OUR ORGANIZATION


Open-source archive of The Leap’s operational policies and guidelines

WE MADE SYSTEM CHANGE Irresistible

This page archives the policies and guidelines we created, as we struggled to build a workplace rooted in revolutionary values. We don’t think we “got it right”, and we’re not sure anyone ever will. Still, we hope some of these documents will be useful to others who are experimenting with equitable structures for shared work.

These resources are organized into five categories, which we hope will make it easier to find what you’re looking for:

CARE helping staff access support, set boundaries, and manage conflict

FINANCE setting and managing our budget, and building financial literacy among team members

HR MANAGEMENT hiring, training, supervising, and evaluating employees

STAFF GUIDELINES creating clarity and consistency to help staff engage with operational decisions & processes

STRUCTURE clarifying our roles, responsibilities, and core job expectations


CODE OF ETHICS & HARASSMENT POLICY

Codes of Conduct have a history of being used to justify racist, sexist, ableist, and otherwise oppressive practices within institutions. So, why did we create one? Aside from being legally required to have a written harassment policy, we wanted to offer simple and transparent guidance on how we hope team members relate interpersonally (and as representatives of The Leap in the world). We also wanted to offer clear options for individuals responding to harm caused by or to Leap team members.

SAFETY PLAN TEMPLATE

Inspired by the Principles of Disability Justice, we encouraged team members to create and share safety plans as a way of making our workplace more accessible. In all honesty, we struggled to maintain this practice consistently, but this tool still helped ground our work in interdependence and collective access. We hope other groups can adapt this template, and make better use of it than we did!

FEEDBACK GUIDELINES (EXPERIENCE CUBE)

We trained our staff to use the Experience Cube as a tool for making our feedback more clear, caring, and collaborative. We also emphasized that it’s not a one-size-fits-all recipe for how every feedback exchange should look! These guidelines (hopefully) summarize that nuanced perspective.

OFF-TIME COMMUNICATION GUIDELINES

We believed fighting burnout culture means doing what we can to prevent work from seeping into non-work time. We also recognized that the nature of our work includes occasionally needing urgent response from our team members. So, we made these guidelines to offer clarity around how we get in touch (and how we leave each other alone) outside work hours!

BUDGET TRAINING PRESENTATION

We had a complicated budget! Three fiscal sponsors, two countries of operation, and lots of accounts… it was a lot. We wanted our team members to feel comfortable reading it, in order to also help shape it. So, we created this training that explains the budget as a story, and we think it was really useful!

BUDGET TEMPLATE

This is the template we used to plan and monitor our revenues and expenses, across three separate organizations and two currencies. It’s a true beast – but we think we did some cool things to make the information more useful and accessible. Spreadsheet nerds: please enjoy!

FUNDRAISING ACTION PLAN TEMPLATE

Fundraising is a bit of a crapshoot, and revenue planning is a nightmare. We used this tool to list all our potential revenue in one spot, and create an overall projection by adjusting amounts based on confidence level. This helped us decide how much more energy we’d need to invest in development for the year, based on whether we expected our (risk-adjusted) existing opportunities to cover our projected costs.

HOW TO SPEND THE LEAP’S MONEY

We gave our staff significant autonomy in terms of spending organizational money, and we offered several ways of doing that. This document combined all the key information about each of these processes in one place, allowing our Ops & Finance Director to answer countless emails by passive-aggressively sending a link!

EXPENSE TRACKING SHEET

Because all staff were empowered to spend Leap funds, we needed a simple shared tool for tracking these expenses – and attributing them to the proper budgeting accounts / classes. This document was the main place our staff team, bookkeeper, and fiscal sponsor all hung out together.

HIRING GUIDELINES

Our hiring guidelines are very extensive! We invested a lot of team energy in creating a process that centres equity and dignity for everyone involved. Our hiring processes were labour-intensive, but we generally think the effort was well worth it! This process builds on prior collaborations with Emily Yee Clare and the Centre for Community Organizations (COCo).

TRAINING & ONBOARDING GUIDELINES

We created an individual training & onboarding plan for each new hire, and used these guidelines to make sure we covered all our bases each time and spread the work out among existing team members. These guidelines also include our training & orientation plan template!

STAFF SUPERVISION GUIDELINES

These guidelines provided a basic overview of supervisory role and process expectations, along with agenda-setting and note-taking template docs. We tried to leave a lot of room for each supervisor/supervisee pairing to define their own process and rhythm together, while also creating a baseline of consistency across the team.

STAFF EVALUATION & PROBATION GUIDELINES

Probation and evaluation are so tricky! Our processes were very intensive, and staff expressed appreciation for the depth and breadth of feedback they received. At the same time, each process was a lot of work, and there are probably certain things we could have streamlined without losing too much value…

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY

This policy covered both our collective team trainings (how we choose topics, etc), and each individual staff members’ professional development. It includes an outline of procedures and guidelines and a link to our professional development proposal template.

TRAVEL POLICY

Remember when we used to travel for work??? This policy included detailed guidelines around how to plan and book work travel, plus an overview of which travel expenses could be claimed, and how to count work hours while traveling. It also includes a (short, and very incomplete) set of guidelines on values-based travel purchasing.