Creating Operational Efficiencies for Nonprofits: 3 Steps to Success 

Creating Operational Efficiencies for Nonprofits blog
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As nonprofits work to maximize funding to serve beneficiaries better and look for ways to increase efficiency, examining your organization’s technology could be the key to unlocking future success and sustainability.   

Research shows nonprofits use an average of six pieces of technology to accomplish operational and administrative tasks. Each piece comes with separate and complicated contracting, IT, security, infrastructure, and training needs. 

If your organization is using multiple types of software to accomplish similar tasks, consider how consolidating to one vendor can provide consistency in planning, increase efficiency, decrease costs, and improve long-term operational health.  

Let’s explore a three-step strategy towards creating sustained success for your nonprofit. 

Step 1: Examine Current Technology  

Inefficient, dated technology limits success and efficiency. On average, nonprofit teams spend about 520 hours (about three weeks a year, or 10 hours each week) navigating the different tools required for their jobs, based on the above statistics.  

If you’re using multiple pieces of technology, search out departments that overlap operationally within your organization. Accounting, fundraising, and donor management can benefit significantly from consolidating solutions.   

Using fundraising and accounting software together creates an end-to-end solution that helps your nonprofit raise, account, allocate, budget, and report on those funds better through streamlined reporting and more significant insights into fundraising and accounting. Using a single vendor also lets you quickly input and export information from one system into another and helps your organization make more informed decisions. 

Data is critical to sustained success. Keeping data within a single vendor’s technology makes it easier to be proactive, responsive, and chart the future growth of your organization.   

How do you know you’re making the right decision when it comes to consolidating? Turn to your team. 

Step 2: Building a Go-forward Operational Plan 

It’s time for your nonprofit teams to collaborate. For example, if your organization is using separate technology for fundraising and accounting, consider these steps to begin the conversation around consolidating:  

  • Ask for and encourage candid feedback from your teams to identify your current technology’s strengths and weaknesses 
  • Aggregate key takeaways from the feedback to identify collective benefits you want to target 
  • Determine a go-forward plan with a vendor to see how they can support you 

Efficient technology can directly translate to organization’s success. How your vendors support your organization is crucial. Working with one vendor in this scenario helps:  

  • Save money. By combining vendors, your organization has one contract, payment, and vendor partner that means less administrative work for your finance team: less invoices, less reporting, and less administrative work when it comes to budget creation 
  • Increase efficiency. Raising funds and accounting for those funds with one vendor partner can save so much time in the reporting and accounting of those funds. Plus, each tool is easy to use with intuitive processes and built–in automation that reduces manual or double data entry, eliminates errors, and saves your staff time. 

After identifying your technology needs and the software that can help your teams gain efficiency, it’s time to execute and move into a new era for your organization. 

Step 3: Consolidate and Succeed  

Working with one vendor to consolidate your current technology helps make your organization more efficient.    

Consider consolidating vendors to realize efficiencies through financial data, and bridging communication gaps with all your financial information in the same place with GiveSmart and MIP Fund Accounting, both by Community Brands, combines development and fundraising data with accounting workflows. With GiveSmart and MIP Fund Accounting by Community Brands you can: 

  • Easily import and incorporate individual donor and fundraising transactions into financial budget models and reporting. 
  • Bring the numbers to life with Donor Scoring that guides segmentation and stewardship.  
  • Increase your donor retention rate with an impactful, automated thank-you letter wizard.  
  • Review actionable insights from fundraising campaigns and events to steer your strategy and better support your mission campaigns and events to steer your strategy. 
  • Stay supported. Our dedicated customer success team supports nonprofits’ work and ensures they have the purpose-built tools to drive success.  
  • Train year-round. Upskill employees with technical training through Community Brands University. 

Want to learn more?

Grow and sustain your mission with Community Brands’ nonprofit software solutions.

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Eric Oliver

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