[TheThinkTank] What information do you track monthly?

Stuart O Anderson soa at ri.cmu.edu
Wed Mar 11 16:06:05 PDT 2009

I guess I'd start with a list composed not of what information you want to
collect, but what things you want to be able to do.  Then figure out what
information you need to collect to do those things.  Then figure out if it's
worth the effort of collecting that information to be able to do whatever
that information enables.

It can be temping to try to document, catalog, and archive every last detail
because you might need it someday.  It's important to keep in mind that
every record keeping system you put in place has up-front and ongoing costs
in terms of volunteer effort and materials.

That said, we track volunteer hours (for membership and grant writing),
total bike throughput (for grantwriting and planning), hours worked (for
accounting), all monetary transactions (for accounting, planning, and grant
writing), and EAB throughput (for grant writing).  There may be more that
I'm not thinking of right now, but those are the major ones in my mind.


On Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 6:58 PM, Carl Voss <carlvoss at mac.com> wrote:

> Hello from chilly Des Moines!
> The Des Moines Bicycle Collective is just about to hit its first
> anniversary. Miracle of miracles, we're still above water.
> What have you experienced collectives learned is important to track
> regarding shop activities? We think these things are key (especially for
> applying for grants):
> *bikes received
> *bikes given away
> *bikes sold
> *Earn-A-Bike completions
> *bikes recycled/sent to scrapper
> *tires recycled/sent to scrapper
> *volunteer hours
> Are we missing anything? A couple board members want to create an entry for
> each bike received (record serial number)  and track hours spent on fixing,
> parts/tires invested. Seems a bit over the top when we're still scratching
> and clawing for volunteers.
> But, willing to listen to the voices of experience.
> Carl
> carlvoss at mac.com
> Mobile: 515-210-0237
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