A while ago, I shared tips on how to build a staff process that people will want to follow. Because when you start getting overwhelmed with requests, a process is key to staying cool and organized.
We already did the first step of clarifying how these requests play out in our orgs today. We’ve got notes on everything that matters: the types of requests we get, the needs of our requestors, and our own team’s capacity. (If you haven’t read that first post, you really want to start here.)
Now that that’s done, we need to translate those points into a living, breathing process. That’s a pretty big leap, especially when you’re not used to doing it.
Whether your nonprofit is using it or not, let’s talk Google Forms for a second.
In case you’re not familiar, Google Forms is a survey app that comes with the Google Suite of products. Much like Google Docs and Google Sheets, it has its own place in the G-Drive and lets you easily build form surveys.
Google is not sponsoring this post. I’m not even claiming it’s the best survey tool out there. BUT, it’s worth highlighting for three very nonprofitty reasons:
It’s accessible. Even if your org doesn’t use Google products, you could sign up right now to build your first form with no fuss.
This means that Google Forms has many applications for our work, regardless of how large or technologically sophisticated the org. A simple tool that can do all the things? Prettyyyy cool.
It’s time for me to come clean, gang. For the longest time, I was not good about paid-time off (PTO).
It’s not like I don’t take my time. In fact, I’ve never let a single day expire. I’ve just been so disorganized about this in the past, that it was stressful even figuring out what to do with the time when I finally did take it.
If I haven’t said this yet, I believe all of us should use every last hour of our vacation time. For one, us workaholics need that time away to relax and reset. But more importantly, that’s time we’ve earned. This is part of our compensation, ‘money’ we’d be throwing down the toilet if we didn’t use that time!
What’s one thing that development staff, volunteer coordinators, operations managers, HR and Program people all have in common?
At any time, we can become our org’s database admin, too.
“Accidental admin” is the term we’ve lovingly coined to all the database managers who never signed up for this. Typically the consequence of multiple-hat syndrome, these are the nonprofit professionals who were standing closest to the system at the time when their org desperately needed an admin.
I’m reminded of this every time I sit with my boyfriend to talk job prospects. He’s smart, talented and dedicated, yet sometimes he’ll forget! The job search is that good at eating away at your confidence & optimism.
It also exacerbates real life stressors, stuff we all go through at some point – like financial stress, low self-esteem, imposter syndrome, and other fun things.
No one can make that stuff disappear. But there is a way to make this easier, and that’s by organizing your search activities.