The nonprofit dream: four ways you can deliver more impact
The nonprofit sector is on a never-ending mission to solve the world’s biggest problems, by reacting to rapidly changing demands as efficiently as possible. But many of them forget that radical change must start from within.
Improving the world is an infinite task, and huge resources go into external campaigns for nonprofit organizations. But what about internal innovations?
Many leading nonprofit organizations have an opportunity to drive improvement by enabling greater agility and efficiencies in their own operations. Finding the right technology platform is critical to this mission. The growing importance of response times is driving organizations to upgrade their infrastructures so they can react quicker to organizational change and to unpredictable demands for their services.
What happens behind the curtain is critical to the impact of frontline services. Moving to more sophisticated foundational technology, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, streamlines business processes to yield four hugely important benefits.
1. Anywhere access
Coordinating teams is a huge challenge for most nonprofits, as many are managing staff across multiple office locations and field sites. ERP technology centralizes all operations into a single system, accessible from anywhere in the world. It should also make offline work possible, so business disruption doesn’t negatively impact program delivery when internet connections in the field aren’t reliable.
2. Real-time information
With all personnel working from a central, integrated system, data and approvals can be captured in real time. This means staff can make rapid decisions with the data to support them at their fingertips, focusing efforts where they are most needed.
3. Flexible operations
Rather than being forced into a one-size-fits-all approach, the right ERP system can be configured by non-technical staff to make business processes easier and more intuitive. This means teams can tailor the platform to optimize their performance, without needing to involve IT.
4. Instant reporting
To prove that initiatives are delivering impact, nonprofits can use ERP platforms to instantly report on performance, ensuring the transparent and accountable allocation of resources. In addition to demonstrating effective decision-making, this also reassures donors that their money is being spent wisely.
On the right quest
In our uncertain, unpredictable world, nonprofits need to find business systems that deliver the same flexibility and self-sufficiency that their frontline staff demonstrate to make a real difference in the world. Many organizations are on this quest to get outdated technology out of their way already, discovering ERP systems that enable dynamic decision-making and data-driven performance.
Through internal innovation, nonprofits can change their digital strategy, processes and reporting to a more agile approach. And the efficiencies they achieve as a result will enable bigger improvements for their core causes, edging them closer to achieving their vision.