Nonprofit organizations are constantly challenged to provide increased services with limited personnel and financial resources.  Donors scrutinize operational costs closely with increased pressure to account for each dollar spent on services.  Staff need reliable financial and operational software with measurable improvements in efficiency and productivity, allowing greater focus on your clients and mission. This translates into real dollars saved and measured return on investment.

Historically, nonprofit organizations have been underserved by their IT and accounting partners. Nonprofits often have to compromise between functional requirements and implementing technology with lasting future value. But selecting and implementing the right solutions enables organizations to become more efficient, eliminate redundant data entry, connect employees, deliver timely information on funding sources and expenditures, and reduce paper based processes. These solutions must also be scalable to meet future needs.

Operational Activities

Depending on an organization’s roles, there are three major types of software applications required to run their end-to-end business activities: Funding Management, Core, and Mission Execution.

  • Funding Management solutions are generally revenue applications, such as grant management, fundraising, reimbursement billing, fee-for-service billing, and sales of products such as training materials, books and videos.
  • Core financial solutions are the financial, logistical and human resources applications, such as General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Cash Management, Inventory, Payroll, Fixed Assets, Receivables and Purchasing.
  • Mission Execution solutions are driven by the provider role and the delivery method. These applications can include case management, project/program accounting, and job costing, as well as document management and relationship management.

Nonprofits should not invest in solutions, which are actually collections of products built by different companies, and should be diligent that these applications are integrated versus just interfaced next to one another.

There are three things for a nonprofit to consider when selecting a new technology solution:

  1. A single-vendor who can control the project to ensure a total, homogenous solution and cut down costs
  2. Homogenous technology that posts data from sub-systems to main systems
  3. Fully integrated solutions that post data automatically between applications and provide data confidence

The ideal nonprofit solution should provide fully integrated, homogeneous funding, mission-enabling and core applications to assure the user of data integrity, elimination of redundant data entry or processing, and reduced long-term support, training and maintenance costs.