How to Leverage Technology to Streamline Nonprofit Finance

It’s practically impossible for any business or organization in any industry to thrive without the use of technology. As technology becomes more advanced and the world becomes more reliant on these systems to stay connected, integrating tech features into your nonprofit is almost a requirement for success. 

Nonprofit organizations can use technology to improve their efficiency, expand their reach, and make their existing financial processes more effective. You don’t need to have a dedicated IT department or a tech guru on staff to benefit. Finding new ways to use technology is something that any organization can do across areas like communication and engagement, as well as fundraising and financial management. 

If you think your nonprofit needs a hefty budget to work with various tech products, think again. While highly sophisticated tech programs may be out of reach for many organizations, there are options across the cost spectrum, so any nonprofit can find something that fits its needs. Plus, implementing tech improvements in targeted areas can lead to lower operational costs and higher donations, so the initial cost is an investment that essentially pays for itself. 

Where to Use Technology in Your Nonprofit

Do you need more social engagement with potential donors and volunteers? Is there a disconnect between remote team members? Are nonprofit finances monopolizing your time? How you choose to integrate technology will depend on what specific areas your organization needs it the most. With that being said, many nonprofits find that managing their finances is an especially challenging task. 

Between managing employees, rallying volunteers, creating programs, and connecting with people who need their services, nonprofits rarely have time to give their financial management the attention it needs. Whether you know close to nothing about nonprofit finances or have a wealth of knowledge on the topic, financial management technology is beneficial. It allows you to focus on what’s most important – expanding your organization’s reach and helping those in need. 

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Many technologies that can provide solutions to the above questions can be solved with software-as-a-service or SaaS products. Companies create these software products that are targeted to resolve a specific issue that your nonprofit might be having. These products are built on a subscription model, so you can experiment with which solution your nonprofit prefers with a low cost up front investment. Examples of well known SaaS products are: Slack, Zoom, Donorbox, Salesforce, and more.

Financial Management

Technology for nonprofits can improve your data collection and allow you to make more informed analyses and reports. Certain softwares can help you better manage cash flow and allocate resources. Strategic planning, regulatory compliance, and fundraising can also benefit from targeted integration of technology. 

Access to grant funds is becoming increasingly competitive, so proving your organization’s effectiveness and presenting your service outcomes in a clear, convincing way is crucial. Tech tools can make applying for grants simpler and improve your chances of receiving grants. Further, donors want to know that their money is making a difference. Data-collection tech is an easy way to show the impact of an organization’s programs and show your donors exactly how their money is helping.

Even something as small as using accounting software tailored to nonprofits can make a significant difference in how your organization operates and the effectiveness of its systems. These programs help streamline nonprofit finances, and some programs even offer assistance with filing Form 990s at tax time. 

Artificial Intelligence

The rise of AI in the past year can benefit the world of nonprofits as well. Nonprofit treasurers can ask an AI chatbot for help with annual budget creation, with explaining complicated financial concepts or with just about anything! These chatbots are available mostly free of cost and can assist any member of a nonprofit board with their daily tasks.

Nonprofit Bank Accounts

Another area in which nonprofits can benefit from services targeted at their unique needs is banking. Business bank accounts and basic checking accounts are unlikely to fit the bill. Managing your various costs – operational, administrative, and program expenses – is cumbersome without the proper tools and systems. Choosing the right nonprofit bank account can also help you in other areas of operation, such as fundraising. 

How can a tailored, technology-driven nonprofit bank account help your nonprofit thrive? You’re likely to find it easier to manage and monitor your donations and expenses, process additional forms of payment, pay employees, and file your tax returns. As a nonprofit organization, your banking needs differ from those of an individual or a for-profit business. Banking with an institution that is familiar with your specific concerns is important for the success of your mission. 

Crowded Bank Accounts

Crowded offers bank accounts tailored specifically for nonprofits, which means its accounts and services were created with organizations like yours in mind. Crowded has no monthly fee, or minimum balance requirements, and includes unlimited free transactions. Plus, you can set up and manage your account completely digitally. 

Crowded understands how nonprofits function and what financial services they need to run smoothly. Collecting payments, controlling member spending, and establishing passive fundraising programs are all simpler with Crowded. 

Innovative Ways to Fundraise

Having a personalized place to put your donations and funds is helpful, but how can you raise money for your nonprofit and use technology to increase charitable giving?

Finding new and more effective ways to raise money for your nonprofit is the only way to continue operating and making an impact. Technology offers a tremendous opportunity to diversify your fundraising efforts, from fundraising software to donor communication systems. 

Fundraising software

Using a software geared towards fundraising can help your nonprofit reach your fundraising goals. These softwares can help you track donations and donors, create targeted messaging and marketing efforts and more. All of these technological advances are sure to bring in more donations to your nonprofit organization.

Shop-to-Give Programs

Your organization can receive free donations from shop-to-give programs, which allow shoppers to allocate a portion of their purchase each time they buy something at participating stores. You can make receiving funds from this method even simpler if you bank with Crowded because of their Crowded Rewards. 

Crowded’s shop-to-give program is a cashback fundraising tool that generates money for your nonprofit at no additional cost to your donors or to you. It takes minutes to set up, is endlessly scalable, and offers cashback on purchases at over 70K+ retailers. Your organization will receive 50% of the cashback earned by donors, and since supporters will still receive a portion of their cashback, this further incentivizes them to participate. 

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

You can utilize peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising to increase your donations through existing donor networks. Your current donors can create fundraising pages that broadcast your nonprofit’s mission and message to people in their social circles. This is an effective virtual strategy, and it presents a nearly passive method for connecting with new donors and increasing charitable giving.

Peer-to-peer fundraising operates on a large scale to raise awareness of your mission and expand access to donation sources. It also offers the added benefit of increasing volunteer and supporter engagement. 

Virtual Events

Fundraising events have long been a popular way to raise money for good causes, and with the help of technology, these events can be held virtually. Hosting virtual events means donors from any part of the world can attend, supporters with mobility or transportation challenges can participate, and your events won’t be limited by the physical space you have available. Your organization can get creative when planning virtual events and broadcasting live to supporters. Consider streaming a play, concert, ballet, or other live performance. You could organize an online auction, virtual black-tie gala, or trivia night. 

Website Giving

Giving through a nonprofit’s website is a popular cash flow source for nonprofits. If your website does not provide this option already, this is something you will want to implement as soon as you can. When visitors to your website browse your mission and programs pages, they will feel inspired to help. Don’t make it more difficult by leaving out an online giving page. Facilitate charitable giving by creating an online form where your donors can securely make donations right from your website. 

Technology and Your Nonprofit

How you use technology to improve your nonprofit overall, and its finances is dependent on your needs, goals, budget, and capabilities, but don’t feel limited by these parameters. There is technology that can make a difference in day-to-day operations, strategic planning, program implementation, or financial management for every organization. 

Implementation

Create a wishlist of technologies that you want to implement in your nonprofit organization. Figure out what would you need and what’s in your way before adopting that new technology. Recruit the right people from within your organization who can help you achieve those goals! Remember, ultimately technology is meant to make your job easier!

 

The post How to Leverage Technology to Streamline Nonprofit Finance appeared first on Nonprofit Hub.

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