case study

A Case In Point: Nonprofit moves from idiosyncratic filing to organized retrieval, saving time and money

Client: A nonprofit modern dance company

The challenge: Our client’s file cabinets and desk drawers were too full to open. They were paying for additional off-site storage space, but had no idea what they were storing. Finding files and documents frequently meant first looking in the logical places in the office before spending money to bring numerous boxes back and forth. Each staff member was using their own filing system and individuals had begun to set up their own electronic files without informing their colleagues that paper files were no longer being updated.

Client's goal: The organization wanted a system that would let staff members find the information they needed to do their jobs. They also wanted to be sure their documents were safe and that the creative and organizational history of the company was being maintained.

Our role: We assessed the organization’s information and other resources – paper documents, electronic files, handwritten notebooks, video and audio recordings, and costumes. During the assessment phase of the project we identified existing guidelines for organizing dance archives and we developed a custom classification system using that as a foundation. We modified the guidelines and provided a cataloging framework that accommodated everything from donor and business management records to choreographers’ notes.

The result: The custom classification system saved the company money and resulted in an efficient use of their limited storage resources. It enabled both the creative and administrative members of the organization to function more effectively within the same small shared office space.