Sad, but True: the Boring Stuff IS Important
One of the best things about the nonprofit sector is the nobility often that accompanies working for an important cause. Your work does not involve making disposable stuff, polluting the environment with by products or by-products; you are saving lives, making a difference. The importance of what you do needn’t be hobbled by pedestrian requirements such as financial reporting, staff manuals, and all the boring ‘business’ stuff.
I have heard this complaint too many times to count, and I do get it. Feeding the animals is more important than counting how many there are, getting volunteers to clean up the beach is more important that recording who, how long and where. But, but, but.
Yes, the actual work is the point, however once your work becomes more than a hobby, it IS a business. Those policies, manuals and records are now just as important as what you do. This boring stuff is how you do the important stuff.
Every Building Needs a Frame: Every Body a Skeleton
If you do not have a policy, you have no structure. If you do not have procedures, you do not have an infrastructure. Without those elements, ongoing effectiveness for the work you do will be limited.
The vision and the mission statements define you and what you want to achieve. How the organization plans to do this work depends on setting up a strong internal structure that allows efficient, effective operations. How you approach this is your policy; what is acceptable and desirable about how you work.
Many times the only time anyone has to look at these documents is when there is a problem, and by then it can be too late. Being sure this information is current and correct is similar to insurance, when you need it, you really need it.
Listed below are some typical contents for policy and employee manuals.
Policy & Procedure Manual:
· Organizational Structure: who reports to whom?
· Financial policies and accounting procedures: the money and where it goes.
· Staff & Administration policies: how and when things get done.
· Public policy and media policies: media is everywhere, who is in charge of this?
Employee Handbook/Safety Policy & Procedures:
· Expectations, responsibilities; rights and privileges for staff and volunteers.
· Basic safety information and emergency procedures, and resources.
· Operational procedures, paperwork and other filing requirements.
Get It Done: We Will Help
The good thing is that once done, and as with new batteries in the smoke alarm, an annual update will keep the structural work current and off your desk until next year. The exercise of preparing these statements, or reviewing and updating the, can be an eye-opening experience.
But you will know it is there and supporting you for the rest of the year, or heaven forfend, when you need it.
Does the prospect of doing this daunt you? Let us help; we are awesome at getting the boring stuff done quickly and simply with samples and templates to customize for needs.
Call now for a ‘once and done’ policy/procedure package to protect the work you do.