The significance of #GivingTuesday has brought together the unique power of nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals to encourage small and amplify small acts of kindness. #GivingTuesday has touched the lives of many in the past seven years. In fact, your organization may already be working on your plans for this year’s #GivingTuesday!

Organizing a fundraiser is no easy feat, especially in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Planning an event or charitable initiative can quickly become a stressful task, but by no means does it have to be! Use the following tips and tricks to plan your next fundraiser as smoothly and stress-free as possible:

Start Planning Early

Leaving anything to the last minute is sure to cause a ton of unnecessary stress. By allowing yourself ample time to smooth out all of the details, you’ll be sure to be cool, calm, and collected by event day (or so we can hope). In order to host a successful fundraiser, you’ll need to put in a great deal of planning. We recommend starting approximately four months before event day, and creating a weekly planning calendar. Laying out your tasks on a week-to-week basis will ensure that you don’t forget any of the important details, and that nothing gets forgotten! Creating a scheduled to-do list with plenty of time to complete each item will significantly reduce your stress levels.

Automate Anything you Can

With the rising popularity and reliance on technology, there seems to be an online resource for almost any aspect of event planning! Why put extra effort into tasks that can be completed in a click of your computer mouse? Anything from task management to music playlists can be accomplished online. Even event registration and donation management can be taken care of through this online platform! Using your online resources can cut down the time spent on each task and minimize room for error.

Stick to a Budget

Perhaps one of the most stressful components of planning a fundraiser is managing a tight budget. After all, you want to have funds left to donate to your charitable cause of choice when all is said and done! From the start of your planning, create a rough budget that you can adhere to when contacting vendors. Be sure to document all of your expenses (no matter how big or small) in a spreadsheet! Even the smallest of costs can quickly add up to more than you might expect, so leave room in your budget for the unpredictable.

Communicate Effectively

When you’re not communicating effectively with your planning team or group of volunteers, a lot of unnecessary stress can quickly ensue. Make sure to establish a point person for all tasks, and create a shareable document of each person’s responsibilities. That way, there’s no confusion as to who’s in charge of specific tasks. What seems like a small task now could become a huge problem if you don’t have a coverage plan! On the day of the event, make sure the entire team is aware of how you will be communicating. Will you be chatting via walkie-talkies, iMessaging, or a messaging app? A back-up method may be required if the internet goes down.

Follow Up and Review

When your event is over (hopefully with minimal stress) take note of what worked and what didn’t. This can be incredibly helpful to planning your next event, by indicating what can become more effective the next time! If you set fundraising goals, did you meet them? It’s often helpful to create an online survey to send to your attendees. It’s a great way to get feedback and insight from your guests to utilize for your next event!

The next #GivingTuesday is right around the corner. Start planning your event now!