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 do you want couple/family donor names formatted? Individual donor forms have first and last name fields: first name = Smith, last name = Family? first name = Mary and John, last name = Smith? Or enter 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 org" donor)
2. Which of the optional Item fields do you intend to use? There are a myriad of fields that have no programming effect except to provide reporting/tracking ability to your team (eg. Ready for Print? Location Solicitor) Obviously, 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 to handle missing (but required) Fair Market Values. (We recommend entering your best estimate (entering $0 or a placeholder number provide problematic min. bid amounts, procurement and tax deductibility reporting if not corrected).
- 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) 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?