Manage your expectations, and give yourself plenty of lead time.
The biggest challenge new customers face is getting data into Greater Giving in a timely fashion. Our general rule is to allow nine whole months for the event planning process—and use Greater Giving from day one, or you may wind up playing catch-up later. (Which is the last thing any event director needs in that final week!)
Data entry should move in lock-step with your event planning. If you receive a donation, put it into Greater Giving right away! Like any tool, Greater Giving can’t read your mind—and it certainly can’t do your data entry for you. But you’ll be grateful you did it when you print out those finished bid sheets, guest lists, and table settings.
Good luck! And remember that you can always contact our fantastic Client Services Team if you run into challenges along the way. Visit the help center to find out more.