If one person will be entering all of your items, a stylesheet probably isn't necessary.
If you'll have a data entry team, creating a stylesheet will make their learning curve easier and ensure that your web catalog and printed materials have a consistent and desired look.
Note: whether or not you create a stylesheet, you'll want to preview your printed materials early in the data entry process to ensure you're getting the info/look you want.
Specifics to include on your Stylesheet:
1. Naming conventions for Items and Donors:
- How will you format couple/family donor names? Individual donor forms have first and last name fields. Two options for how to use these fields for your couple/family donors are: first name = Smith, last name = Family; first name = Mary and John, last name = Smith. Alternatively, you can enter these donors on the business form in a single field as straight text.
- How long (or short) should/can an Item Name be?
- When should the Donor's Name be included/excluded in the Item Name?
- Item Name format for gift cards/gift certificates?
- Which method should be used for entering items with multiple donors?
- What about items without an actual donor? (We recommend creating a "Friends of Your Organization" donor.)
2. Which of the optional Item fields do you intend to use? There are a number of fields that have no programming effect except to provide reporting/tracking ability to your team (eg. Ready for Print, Location, Solicitor). Ignoring those that won't be used can significantly reduce the data entry load.
- How important are images for every item? Will you be including them on Printed Description Sheets? How heavily will the web catalog be utilized by the public?
- If images are not provided by the donor, what is your protocol? Take your own photo? Search for a copyright-free image online?
4. How will you handle missing (but required) Fair Market Values? We recommend entering your best estimate. (Entering $0 or a placeholder number results in problematic min. bid amounts, as well as incorrect procurement and tax deductibility reporting.)
- How elaborate/detailed do you want item descriptions to be? Tone/Voice?
- Formatting guidelines? Note: formatting is only visible online, edits will not display on printed materials.
- Should general expiration statements ("Expires one year from date of donation/event date") be entered as an exact date? (Text entered displays on gift certificates by default.)
7. Gift Certificates:
- In addition to instructions for redeeming, what info should be included?