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Hi John
Firstly thanks for putting this out there , we have been involved with people that have just had no idea about these things.

You are right steve about documenting your process - this can and will make a big difference

John Kenyon

Thank you Brendan for sharing and for your comments! I agree about nonprofits having a way to not loose a process when they loose staff. I am always preaching about the "rule of three" to never have just one person that know how to "X", i.e., do a segmented email blast, pull out a lapsed donor list, etc. Great points!


(have been sharing this link furiously as of late!)

Adding to Steve and John's point, all too often there are times when the software providers are the last ones to find out that an NPO is in need of a tool that already exists in the current software, but the NPO looks elsewhere before asking their current software providers if that tool is already in their arsenal and at their disposal.

It seems keeping the lines of communication open between internal staff of a nonprofit organization and the software providers needs to be more of a priority. This allows for the all-important 'client needs management' as a necessary piece to establishing a mutually beneficial partnership between the NPO and their software provider.

Also, beyond the topic at hand but related, a quick or abrupt loss of staff/leadership continues to be an Achilles heel for so many NPOs in managing their efficiency -- both operationally and technologically. It would be great to see more content developed by the community stressing the importance of NPOs developing their own internal processes and procedures guides according to how they use their software.

In most situations, it is best to do this from the very beginning when staff encounters these types of organization-specific processes for the first time. This will allow the process to be duplicated the next time around with minimal (or at least less) effort. No need to re-invent the wheel every time that gala event or annual campaign comes back around each year.

As always, looking forward to the next post. :)

John Kenyon

Right on Steve! Documenting use and needs is a very smart thing to do - how many times have we heard "we can't do that" when the software can, in fact, do that! Great point, thanks!


Rock on John! Well said. As Beth or others would say, "Free like Kittens, not Free like Beer."

My other question back would be, Have you documented your processes enough to know you are using the software correctly and matching your business needs?

Often our software problems stem from either not knowing what our existing tools can do and not having strong business practices.

Anyway, nicely done.

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