Financial ManagementVolunteer Management

Nonprofit software monitors an organization’s finances

Nonprofit management software keeps track of an organization’s finances during times of economic instability. Even as the nation recovers from the Great Recession, many NPOs are left behind. The Nonprofit Finance Fund’s “2014 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey” reported that 80 percent of respondents experience an increase in demand for services, but 56 percent could not meet the demand in 2013. This is the highest percentage reported in the survey’s history. Unfortunately, only 11 percent believe 2014 will bring a healthier financial state.

Budgets are tight and nonprofits are naming “achieving long-term financial stability” as a No. 1 priority. Almost one-third of nonprofits ended their 2013 fiscal year with a deficit.

Nonprofits survive by employing strategic techniques
Instead of seeing a strained budget as a challenge; an organization can look at this as an opportunity. Nonprofits rise above uncertain circumstances when they are responsive to change and adapt to their environments. Many organizations are attempting to overcome budget cuts by adopting strategic measures. In fact, 39 percent of respondents conducted strategic financial planning. Organizations can take ideas from those meetings and input data into a nonprofit software program. It stores financial information and ensures funds are accurate and up to date. Organizations enjoy visibility and gain insight into their current fiscal state.

Results of the study showed that nonprofits are trying to survive by employing a few other tactics. For example, nearly half of respondents joined forces with another NPO to improve or expand services to meet high demand. Additionally, nonprofits are finding alternative ways to fund programs. In fact, 26 percent are pursuing earned income endeavors and one-fifth of respondents are turning to loans and other investments instead of grants and contracts.

Other strategies involve increasing volunteerism
Another approach to gain support is turning to volunteers. Old and young, many individuals are eager to help organizations. Volunteer Match indicated that Generation Y members are facing few employment opportunities, but many still want to buff up their resumes. Millennials can develop skills when they volunteer at an organization. Additionally, retirees have more free time, so they’re a good resource for volunteer projects.” Be sure to evaluate volunteers’ specialties. After acquiring volunteers, it’s vital to retain them. Acknowledging volunteers is crucial for long-term engagement.

Financial management software provides NPOs with increased visibility
A nonprofit will know about its current financial situation when the organization taps into its financial management software feature. With automated journal entries, nonprofits benefit from accurate data. This shows staff members the account balances and ensures that funds are in order.

Another crucial software feature that helps secure funding is an analytics program. According to the report, 70 percent of respondents said their funders requested metrics. A nonprofit software program can create tables and charts, which many private and public funders appreciate. When individuals can see the visual impact of how money helped the organization, they are more likely to contribute.

A bit of creativity, adaptability and a financial management system can help NPOs survive through tough times.