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Case Study: Document Management in a Non-Profit Organization

  • Written by Blanka Smetana

Case Study: Document Management in a Non-Profit Organization | by Office EvolutionOn Friday morning, five board members of a not-for-profit organization sat down for a one hour meeting to review the organization’s financials and brainstorm programming ideas for the upcoming year. They had a great discussion and the secretary went home with lots of notes.

She transcribed the notes into the minute’s template and sent it to the chair for review who then distributed the document to the rest of the board.

 

This is a typical example of how the board communicated and how the documents were distributed. Each of the members had their own copies and no one knew for sure which version was the most current. It already seems as a dire situation, but let’s add another layer. Each executive member served in their position for two years and then either stepped down or moved into another position without any proper documents hand-off.

Every time such a transition happened, the board would discuss the same topics that had been reviewed a couple years back. The organization had intention to innovate and move forward, but was always pulled back to the starting line.

Need for a Centralized Document Storage System was Apparent

System that would allow all members easily access organization’s documents. Another important requirement was the capacity to add or remove members as they were joining or leaving the board.

There are many cloud based file hosting services to pick from. The organization chose Dropbox which runs on many operation systems, synchronizes across devices, and each folder can be shared by simply adding a registered member.

New member that joins the board can now review old meeting minutes and other documents to see where the organization had been and where it is going. All new documents are added to the Dropbox which allows the organization to have only one version of each document. No more duplicates, no confusion.

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