7 Ways Technology Helps Your Nonprofit Grow

7 Ways Technology Helps Your Nonprofit Grow

There are over 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States, including public charities, private foundations, and other types of nonprofit organizations such as chambers of commerce. According to a report by PNP Staffing Group, the nonprofit sector has grown 20% in the last 10 years, compared to the for-profit sector, which had a growth rate of 2-3%. As the nonprofit sector continues to grow in size – organizations face challenges in many areas.

But, rather than being fearful of the challenges that growth may bring, nonprofits should be optimistic. One of the simplest solutions to the challenges that nonprofits are facing is to implement innovative technologies. Below are just seven ways that technology may help your nonprofit grow and overcome challenges.

1. Visibility

Technology has allowed nonprofits to gain visibility, both externally and internally. Social media channels allow nonprofit organizations to share their important work with the world and gain external visibility. Additionally, technology such as software-as-service (SaaS) gives nonprofits visibility to internal operations and the financial state of the organization. Visual dashboards have grown in popularity and there’s a good reason for it – they provide the most important metrics to you and your organization.

Related: Visibility: You Need Eyes in the Back of Your Head

2. Grant Management

Nonprofits heavily rely on grants to operate; in 2013, public charities reported that 21% of their revenue came from government grants. While all the administrative tasks that are required to manage the grant process doesn’t require you to use software, it certainly helps. SaaS providers now offers specific functionality that allows your nonprofit organization to renew, manage or invoice funders as it relates to grants.

Related: 4 Reasons Why Nonprofits Should Consider SaaS

3. Remote Access

A survey released by Gallup earlier this year found that 43% of Americans spend at least some time working remotely. This number was a 4% increase since 2012, and the trend doesn’t seem to be going away. Remote work requires that employees can access the work anytime and anywhere. One of the most common solutions to this is implementing cloud software. Providers now offer a range of different services, such as accounting, expense reporting, analytics, CRM, CPM etc.

4. Fundraising

According to a report by Charity Dynamics in 2015, 88% of nonprofit professional believe that digital fundraising is going to grow from 7% to 20% in the next decade. Digital solutions can also gather data and summarize in visual dashboards to gain insights for strategic decision making.

5. ePayments/Billing

Bill.com recently published the results to their survey, which revealed that Millennials (the largest cohort in the US workforce) no longer expects paperless billing  – they believe it is the norm. Depending on the size of your organization, you can either team up with providers that specifically focuses on ePayments and billing or incorporate it in a larger Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution.

6. Scale

Technology has disrupted the software business where providers now offer cloud solutions with pay-as-you-go subscription payment models. Thus, nonprofit organizations who are interested in scaling with their demand can easily do so by simply adding or upgrading their software service package without having to pay additional setup costs.


Do you see any other ways that technology would help your nonprofit grow?

4 Top Reasons Why Nonprofits Should Consider SaaS

4 Top Reasons Why Nonprofits Should Consider SaaS

What is SaaS?

As discussed last week in our Beginner’s Guide to Cloud Computing, software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a method where businesses purchase software via a Web-based service. The main difference with this method, from purchasing software the traditional way, is that you rent services and you don’t have to worry about set-up costs or maintenance. Basically, you pay-for-use or via a subscription fee and only use the services you need.

Are Nonprofits Using the Cloud?

Nonprofits strive to invest in their core missions, while at the same time reducing operational cost. For many of these organizations it is difficult to maximize efficiency without breaking the budget. Cloud services are a cost-effective alternative for nonprofits, as they allow organizations to gain access to software without the additional costs of maintaining it on your own. SaaS deployment among organizations is on the rise. According to Cisco Global Cloud Index, it is estimated to grow by 59% in 2018.

Why Nonprofits Should Consider SaaS

SaaS offers advantages for nonprofits of all sizes. While we could make this a lengthy post and touch on all of them we have simply listed the top 4 benefits below and the reason why they solve problems for nonprofits.

1. Upfront investment is minimal

There is no initial cost for setting up or other upfront fees. You would just pay as you go and you can cancel at any point. This is a big benefit to smaller nonprofits especially, who may not have the upfront cash to invest in an IT solution even though it is critical for business. Also, investing in SaaS allows your nonprofit to expense the cost as an operational expenditure rather than capital (which most CFOs prefer).

2. Cost saving

SaaS can be a real money-saver. At first glance, SaaS may look expensive; however, when you take into account the money that is needed to purchase your own software and paying people to manage it, it is quite the opposite. In the long run, SaaS offers a more affordable way to gain access to up-to-date technology without breaking your budget.

3. Scalability

SaaS is extremely flexible as it allows your organization to easily add functionality and applications. This is especially important for nonprofits who are quickly growing, have changing needs and want to have a quick response time.

3. Remote Access

SaaS is delivered via web-based applications, which means that you can access the software from anywhere, any device, and anytime (granted that you have access to the Internet). Remote access is a great benefit for nonprofits who have employees that spend time out in the field but still need access to IT software.

4. No IT headaches

Nonprofits that invest in SaaS can say goodbye to IT troubles such as maintenance, backup, updates and security. Instead, the SaaS provider is in charge of doing all of this and for no extra charge.


Does your nonprofit organization consider making the switch to SaaS? Do you see any hurdles with taking the leap? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!

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Intacct’s New Tool Provides Focus for Non Profits

Intacct’s New Tool Provides Focus for Non Profits

Mission-based, non profit organizations have a clear agenda – doing good work around the world. Unfortunately, accomplishing that is more complex than ever, requiring leaders to rely on a lot more than just good intentions in order to achieve the positive outcomes they desire.

As the scope of non profit organizations has grown, decision-making has become a high-stakes process. At the same time, donors demand a level of transparency and accountability that raises the stakes of decision-making even further. For many mission-based organizations, the decision-making process produces a lot more confusion than clarity.

Luckily, the means to practice decision-making using high-quality, real-time, complete sets of data is both attainable and easy to implement with Intacct’s spend management tool that provides focus.

Related: A Beginner’s Guide to Cloud Computing

Intacct Spend Management Application

Intacct cloud ERP software is already a powerful tool for enhancing the decision-making process and eliminating the kinds of uncertainties that lead to poor choices. But this leading ERP solution has recently become even better thanks to the integration of a dedicated spend-management tool.

Users can rely on this tool to strictly keep spending within budget thresholds. By providing a top-down perspective to the spending process, along with the capabilities to set flexible but strict controls, decision-makers can ensure that every purchase is a prudent one.

Intacct’s spend management application is a unique asset to non profit organizations because it delivers the confidence of centralized budget compliance, even when spending decisions are being made at points across the globe. The kinds of cash flow issues that compromise mission projects and damage the confidence of donors can be reliably eliminated without relying on a cumbersome or complicated process.

Related: Should Small Businesses Forecast?

Understanding Intacct Spend Management in Action

The strength of this tool lies in its flexibility and broad applicability. But that can also make it difficult to imagine how a specific mission-based organization would use it in practice.

Think of a decision-maker looking at a purchase order that has just landed on his desk. The amount of the order is not substantial, but it is large enough that it can’t be rubber stamped. Previously, it would require a deep dive into financial figures and a flurry of confusing cross-referencing to determine if that purchase was fiscally viable.

With Intacct Spend Management, the determination is made instantly-in real time. The decision-maker simply has to reference where that spending category stands against the budget. It does not even require simple arithmetic in order to confidently say yes or no. That introduces a welcome level of efficiency to the decision-making process while also ensuring that budgetary issues do not compromise the organization’s agenda. It also allows the organization to convincingly demonstrate a level of sound financial governance that sustaining donors require.

If decision-making in your mission-based organization is characterized by a lack of clarity and prone to mistakes and mishaps as a result, Intacct Spend Management is the overnight solution. What tools do you use in your organization to keep track on spending and comparing it to set budgets?

 

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