You have a lot of information to track, so it is important that you have a clear system for maintaining records that everyone in the organization follows all the time. You cannot save every piece of paper and still hope to identify and retrieve a critical record when the need arises. Records that are unmarked, misfiled or buried in so much redundant paperwork that they cannot be located in a timely manner are as good as lost.
Once you have a policy in place, everyone should follow detailed written procedures to ensure that nothing is accidentally misplaced and that your land trust is not overwhelmed with documents. These procedures should describe how to establish, identify, collect, manage, store and purge records, as well as reflect your consideration of the records needed to advance your mission, what records might be helpful or necessary to defend your land trust and what records are required by law.
Next month we will review a few specific critical records that you need to keep.
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