Author: Services in Action

Building an Incinerator

We’re turning our attention to AFSCO and a project they have been asked to support. 

The African Friends Service Community, (AFSCO) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving their community. AFSCO is lead by Bampalana Mohammed. He has devoted his life to helping others, especially orphaned and vulnerable children. His Facebook feed tells the story of a passionate and endlessly caring person, with a few breathtaking photos of the Nile.

Recently, a local school asked AFSCO for help. They need an incinerator.

Nakanyonyi Primary School is located in Jinja, Uganda. The school opened in 1959 and currently has 2267 students enrolled; 1044 are boys, 1223 are girls, there are 43 teachers, and 20 support staff.

The academic performance of girls is affected by menstruation. Girls often miss school because dealing with their period is more difficult outside of their home. Like all menstruating people, they are asking for privacy, a clean space, running water, and discretion. The bathrooms at the school are latrines, without running water. The administration believes the best way they can support the girls at their school is having an incinerator for them to use, near the bathroom, to dispose of their menstrual products discretely and hygienically.

The construction of an incinerator is part of a larger project to improve menstrual hygiene and hand washing for the students.

The construction of the incinerator is approximately $3,000.00 USD. Or $2.45 per female student.

I encourage you to get to know AFSCO and consider helping them help the girls of Nakanyonyi Primary School.

2021 Book Club For Nonprofit Professionals

We are launching our first ever book club.

Joining the book club is simple. Get started by sending us a message to let us know you’re here, buy or borrow the books, and get reading. Since we are in different time zones and have complicated schedules, we are going to participate in a conversation throughout the month, rather than at the end, using a Facebook Group. We will all be able to post replies and comments as we work through the books together.  

The books will be:

At Services in Action, our mission is to help nonprofit professionals find the information, resources, and tools they need to serve their community well. So, it seems fitting to build up nonprofit professions through the challenge and development offered by books. Individually we can learn and growth, and together we can learn to apply these lessons to our service.

Join us on this journey. I’m not sure where exactly it will take us, but it wont be in the same place we are right now.

Storing, Retaining, and Deleting Files

Should it stay or should it go?

Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at the management of files. We’ve looked at how to organize them and what to label them. Now let’s turn to storing them.

A record is a file, photo, video, -anything that captures information. Sometimes they matter and sometimes they don’t. Knowing what to keep is an important part of a well-organized filing system, which is essential for not duplicating work, improving organizational memory, organizational knowledge, and being able to tell the complete story of a project, event, program, or system. 

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Miscellaneous is not a category

Last week’s blog outlined six steps to organizing a desktop. The steps begin by identifying the different themes of your work. Each theme is a category. When each category has been identified, two things must be true.

  1. Each category must be mutually exclusive. That means it only contains the information about one subject. It must be exclusive from the themes of other folders.
  2. Each category must be collectively exhausted. That means that every file belongs somewhere. If there is a file that doesn’t seem to belong anywhere, then there are not enough categories.
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The Ambiguity Effect

When something is ambiguous, we avoid it. Things that are hard to tackle seem overwhelming. This can be true in life with the big decisions and the small tasks. It can also be true of your desktop and inbox.

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Planning through a Pandemic

2020 is a different kind of year, and that takes a different kind of planning.

In the past ten years, I have had a lot of simultaneous priorities. Getting derailed and having to switch gears drastically seems to be my only constant. Back in March, I felt almost prepared for that massive upheaval we all went through.

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Is Work From Home Invading Your Living From Home?

Balancing the benefits and drawbacks of working from home is tricky. One drawback is the clutter of work is still visible once you’ve ‘left the office’. Clearing your office situation at the end of each workday is an important action in switching work off.

But where do you put the documents generated throughout the day? The solution to clearing work clutter does not necessarily require an elaborate filing system that mimics the one in the office. It is enough to have just one folder.

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Working From Home, With Kids

We have all been launched into a new way of living, but it means something different for each one of us. In a way, it has exacerbated each of our individual situations. Some are bored and restless; others are busier than ever.

And for many of us, this means working from home in the same space as their family. I have spent the better part of the last 6 years trying to figure this out and have learned a lot along the way. Here are my lessons:

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