Paperwork can be overwhelming and sometimes scary. But it really doesn’t have to be. Just like in the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy was afraid of lions, tigers and bears until she met the cowardly lion.
Just like the cowardly lion, your paperwork can be helpful; you just have to treat it right.
Make it EASY for your staff to find your documents and information. If you manage a non-profit, dealing with the paperwork can sometimes make you feel like you are walking through a forest with Dorothy. There are volunteer liability release forms, vendor contracts, donor records, operations information and tax documents you need to retain for compliance. Trying to find an easy way to manage all that information does not have to be so challenging.
There is a great quote by Peter F. Drucker that says, “
Efficiency is doing better what is already being done.
” You probably know that there is a better way to manage your paper, but maybe you haven't found a solution that resolves all of the issues just yet. Here are a few ideas that may help you get more organized:
- When a volunteer completes a liability release form, scan the document and immediately create an electronic file using document management software that will store it by name, date, category etc. in an easy-to-use system.
- Need to have a quick way to look up what a donor contributed to your organization before making that follow-up phone call? If you store information electronically in a document management system, you can quickly access anything related to the donor by searching your records using only the donors name in your search.
- Want to make sure your documents are automatically retained for the legal required amount of time? Use the same solution for your records retention needs and it will alert you when retention dates have expired so you can easily dispose of any unnecessary documents that may clutter your system or increase your risk of audit and potential litigation.
- Have vendor service-provider contracts that need to be reviewed by multiple people in your organization, and signed by individuals outside of your office? An online document management system with version control and e-signature capabilities can help you automate the entire business process.
- When your volunteers or service-providers are working off-site collecting information for you, instead of having them mail, drop-off, or fax paperwork to your office, allow them the flexibility to upload a document into an online document storage system that they can access from the internet. That way you save on postage, time, and your forms are automatically stored in your secure electronic system.