Category: Resources

Support for Nonprofits

Survey time!

The open ended, tell-us-what-you’re-thinking kind.

Much of the resources we create come from nonprofit professionals asking us for help. I love getting questions like “what is the best project management software?” or “I want to start a charity; how do I begin?” or “we need someone to take a second look at our website/fundraising plan/communication piece. Could you do that?”

If you can have one thing to make your job easier, either just for today or overall, what would it be? What do you need help with?

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Curated Resources

This Thursday, February 25th is Digital Learning day. While the digital world has presented many new ways to facilitate learning, there are many aspects of the digital world that can inhibit learning. One aspect we frequently come up against is wading through endless streams of information that isn’t quite what we’re looking for.

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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:

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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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Back to School for Nonprofit Professionals

A great way to get the training you need, as you complete work projects.

 
There are so many resources to help nonprofit professionals learn a new skill.
 
The Center for Sustainable Development is one such organization. What’s unique about their approach is they teach learners using their own work projects. For example, if you need to learn how to build an AdWords campaign for your organization, the online course at CSDi will teach and guide you step-by-step to build your organization’s AdWord campaign. So in the end, you will have a certificate for the online course and have completed your project.
 

CSDi offers many great online courses. Visit their website for the full list, <http://nonprofit.csd-i.org/>.

Optimizing Search Engines with Information Management Principles

 

Is SEO just information management? Well, maybe not quite, but it sure helps!

 
For the past few months I have been working on a lengthy search engine optimization (SEO) project and as an information guru, it has been truly fascinating!
 
The job of a search engine is to respond to a user’s query with a list of best and most appropriate websites. Search engines evaluate websites based on certain criteria such as content, URLs, headings, site speed, responsiveness, and history. For a website to be viewed favourably by a search engine, its data needs to be kept clean, tidy, and well organized. Each page, post, or image must be categorized and labelled properly. Anything stale, outdated, or unused must be removed. An SEO checklist for website is enormous, but it reflects the best practices for managing information.
 
Here are a few tips to both manage your websites information and optimize search engines:

  • Each web-page should be relevant, useful, and fresh, and have appropriate titles and tags.
  • Irrelevant, out of date, or incorrect information should be deleted.
  • All links must work. All external links should be checked periodically to ensure they are still appropriate.
  • All images should provide informative metadata.
  • Use categories and tags correctly.
  • Know your organization’s keywords and ensure your website supports them.

 
SEO, like information management, is an ongoing process, they both require regular maintenance, and nothing should be categorized as ‘miscellaneous’.
 
If you are interested in learning more about SEO or managing information, contact me and I will send you some great resources!

Be a Curator of Information

How do you stay informed?

 
If you are responsible for being an expert about a specific topic it is very important to stay informed on that topic. How do you do that? You can curate information using Google Alerts. By using this feature you will receive a message when content you have tagged as important is published online.
 
Catch all important updates using Google Alerts. Use your existing Google account or sign up for a new one, (you can learn about their policies here). Go to www.google.ca/alerts <https://www.google.ca/alerts>.
 
Create an alert using any relevant words including names of people. You can use Boolean operators as well. For example, if you want to receive an alert for the word “information”, “inform”, “informed”, or “informing” you can enter “inform*” the asterisk captures all words that start with those letters.
 
Settings wheel:

Set delivery time: This is a handy way to manage the emails. Rather than getting a message whenever content is published, you can have one message sent with a list of each piece of content. You can also set the time you want to receive the content.

Digest: Receive all alerts in a single email. (This will abbreviate the list, you may miss content)

Flag as irrelevant: If you need to search a word like “senior” you will receive alerts for a number of different uses for that word, for example both elderly people and people in their last year of US high school. Use the flag as irrelevant option to customize your alert.

How do you evaluate?

I had an interesting conversation with someone recently. They ask if they could tell me honestly what they thought about a project I’d poured myself into for the better part of a year. I said yes because I (want to believe) am open to criticism. The feedback was not too kind, but very thoughtful. I very much appreciated all they had to say. I wrote down all of their critiques and feel I honestly considered each point.

 

Evaluation is so important to success. It has to be critical and analyze the merits and faults of the work or project. How do you analyze, edit, or critique your work?

 

Here are some great resources to guide critical evaluation: