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A volunteer treasurer’s role can be both varied and challenging, and while your position can be as unique as the company you work for, all volunteer treasurer positions have one particular thing in common. It is important that you are organised and stay on top of your workload at all times.

While there are many positions where it is okay to fall behind or to have a week’s backlog of work sitting in the in-tray, a volunteer treasurer’s work can suffer if that happens on a regular basis. People look to the treasurer to be able to provide accurate information, and if there are a pile of receipts or invoices to be processed, the work will be far from accurate. As the position can be stressful, falling behind can only serve to heighten any anxiety, particularly if there are deadlines to meet.

As a volunteer treasurer, the transfer of money coming in and money going out is your responsibility. If there are any discrepancies, the blame will fall on you. You must be vigilant when it comes to the deposits and withdrawals and confirm that everything is as it should be.

Paperwork should always be filed before completion dates, and as NFPs rely on grants and are offered special dispensations by the government, everything must be done in a timely fashion. Falling behind on important deadlines can have huge repercussions.

Management will rely on your budget as a guide. If your actual budget is not accurate, then poor financial decisions may be made.

Failure to stay up to date, particularly when your tenure is at an end, will be a nightmare for the next person who takes over the volunteer treasurer office. Everything will need to be up to date to enable a smooth transition.

A volunteer treasurer plays an important part in sustaining the future of the nonprofit and ensuring it meets its goal and mission. There is no room for disorganisation anywhere in the skill list.

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Even the world’s best collaborators sometimes need some time to themselves. Alone time, whether it is at home or at work, is almost impossible to come by, unless you have your own space. These days office environments are often geared towards lots of communication between colleagues, with individual cubicles being dismantled in favour of open plan offices where everyone can be a part of the team. This is great in theory, and most people prefer the democratising and social benefits of the shared space. But what are you losing if you give up your personal space?

Having your own space makes a big difference to the way you think and feel. While nothing new is created in a vacuum, people often need time and space to themselves to come up with original ideas, or solutions to problems. Having personal space allows for deeper relaxation and greater concentration, both extremely helpful mental states for many types of work. Many tasks can be completed with greater accuracy if they are attempted without interruption or distraction.

One of the great benefits of a personal work space is the ability to decorate it to your liking. Purely individual touches, like photographs of family members, are great motivators to some workers. Others aim to improve the feng shui of the workplace by adding plants, crystals or mirrors in strategic places. These personal items can individualise sections of shared spaces, giving individuals further focus, and ultimately be a positive influence on workplace practices.

People attempting to work from home can find the home office (which is often used for a combination of activities) a tricky place to get work done. If having your own space designated solely to work is impossible, see if you can designate some particular times for that space to be for work only.

Taking the time and space to work alone when needed will mean you can come to team meetings better prepared and ready to share your personal best when collaboration is in order.

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Last week we touched on the topic of New Year’s resolutions to help give you focus, make your goals specific and ready your mind for change.  That’s all well and good, but what if your motivation is lacking in the first place; it can be hard to get yourself back on track.

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

– Henry Ford

The summer holidays might be over but that doesn’t stop you dreaming about your past holiday, your next holiday or just simply wishing you were someplace else.  Here are some of my top tips to help maintain that motivation.

  1. Focus on the tasks that really give you enjoyment. There are always those jobs that we hate to do so I recommend either delegating them to someone else (even just for a short period) or putting them off for as long as possible.
  1. Negativity promotes negativity and if you find that you are hanging out with negative people then that very same feeling will rub off on you. How about socialising with those people who ooze positivity and feelings of determination and success?
  1. How about a bit of gratitude to help you through the day? You can easily sit there and think about how bad your life is or how bad your job is, however focussing on the good in your life will help to muster some motivation to help you through.
  1. Getting out of bed early and struggling to get to work amidst the bustling traffic can be a nuisance, but what about the benefits? Concentrating on the benefits of why you do what you do can help inspire you to do better than you ever imagined.
  1. One great way to stay on track despite waning enthusiasm is to keep yourself accountable. This will ensure that you don’t fall behind when you aren’t fully up to the task.  Getting behind in your work will drag you down even further so staying accountable will help maintain your goals.

Everyone goes through periods of self-doubt and lethargy, but if your work and career is truly something you are passionate about, then it is worth focussing on the good times rather than the bad when the doldrums set in.

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Setting up your work area is not just about placing your furniture in an aesthetically pleasing way.  It is important that your place of work is conducive to productivity, creativity, and fosters camaraderie among employees.  So, before heading out to buy your office fittings you need to keep a few things in mind on how best to set up your work area. 

Each of these tips will apply to you whether your business is home based or has a number of employees.

1.  Determine how much you want to spend for your office space.  To make it easier, plan a budget for each workstation, from the cubicles and computers to the phone lines and electric cables.   It’s by far the safest way to keep your spending under control.   I know how tempting it can be when you see the exciting advances in technology.

2.  Prepare your layout.  It’s not good to cram your office with workstations, office machinery and filing cabinets.  Even if your space is small, a well-planned layout is going to make any space look bigger than it really is.   Remember, you have to sit in there with all that stuff!

3.  Go ergonomic.  Aside from making yourself and your employees comfortable you can lessen stress injuries and fatigue brought about by badly designed furniture.  Use adjustable work desks and chairs, as well as allowing enough legroom under the desks.  It is worth buying the best you can because it is likely to save you money in the long run when you think about potential medical expenses caused by injury.

4.  Consider your lighting and electrical needs.  Building a productive workspace also means taking care of lighting needs.  It is important that you provide adequate lighting to avoid eyestrain and headaches, especially if the lights create a glare from the computer monitors.  Be certain that you have enough electrical sockets for your office machinery so that things will run smoothly.  This is one thing that is often overlooked when rearranging the work place.

Keep your area clear and only bring the necessities into it.  It will not only look good but it will be more efficient and safer for you to work in.

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People say that change is hard, especially in the work place.  When you’re trying to effect a change in an entrenched culture, even if it is for the better, it can be an incredibly difficult task.  It’s complicated, yes, but not impossible.  You must win the confidence of the people you work with and persuade them to go with the change.

According to the book “Blue Ocean Strategy”, creating a “tipping point” in the organisation is a good way to hurdle through the difficult process of change.  By getting key people with a certain amount of influence in the work place committed to your goal, and then having them persuade other employees, it creates a wave that can tip the scales in your favour.

If you’re in management, then you have more power and authority to start a transformation in your office culture.  Start by having a system of rewards.  It doesn’t have to be monetary in nature, just something that can motivate your people to go in the direction you want them to.

For a job well done, you could give your employees additional vacation leave, or a gift certificate to a favourite store.  Even if they don’t say it, workers need to feel that their hard work is appreciated.  You’ll see that they’ll work harder but they’ll be happier.

If you’re part of the staff and would like to change your office culture, then believe that you can do it.  Take the example of a teacher who changed her workplace of haters into an appreciative, caring community of teachers.  She started by anonymously giving positive notes and thank you gifts to the faculty members.  As people continued to receive gifts, they started to wonder who this person was. In the process, they also began treating each other better.

All big change starts with a small step.  If you want change to happen it is up to you to take that small step first.

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This week I attended the Canberra Region Business Expo and picked up some helpful tips. Todd Wright presented a workshop on “The New Net” in your business. I now understand the significance of tags and the tag surfer tool that people use to pick up blogs with information in which they are interested. Todd explained blogs and how to use them for your business and took participants step by step through the process by setting up a blog about the event. Within minutes of setting up the blog a comment was posted because of the tags he used on the post. A tag was picked up by someone using tag surfer! I’m going to investigate tag surfer and think more about the tags I use.


Here’s to volunteer treasurers..

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I just read a great post on Small Business Diva blog discussing the value of good listening. Over the years I’ve had training in active listening but it does take a lot of discipline to practise it. As a business owner I have so much going on in my head, I find it a challenge to stop thinking about the business and really listen to the person with whom I’m engaging. It is good to be reminded of the value of other people and the importance of actively listening.

Don’t you love it when someone really listens to you?

adminbandit Here’s to volunteer treasurers..

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