For the past several weeks, I’ve been working on updating the historical society’s procedures and policies manuals. It’s tedious work trying to describe everything that goes on at the museum in a way that other staff will be able to follow, but it’s very necessary work.
I first created the procedures and policies manuals (3 of them covering financial, curatorial & research, and general procedures) back in 1999. When our accountant conducted our financial audit this year, one of the recommendations was to create a procedures and policies manual. The accountant didn’t think we had any and her mention of the matter reminded us that it was definitely time for an update.
While most of our procedures have remained stable over the years, the big difference between then and now is that most of our tax filings occur online. In fact, technology, in general, deserves its own section in the manual and will be added as I work on the updates.
The whole issue of creating policies and procedures manuals points to the complexity of operating a nonprofit organization. To stay effective, we have to concentrate on administrative tasks as well as historical ones, even though we prefer the history.