Charities hold documents that may contain sensitive information on that people outside the organisation should not have access to.
Because of this, non-profits need to ensure that information is secure to make sure it is not lost or stolen. When working at a charity you may come across several documents that you will need to keep under lock and key. In today’s world, many businesses and organisations are moving their files to a digital format and sometimes information is even stored online. However, there are still some material valuables that should be safe guarded. Deciding what is of importance and what is not may seem challenging, but can be narrowed down quite easily. Of all the documents that should be secured, three specifically stand out:
- Loose money or petty cash is important to keep under lock and key. If left out and unattended it is the perfect opportunity for an opportunistic thief.
- Ledgers and financial records need to be organized and kept safe for tax purposes.
- Any list of donators or record of the people involved in your charity is personal information that should be protected.
Loose Money/Petty Cash
For obvious reasons, loose money or petty cash should be kept in a quality cash safe. For certain events where donators bring in cash, the charity needs a place to store money that they cannot deposit in the bank in time. Petty cash can come in handy when change is needed for larger bills and when small purchases are needed for the charity. It is best to keep loose money in a safe so that it will be secured and can only be accessed by a controlled amount of people. This way, if any money from the safe goes missing it will be easier to narrow down the person who is responsible. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have cash money around in times when there is the possibility of cyber hacking and other types of online fraud. Cash is good to have in any such emergency.
Ledgers and Financial Records
It is extremely important that ledgers and any important company records are kept safe. They will be referenced to for various reasons, one of which is tax audits. All transactions are recorded in the ledgers, which include, but are not limited to; purchases made by the company, any and all financial transactions made by customers to the company, and all other expenses, assets, and equity. These are also where a company’s financial statements come from, so they will be needed for all monetary needs.
List of Donators
Records of any person or organisation that donate to the charity are important for a variety of reasons. When you have information that can disclose the identities of your benefactors, it is your responsibility to keep them secure. Some donors even prefer to give to charities anonymously. A record like this could be either stored on paper in a journal in a high quality document safe or it could be stored electronically in a cloud system such as Dropbox or Google drive. This list is important to keep for future references when you might need to look back at who has donated. Lists of participants can come in handy if your charity runs a newsletter or issues out press releases about companies or individuals who have made charitable donations. There may be many other important documents and files that a charitable organisation would need to keep safe. However, these three should most likely be your first priority. When deciding whether or not to keep other object in a safe, think about what would happen if it were lost or stolen. If it would cause too much trouble, keep it securely locked away. Photo credits: Some rights reserved by Images_of_Money