So you went through the interview process and got the job of your dreams! You’re going to be working at a nonprofit where you have a deep connection with the mission and will be surrounded by other like-minded colleagues. You walk in on your first day and think to yourself, where do I start? You ask your colleague for a login to your database may receive one of the following answers:
Your database is your organization’s history book. It’s the place where all of your institutional knowledge is stored and can be passed down from one colleague to the next. However, it’s only valuable when used properly.
Here are two facts we need to accept. 1) No one expects you to remember every donation and every conversation you’ve ever had with a donor/member/volunteer. 2) You will most likely not be in the same position at your organization in 50 years. Maybe not even 10. Do you think your organization will still be thriving at that time, so what you’re doing today will be important?
The data you track today will impact your organization tomorrow.
So what kind of data is essential for a smooth transition?
And what is nice to have?
Making these different data points as specific as possible, and using as many different tags as possible, allows you to run reports more easily. It also allows your successor to dive right into the data and start making appointments or strategies as soon as possible.
But Samantha, you say, I don’t have TIME to enter all of this data! I’m only one person! If you are able to delegate to anyone else, I would recommend handing off anything besides the touchpoints. Those are best from your point of view and best completed immediately after your meeting. Then, think back to when you walked into that dream job on your first day—what kind of resources do you wish you had?
Written by Samantha Shirley, Director of Business Development