I am not the caterer

I am not the caterer

I remember the programming era pre-COVID, where workshops and gatherings rivalled a red-carpet event. Along with finding the right instructors and the best silliest prizes, we planned elaborate catering and hauled in all our own equipment. As we move to post-COVID home offices the landscape of programming has shifted dramatically. Attendees became more mindful of their time, seeking truly meaningful learning opportunities over extravagance.

How to downsize with purpose.

That leads me to today, and I find myself in the middle of downsizing a massive storage room that became the catch-all for anything that didn’t fit into our home offices. Years have passed and budget dollars have been spent to keep a room full of equipment and supplies we are simply no longer using. The challenge isn’t to swiftly dispose of the everything. It isn’t as simple as ditching the coffee urn and mini fridge; its about doing so in a way the mirrors the purpose of our organization.

Stick to the mission.

I am using two thoughts to guide me as I find new homes for everything. First, I consider the clients we serve and if our surplus can support them by donation to another non-profit in our sector. The second, is the often-overlooked bylaw about what happens to a non-profit’s assets if the organization dissolves. Most common is to donate to another non-profit doing similar work. That overlap of directional cues has helped me navigate the maze of downsizing.

Support another non-profit.

While the process has been challenging and it is my lower back paying the price for loading my car dozens of times, the payoff is the reassurance that the donation decisions are reshaping my organization’s legacy. This isn’t a simple decision to clear the storage room we no longer need and no longer want to spend budget dollars to rent. That printer and file cabinets are helping to grow and support other non-profits.

Don’t apologize.

I feel confident I can report to the board that I am doing so much more than freeing up space. We are extending our organization’s impact through the hands of other organizations. There is a purpose to process, not merely a logistical necessity. I feel pretty darn good about that.

The finish line is in sight.

I see light at the end of my clear-the-storage-room downsizing journey. The dated speaker phone and printer with memories of four years in hibernation have found new homes. The portable air conditioner, rolling shelves, and spare 3-hole punch have a second act. From big to small, it will be done by the end of the month, and I couldn’t be happier. My lower back is pretty happy too.

Now, tell me your own stories of office moves, downsizing escapades, or the curious fate of surplus office supplies! Use the form on the side of the page to let me know, ..or send me an email, ..or message me on socials.


Hi, I'm Christie. I help executive directors develop the systems and processes needed to run a non-profit.

I learned early in my career, there is no non-profit school. Browsing the internet for resources from big-city experts doesn’t provide practical solutions to balance the budget, write a work plan, or conduct an employee evaluation. Leadership development tips don’t really resonate when you are also taking out the recycling and cleaning the washroom.

I created ChristieSaas.com so non-profit leaders never need to wonder how to do the job – no matter how big or small that job is.

I have been the executive director of small-team, small-budget, non-profits for 20+ years. My experience isn’t theory. It is the real, operational, and practical solutions I use every day.

I love my work and I want to help you love yours too.

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