After weeks and days of a winter that just won’t let go, nothing brings home the promise of spring and new beginnings than a smack in the head from the universe.
That’s right. I just got drop kicked into a hamster wheel of deadlines of Things That Must Be Done Now and true to my Number 1 Daughter DNA, I dug in and worked my tail off.
Until I fell off the hamster wheel.
Sidelined with a hoarse cough that racks my entire body, a pounding headache and the inability to remain vertical for any length of time.
And through it all, confident that everything going out will be killer.
Here’s the secret:
The slow death of a hamster wheel comes from smart organizational skills.
Need your latest 900 or audited statement? No problem.
What about the latest press pieces about you and work? Piece of cake.
And what if this proposal is similar to one you just wrote? Cut & paste.
A file on my computer named Knowledge Management is what keeps me sane. It keeps me nimble and quick to seize unexpected opportunities because I know where I can get my hands on what I need. Fast.
Here’s what mine looks like:
This is a big file. I keep current and prospective funders in here with a chronological list of proposals. I further break them into these categories:
Having all of your proposals filed accordingly creates a Swipe File for you – a place where you can lift, cut and paste text that you wrote for one funder that you could use for another.
Keep all of your pieces chronologically.
Keep a scanned copy of your materials here.
This is a great place to get quotes from .
Tip: Always ask and always follow up with a short list of bulleted points you would like them to speak to. Otherwise you will end up with something well intentioned but unfocused and often not useful.
Many of you have big files and store your work on other servers like Vimeo. If you are like me, you probably have a huge list of passwords because you’ve forgotten what it was and had to reset it.
Tip: TAKE THE TIME to note the new password in a secure file! You will save yourself so much aggravation by doing so.
This is a good place to store any kind of assessment tool you use like an audience survey, questionnaire, program evaluation form. You can also keep anything you find that you think works well here and adapt it.
I keep my mission statement, list of board members, data such as audience attendance, demographics or trends, a chronological file of audited statements and annual reports, one page fact sheet here. This is where I also kee
Tip: Keep your electronic signature here. It comes in handy when you are doing e grants or need to email signed documents and reports.
The key is to respect your information by updating and maintaining it on a consistent basis.
Believe me, all you need is your Knowledge Management file to slow down that hamster wheel to your own pace.
About the Author: Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer helps artists & creative people grow their careers with great grant writing strategies & mindsets she has developed over 15 years as an veteran grant panelist, grant maker & grant writer. Get her FREE Master Grant Strategy Worksheet and a weekly dose of insights from a grant reviewer’s point of view.