There were over 1.5 million non-profit organizations registered with the IRS in 2015, up more than 10% since 2005. Given the scale of this industry and the speed of its growth, it’s not surprising that a whole category of “nonprofit software” has sprung up to serve it. Now that there are so many options available, however, finding the right one can prove challenging. Make sure whatever you choose has the features that every nonprofit needs:
Working out of the cloud makes perfect sense for nonprofits because it streamlines so much of IT management. Your organization no longer has to worry about nagging or disastrous IT issues or pay for expensive IT support. Money and energy that you used to spend on technology can be used for your core mission instead.
Nonprofits and companies with small budgets and uncertain funding streams must be very careful with their finances. The best way to stay in front of issues and opportunities alike is to monitor financial performance and key metrics in real-time. Accountants need accurate, updated data at all times to be the most effective financial stewards they can be.
Charitable donors expect to know exactly how their money is being used, as do organizations that issue grants. Nonprofits must also prove that they’re compliant with a raft of regulations. Satisfying these demands for transparency and accountability requires excellent financial reporting capabilities. Automation can pull together more data from more sources in less time, allowing your organization to generate reports on almost any subject on-demand.
Running a nonprofit is complex enough without having to hunt down information or figure out what other users are doing. Choose software that integrates more data onto a single platform with features that anyone with authorization can use. Centralized management helps everyone collaborate while eliminating a lot of the confusion and redundancy that make IT so frustrating.
Some software’s claim to be built for nonprofits, but it’s more of a sales pitch than a serious toolkit. The best software has features that specifically address nonprofit challenges like tracking grants, budgeting on a granular level, and completing form 990.
At a certain point, your nonprofit can’t continue to sustain itself using basic tools like Microsoft Excel or QuickBooks. But there is also the risk of wasting your IT budget on a software upgrade that causes more problems than it solves. Instead of leaving anything up to uncertainty, proceed forward with a partner who understands what today’s nonprofits need from IT. Connect with the team at Alta Vista Tech to set up a consultation.
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