ERP for nonprofits | Unit4
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ERP for nonprofits: Exploring the Unit4 model

When you think “ERP,” you probably think of big, monolithic software platforms built for a one-size-fits-all model.

And in the past, you’d be right to think this way. ERP evolved to manage the processes and needs of large manufacturing companies – and one factory is more or less like any other.

ERP for nonprofits

At Unit4, we’ve developed our nonprofit ERP software platform specifically for people-centric charitable organizations. The kind of organizations where “one size fits all” isn’t an option – either in the way services are offered, how they get work done, or the way software helps you deliver your goals.

This is why we’ve developed specific “industry models” for the implementation of our solutions. These take advantage of our experience of working alongside key industries for decades and our knowledge of their particular needs and requirements.

Financial planning for nonprofits

At Experience4U in October 2020, our Senior Solution Manager for Nonprofit, Jeroen Figee, explained our nonprofit industry model’s specifics and advantages. Exploring in-depth the model’s differences from the standard approach to ERP for nonprofits implementations others take and how this helps organizations like you quickly see ROI and improvements to your operations.

ERP for the nonprofit sector must contend with two existential realities:

  1. Expectations are changing rapidly – and business processes need to change just as rapidly to scale resourcing levels to meet demand.
  2. Budgets are shrinking or stagnant – meaning the rapid cost increases associated with one-size-fits-all implementations that require heavy customization are unacceptable.

Nonprofit ERP implementations

For large-scale implementations like ERP – which generally only happen a handful of times in an organization’s life cycle – scope creep has traditionally been a huge problem. This, combined with a lack of flexibility, leads to systems that should make resources more readily available to you as you work to achieve your mission, becoming an active drain on your resources.

This means that the gap between a successful implementation and an unsuccessful one can be huge. If your people can work more simply, more quickly – and take advantage of industry knowledge and best practices – the positives are obvious. If they can’t do this, they can strangle your organization’s ability to deliver impact,

Why the Unit4 nonprofit model?

Our ERP for nonprofits gives you a better way to manage projects and programs, grants and funding and the people who make it all happen. With an intuitive and flexible cloud-based platform, your people can stay focused on what matters—delivering more impact to achieve your mission. It does this by:

  • Using specialist nonprofit industry and technology knowledge
  • Delivering a faster time to value for all projects
  • Reducing your total cost for your tech investments and maintenance
  • Improving data integration to speed up decision making
  • Future-proofing your technology against the changing needs of the sector
  • Satisfying donors and retaining talent through better experiences

And with all this, you make more impactful decisions to help optimize projects, manage partners and volunteers, and understand resources more easily. And you do all this while simultaneously maximizing available funding and building trust and accountability across your entire organization.

A solution that’s right for your nonprofit

We created our nonprofit industry model to ensure that your ERP solution fits your needs, rather than forcing you to fit its needs.

Like all our industry models, it’s based on pre-configured processes structured around a core model with optional additions, allowing you to define a scope that suits your unique needs more efficiently with an out-of-the-box solution that covers all major nonprofit functional areas. Delivery is standardized—each scope includes a pre-set number of days that you can adjust to your needs and requirements—helping you be confident in your timelines and budgets.

We’ve developed our solutions – and the models to deliver them to you quickly - with an eye to four strategic priorities:

  1. Maximizing your available funding
  2. Making more impactful decisions
  3. Modernizing while maintaining mission focus
  4. Building trust and accountability

As well as the core model and additional components, the industry model consists of a series of familiarization materials. These materials help your teams understand how the project will run and what to expect. They also include pre-defined processes (that keep the implementation on track and running smoothly) and delivery materials (to ensure you have everything you need to run your solution successfully) from the get-go.

It’s a tried and tested model focused on reducing time-to-value and streamlining your business processes—taking advantage of our low- and no-code configuration capabilities to help you get what you want out of your solutions.