So, you need to hand off some of the jobs within your organisation to others, potentially to volunteers within it or people who are paid to perform those tasks. It looks rather complicated, but is realistically a couple of hours work to set up for any small to medium sized organisation.
If your organisation lacks the skills to set these systems up then you should engage the services of a third party to do it for you. A fairly small outlay here can save you a lot of time, stress, and expense later.
Here are some concepts to get comfortable with before you begin, and definitions for the Actions suggestions I’ll be making in Part II.
Roles vs Individuals
The role is the task to be performed on behalf of the organisation (treasurer, clerk, etc), while the individual is the actual human being(s) performing that task.
Account vs Mailbox
The account is the container in which all the mailboxes are created. One account will have multiple mailboxes in it. Both the account and its contents belong to the organisation rather than to any individual.
The account also has technical roles associated with it. At a basic level those are mailbox administrators and mailbox users; the administrator (or ‘admin’) role creates and manages the mailboxes on behalf of the organisation, whereas mailbox users only have access to their own mailbox. Due to the security implications, only the most trusted individuals should be granted the administrator role.
It should be made clear to the role holders when they are appointed that the organisation owns the mailbox and all its contents, can and must be able to access it at any time, and that they cannot (and indeed should not) expect privacy. That’s what personal email accounts are for.
Domain vs Account
The domain is the label that is used for the account. Essentially it is the name that the internet uses to get your email to you – it’s the bit after the @ symbol for email and the www. for a website. So, our domain is mindfulbusinessservices.com. It can’t contain spaces or underscores. It’s common for the account and domain to have the same name, as this keeps things simpler, but they can be named differently.
You can choose to not have a domain but all your email addresses will end with the domain of your service provide (@gmail.com for instance). If you’re okay with that then you can skip setting up a domain. However it’s generally worth doing as it’s not a lot of hassle, makes your organisation look more professional, and if you choose to move to another service provider later your email addresses won’t change.
That’s the concepts covered, the nitty gritty is in Part II.