Goodbye: Closing out the Ops Blog (all 5 entries of it, oops) with a few final thoughts on what I’ve taken away from doing nonprofit operations (or a small slice of it, anyway). As part of my transition process, I wrote out a financial procedures manual for the incoming Finance person. I tried to boil down the big picture/higher level stuff and came up with the following points:
- Document well. Make backups anyway. In case something gets lost, having a second (or third) copy and a second (or third) plan keeps things running without dropping the ball. Multiple systems also provide multiple angles as a system of checks.
- Create checks and balances. Our finance system is designed to prevent theft from happening as a worst case scenario. We always have someone approve something before a financial transaction and no one should ever pay anything they approve. Likewise, if there are any problems as we innovate with the finance system, a system of checks and balances helps catch problems and blindspots as they arise.
- Keep it as simple as necessary and no simpler (Albert Einstein. Our Communications person is also fond of this saying). While we aim to have lean, efficient systems, we don’t want to remove anything that is necessary. Likewise, we realize there are no shortcuts, especially with documenting finances.
Hello: Tomorrow, I begin coursework for a Master’s in Secondary Education. To say I’m scared is probably a bit of an understatement. Today, I planned to start homework (2 pages on my relationship with math, which I am super excited to start writing), but was sidetracked (severely) by this amazing post on “Letters to a First Year Teacher“. So much good stuff. I wish I could print and memorize it all, but most of the teachers actually advise against that sort of thing. I think it would be awesome to write a Letter from a First Year Teacher at the end of the year. Note: that post, and this one from Dan Meyer, are lighting the fires of bloggerdom (what?!) within me. Make it happen, self.