Quill & Scroll faces challenges of economy and technology

rowers on Iowa River

The Quill and Scroll board meeting gives me the opportunity to see fall leaves and rowers on the Iowa River.

Brightly colored leaves. Temperatures that required de-icing the plane. I knew I wasn’t in Gainesville this weekend.

I was at the University of Iowa for the annual meeting of the Quill & Scroll board of trustees. Q&S, an international high school journalism honorary, strives to promote high caliber publication and individual performance.

Much of our board discussion centered around two issues — the economy and technology.

With school budget cuts, some media advisers are cutting back on entering media evaluation services and nominating students to membership in Q&S, both of which require fees. How can we help promote the value of the organization’s services?

Technology can be used to address some economic issues — developing a more complete membership database, improving the Web site, being able to process credit card charges (moving away from what was the school-system standard of purchase orders).

A challenge is how to maintain standard services AND take on these new tasks.

But such is the challenge for many not-for-profits like Quill & Scroll and for school districts, businesses and organizations.

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