When there’s no map to follow in making the MAP

This week was a big milestone for my summer project: I began the process of training Local Matters employees on what the MAP (Master Accounts of Programming) Airtable tool is, how to effectively utilize it for the specific needs of specific roles throughout the organization, and collecting input on what needs to be changed for it to truly be useful for each team member. To do this, I had one on one training sessions with each department, which was at most three people, and most often a one on one meeting. This allowed me to gain a clearer view of different roles in the organization that I previously had little interaction with. Though gaining this insight was this enriching and useful to tweak the MAP, it was extremely frustrating to realize how small I’ve been thinking throughout the lifetime of this project. Up until now, I had only been focusing on improving the communication and organization of data for the program team and the internal evaluation processes. After these trainings, I’ve realized how much more potential this project could bring to the entire organization, for processes like volunteer management, or organization of Cooking Matters which is run by the Local Matters AmeriCorps members.

While this creates a challenging environment to wrap up loose strings in, I’m humbled in constantly realizing how much I didn’t know that I didn’t know. For example, I had no idea how many platforms were being utilized by the organization (Airtable, WhenIWork, Google Calendar, DropBox, Sales Force, Better Impact, MailChimp, TicketTailor….Etc.), which made it seem much simpler in my mind the task at hand of aggregating data. I had a limited understanding of how much each individual staff member contributed to the organization through their role, and how much each role was pivotal in sustaining the organization. Thinking of how many unknowns are left, I’m eager to continue learning more about the vast world of nonprofit work, and hope to soak up every last drop of knowledge possible during the last week of the fellowship.

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