Essential Ideas for Keeping a Non-profit Office Organized

NGO volunteers

True to their name, non-profit organizations tend to run on tighter budgets, which means that staff members must be resourceful and creative in keeping things organized and systematic. But just because you’re running on a shoestring budget, it doesn’t mean you need to let things go awry in your office or workstation. Here are some tips for keeping your office systematic and organized despite your limited resources.

Find discounted furniture and equipment

You might be surprised to know that plenty of organizations offer discounts on or straight-up donate computer equipment and furniture for non-profit organizations. Here are some of them:

  • Computer Recycling Center
  • CSR Eco Solutions
  • FreeCycle
  • Good 360
  • Green Standards

These organizations offer donated products, furniture, PC equipment they don’t need anymore. Some also give compute grants. Go through their application process and invite them to be part of the mission through giving and donating. Other places you can look include:

  • Craigslist
  • The Salvation Army
  • Goodwill
  • IKEA

These places may not necessarily give items for free, but you might find cheaper or more affordable deals in these stores.

volunteer talking with someone on a phone

Get rid of clutter

If you’re non-profit is just starting, you may not have this problem. But if you have been operating for a few years, now may be a good time to finally get rid of clutter in your office or workplace. Here are some tips to get you started on uncluttering:

  • Consider removing everything. The best way to start any uncluttering process is by starting from scratch.
  • Assess every item you come across. This could be a daunting task, but it will help you weed out those you need from those you don’t. Categorize everything into three piles: keep, junk, or archive. Once you’ve decided on what to archive, consider digitizing everything.
  • Consider re-arranging your entire space. If you find that your office tends to clutter immediately after you do a general clean-up, your layout may be conducive to mess.
  • Use shelves and dividers wisely. If your non-profit works with a lot of papers and documents, and you find that many of your team members throw items in drawers and let them stay disheveled and scattered, now may be a good time to invest in some affordable but durable dividers, folder, binders, boxes, and custom mailers. Buy in bulk so that you won’t have to keep paying for shipping fees and other hidden charges every time you order a new set.
  • Keep everything in its place. Doing a little tidying up every day can go a long way in keeping your office clutter-free in the long term.

A clean, minimalist, open, and clutter-free office can help you and your team stay focused, productive, and motivated to do your work. Studies show a correlation between too much clutter and stress, so if you want you and your team to always be at your best while fighting for your mission, start by cleaning and uncluttering your headquarters.

Mind your digital world

Your non-profit’s digital space needs to be just as organized as your physical space, especially since non-profits tend to deal with many financial transactions and sensitive information like the data of your donors. Consider investing in an affordable all-in-one management tool that can help you set up a website, your main contact database, payments, finance system, events platform, communications system like email, and many others. Some conveniences of an online management tool include:

  • Instant processing of donations, fees, and payments online
  • Setting up online calendars, reminders, event registration pages, and others
  • Improving member engagement and communications through automated newsletters, emails, and invoices
  • Building a professional-looking and easy-to-navigate website for visitors to go through
  • Maintaining a detailed database for contacts and donors
  • Providing you with accurate analytics, financial reports, and membership statuses and summaries
  • Saving you and your team resources like time and money by automating various repetitive administrative tasks

This may seem like a massive cost, but it will only cause you to spend in the beginning. This one-time expense can help you save a lot of money in the long run, and it will also provide convenience and assistance to your team so that your day-to-day operations can run as smoothly as possible.

Running a non-profit is a noble calling—and one that requires more than just passion. It also involves making sure everything is in its proper place and that the team works in the most optimal space imaginable. Remember to keep everything organized and systematic, and watch as your team grows in productivity and motivation.

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