My Week: John Barrett has made his techie freebie last five years

The operations manager at the Small Charities Coalition recounts his week

John Barrett
John Barrett

MONDAY - I start the week by dialling into a conference call with the software provider Salesforce to discuss whether its Communities platform is suitable for a web project we want to get funded. I'm "dialling" because the mic bit of my KnowHow NonProfit-branded headphone-and-mic set finally went kaput. It served me well for five years - not bad for a freebie. The conclusion on Communities? It remains to be seen whether it meet all our requirements, but it's an exciting proposition.

TUESDAY - I sit in on our monthly services meeting, headed by our excellent services manager. It's a proud moment to be surrounded by the people who make our work possible. We finish each meeting by sharing a story about something we achieved or learnt that month. Very inspiring. I end the day with a conference call with Fonteva, a firm providing membership management software. It's based in the US so I can't dial in. Without a mic, the first 20 minutes is a one-way conversation until the facilities manager gives me a webcam that doubles up as a mic.

WEDNESDAY - I meet the director of Donate Mobile in the morning to learn more about its service. It sounds like an interesting way for our members to save money on their mobile phone contracts and fundraise. In the afternoon, I meet CharityComms to talk about its AskCharity service.

THURSDAY - I have my one-to-one with my chief executive - the less said about that the better, perhaps. Later I meet a potential volunteer. The building is about to close, so we take our chat to the pub. A few pints later, they've got the job.

FRIDAY - One of the project management workshops we deliver with the IT firm IBM takes place today, so I get in early to ensure that all runs smoothly. In the afternoon, I chat with a PR professional about some exciting announcements we plan to make at the end of the year - we'll reveal all soon. Then it's off home to plan my stepson's Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

The Small Charities Coalition supports charities with incomes of less than £1m a year

John Barrett is operations manager at the Small Charities Coalition

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