Growing your nonprofit, meeting the expectations of donors and grantors, and giving back to the community are all atop your list of goals in 2016, but how can you make these and more happen?
In part one of this blog, we covered why nonprofits need to focus on outcome measures and diverse funding. Today, we will share with you the importance of scaling to create an even larger impact, and automating processes to make sure that the time spent is making the most impact for your constituent.
Scaling for More Impact
Last year, we shared a deep dive into a nonprofit CFO’s guide to managing a nonprofit merger, which took a deeper look into the rationale behind a merger, the benefits, and the challenges. However, while the merging trend has been on the upswing, scaling can be done in more ways than merging. Nonprofit organizations have sought out partnerships to improve their funding and return to the community.
But with rapid growth comes more challenges—especially for your finance team, who without enhanced tools to manage the increased inputs and outputs, will be spending more time trying to quickly and accurately manage the money.
For many, trying to scale and use outdated or non-nonprofit focused fund accounting could not only be a drain, it could become inaccurate and in turn problematic for the future of the organization. To help overcome this, scaling and having the framework in place to meet the demands caused by scaling can be answered by our next point, automating processes.
Being able to accomplish all of the above mentioned tasks requires a keen eye on taking advantage of the opportunities available to the nonprofit. Doing so requires relentless focus on making the right moves as opposed to wasting away on tasks that could be delegated or better yet, automated. Automation, according to Benson, is essentially doing more and creating greater impact with less.
There are many things that can better be automated, including outcome measures, audit preparation, and more:
- Outcome Measures: Monitoring, measuring and sharing key metrics is critical to nonprofit success in the eyes of your funders. If you want to ensure high program efficiency metrics, you have to create the productivity savings, via automation, to reduce the proportional costs of overhead to program investment.
- Audit Preparation: In an automated environment, you can create a dashboard for your auditors that give them view only access to key reports and documents – right from their office. They can drill right into the source documents and you save travel, delays, and costs.
For more, as well as real world examples of what can be better automated, see the Intacct blog, Best Practices in Nonprofit Process Automation.
Nonprofits, in the wake of competition, scrutiny, and more, have to make every dollar work or them, while improving the outcomes for those they serve. Doing so requires proven solutions that have helped hundreds, if not thousands of nonprofits to simplify and thrive.
Software solutions like Intacct (Financial Management/Accounting), Orange Leap (Constituent Relationship Management), and Concur (Travel and Expense) have made it easier for nonprofits to manage time consuming tasks more effectively, resulting in maximized return on investment for not only your organization, but the causes you support.