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seeking advice on how to coordinate a team budget (4 posts)

  1. Andrews Username
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I'm looking to streamline a budget process using WordPress attachments, google forms, google spreadsheets, and other resources you might suggest.

    My problem

    I run a Student Senate committee that decides how to divide up a pot of money among the hundreds of school-wide events that have been proposed by 50-ish student groups.

    1. First, each of the groups submits to us 1) financial records of their past events, 2) their projected needs for each of the events they plan to repeat this semester, and 3) a description of why each event is important for the student body. (Currently, they email us an Excel spreadsheet and a Word doc. Replacing these with an embedded google form or spreadsheet would be nice.)
    2. Second, we help each organization revise its submissions. (So, we must be able collaborate on a shared document -- e.g. a Google spreadsheet -- but ideally, the organization leaders would NOT be able to view one another's submissions. I don't think that Google forms and spreadsheets have yet gotten that fine level of access control).
    3. Third, we aggregate their finalized requests into a proposed budget. (Google spreadsheets has a tool called "ImportRange" that could help here).
    4. Fourth, we try to make a fair decision about which events won't be funded at the requested amount, by consulting 1) the groups' submissions, 2) our guidelines for what are reasonable event expenditures.

    My question
    So we need form submissions, fined-grained privacy controls, and spreadsheet capability, all rolled into one. I'd like to be able to handle all these tasks through the WordPress MU account that our school provided us -- probably by embedding google forms, spreadsheets, etc. Problem is, I've never used wordpress before.

    So, my questions:

    1. Is there something better out there than google forms and spreadsheets for this sort of work?
    2. Can you recommend any specific WordPress plugins?
    3. Any specific recommendations for how the technology can lighten my logistical burden?

    Thanks!

    Andrew

  2. @mercime
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 4 years ago #

    WordPress MU account

    WPMU is definitely the way to go, one sub-blog for each of the 50 organizations, assuming they gave you a WPMU installation and you can set the privacy options for all blogs so only the Super Admin, that's you, can see what they have in their proposals.

    ... or were you give only one sub-blog of the WPMU installation to handle all the data? If that's the case, you can assign a Page for each of the 50 organizations and set each page to Private and assign passwords for each of them. No one else but the Admin and respective member for that page can see the Page.

    I can see a variety of ways to implement what you want. It all depends on whether you have the WPMU installation or just the sub-blog to that WPMU installation.

  3. Andrews Username
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Hi merci! Thanks so much for the quick reply. As it stands now, the school's IT dept is the super admin, and we were given a sub-blog of the MU installation. Pages sound like a great idea.

    Do you have any other advice or info about plug-ins that you think might be helpful to accomplish the goals we outlined above?

    Thanks for your help!

  4. @mercime
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 4 years ago #

    1. Plugin that would help you set up at least a spreadsheet per page (per group) and works with WPMU 2.8.4a as well: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-table-reloaded/
    2. Plugin to help you get bird's eye view of the 50 or so pages of your installation and works with WPMU 2.8.4a as well in my installs: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/pagemash/

    You would have to ask the Super Admin to upload/install the plugins for you because to ensure security of whole WPMU installation, SAdmins do not allow anyone to upload just any plugin. SAdmins may or may not allow you to "Activate" the plugins once it's installed in the system, it all depends on the policies of your IT department.

    Assuming SAdmin assigned you Administrator Role for your sub-blog, just follow instructions in the URL's of the plugins I listed above - note especially table ID numbers you make that you will be assigning respectively to each group.

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