Nonprofits, just like for-profit organizations, face a variety of challenges. There are issues related to legal compliance and workforce performance. They need to keep track of employee performance, delivery of orders, different processes, and the integrity of their databases. All these issues, if not managed well, might interfere with the fulfillment of their missions.
Many nonprofits make do with spreadsheet software and email to run different operations. But, as an organization grows in size or the complexity of its programs increases, the logistics of maintaining this information manually take their toll. Multi-faceted ERP (enterprise resource planning) software that utilizes a unified database can increase your overall organizational operational efficiency.
What are some of the major signs that your nonprofit organization needs an ERP system?
1. Need for better regulatory compliance and security
Are you struggling with issues related to regulatory compliance? Investing in integrated ERP software will help you out of this nightmare. The ERP system will merge all back-office operations with the governmental regulatory rules that govern your industry.
Most modern ERP vendors ensure that the systems comply with state laws with regard to industry standards. They design their systems so that they keep updating to help clients meet regulatory requirements.
Besides data processing and streamlining the internal processes for compliance, your ERP system also enhances security. Through features like inbuilt firewalls and regulated data access, your ERP system ensures that your organizational data is kept safe and secure from third parties.
2. Need for better grants management
Anybody that runs a nonprofit organization understands how important grants management and fiscal responsibility are. It can be hard to justify the cost of different expenditures within the organization. And most nonprofits want to keep their budgets as low as possible.
But your success is pegged to your financial transparency. You need to demonstrate to your stakeholders and donors exactly where their money is going. You need to give them a good reason to keep donating. That is where investing in an ERP system becomes critical.
An integrated ERP system will help you:
- Efficiently and seamlessly provide budget transparency.
- Reduce the costs of overseeing grants and accounting management.
3. Need for better flexibility and mobility
An integrated ERP platform streamlines various departments in an organization into a unified platform. When trends like BYOD (bring your own devise) take precedence, the need for mobility in a nonprofit’s ERP software becomes essential.
Modern ERP solutions (including open-source ERP systems) can process multiple functions. The systems leverage a centralized database, providing accurate information that can be used by any authenticated user, on any device, anywhere in the world. That remote access to crucial information—database and important info—saves workers time and effort. It also ensures that you deliver quality work within set deadlines.
4. Fundraising storms
Your integrated ERP system helps keep the your organization's data in an easily accessible format. Such data includes funds donated, different projects, and expenses assigned to each project.
The resulting financial transparency can move donors and other stakeholders to donate more to your nonprofit. It also can strengthen or improve your organization’s relationships with your donors.
One more thing: Using your ERP software, you can add donors as “contacts,” after which you can reach out to thank them. Using their contact info, you can easily send further calls to action or even provide news on your organization.
What are some of other ways nonprofits can customize their ERP system to manage donations and grants?
- Integrating each donation and its source into the overall budget. This process enables a deep understanding of the current budget, any extra funding that might be needed, and where those additional funds might be obtained.
- Defining how you spent their donations and grants.
- Creating contacts records for donors and funders, making thanking and reporting to them easier.
5. Need for easy access to information
Manually updating spreadsheets and distributing the results are time-consuming processes. As the pace of nonprofit activities grows faster than ever before, staff across your organization need prompt access to key data. An ERP system gives your staff access to the information they need to execute their jobs more efficiently. It also allows your executives to get a holistic view of business operations at any time.
6. Need for better marketing, event, and project management
An ERP system that can keep track of all the activities involved in events can save your staff time and help with resource management. The system can help calculate amounts spent in organizing and executing events and determine how much income or donations they generated.
7. HR woes are still bogging you down
Most of today’s ERP software systems include human resource management (HRM) in their capabilities. These systems provide an integrated database where names of staff, their tax IDs, and pay rates can be stored or retrieved. Some ERPs allow automated recording and data collection, reducing the workload for HR staff. ERP systems can also track employee credentials—and the dates each individual’s credentials will expire. An ERP can help an organization ensure that its human resources procedures are in line with organization policy and employment regulations.
Summing it up
Inability to keep up with donor demands or execute duties effectively might derail your organization. As your nonprofit organization grows, you technology can help you maintain control over activities and programs and keep your information secure. Many nonprofits are investing in ERP software to help bring together disparate activities. The software allows these organizations to streamline various processes and increase the agility of processes throughout the organization.
Hitendra Singh Rathore is a digital marketing executive and software analyst at SoftwareSuggest and loves helping people plan, optimize, and launch marketing strategies. He has spent the majority of his career in the SaaS (software as a service) industry, gaining experiences in areas such as accounting software, asset management software, and pharmacy software analysis. Although digital marketing is his primary activity by day, Hitendra also enjoys spending time with his family and listening to music.