The Central Midwest District UUA merged in 2013 with the Districts of Heartland and Prairie Star to form the MidAmerica Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
This site is for archival information only. For the latest events and news, please go to MidAmericaUUA.org.

Provide Handbooks Folks Should Know About

Here’s a way folks can have convenient access to information they need, continue the crusade toward greenness — and start to gain control over all that paper in their offices! I’m talking about creating an organization’s member Handbook online. Ian talks about one use for this in his post below about the first Virtual Board Meeting held on Saturday, November 8, 2008. (See “First Virtual Board Meeting” below). As he mentions, there is almost always one member of a group who has all their reference documents with them — and a great many who don’t. Well, if you have the information online, everyone with a computer has it with them always! For a virtual meeting, such as the one last Saturday, if someone needs to reference, say, the By-laws, they’re right there without having to shuffle through briefcases, or search files or, gods forbid, tackle piles of paper.

Recreating the CMwD Directors Handbook online was very simple. Many of the documents, such as the By-laws, the Strategic Plan and the Minutes where already uploaded to the Web Site, and all I had to do was additionally upload the remaining documents and organize them all into a new Handbook Web page (called an “article” in our system). If you’d like to take a look at the Directors’ Handbook, it is HERE.

I opted to upload all the documents as separate PDF files to prevent them from accidentally being modified when used. In the Board Handbook, each document is referenced in a simple list. However, if you wanted to make available a more textual manual, there’s no reason the handbook couldn’t be created as a simple long document (might be awkward to reference, though).

Even better, in our system we have something called the Acajoom Newsletters function. It is what we use to create the CMwD Central Midwesterner. We have this set up to show an index of articles at the top of the publication with Hyperlinks to the individual articles, which are stored as separate documents in the system. A manual could use a similar system, creating a Table of Contents with hyperlinks to the chapters, so that users only have to click on the Table entry to go right to the chapter they want.

And best of all — the manual takes up no space in your office and doesn’t have to be carted around to meetings!

Peggy Boccard District Office Manager