Non-profit organisations (NPOs) may not aim to earn profit through their operations, but their workload is comparable to business organisations whose primary goal is to make money.
For one, not-for-profits perform these crucial tasks to stay on track: event planning, management of member and volunteer databases, set-up of fundraising activities, and so on.
When these things aren’t managed well, non-profits will not fully fulfil their mission to help communities. It will be hard for them to predict the success of their cause because the objectives and actions aren’t aligned.
Clearly, these benevolent organisations need something that can help them simplify their laborious routines. Fortunately, there exists non-profit ERP software.
Such a tool bundles together various functions on a single platform to streamline communications and other business processes for non-profits.
Keep reading to learn more about how an ERP system benefits non-profit associations.
How ERP Software Benefits Every Non-profit or NPO
Better Funds Management
Like for-profit corporations, non-profits are fuelled by funds. Money enables charitable institutions and local chapters to promote themselves and support their missions.
Non-profit organisations raise funds through different means; including phone calls, leaflets, and social networks. Typically, they ask for donations over the phone, or distribute flyers in public to raise money for their causes.
Nowadays, however, charities and non-profits also leverage social media for fundraising. They connect with people on these online social networks to raise awareness, inspire supporters, and—finally—draw donations.
Although numerous fundraising methods create more opportunities for funding, they also mean more funds and a larger database to manage. In short, non-profit institutions must keep different ledgers for all their funding sources.
With non-profit ERP software, managing multiple funds will be a breeze. This system allows NPOs to track funding sources independently, thanks to its multidimensional chart of accounts.
This chart of accounts covers five areas: asset, liability, equity, income, and expense. The general fund, mission fund, building fund, and special project fund fall under the equity category; while contributions, pledges, grants, and revenue are placed in income accounts.
With this built-in tool, users can achieve financial transparency, create a report on the current financial data, and execute financial management with greater precision.
Organised Member Data
Membership management shares utmost importance with fund tracking. It keeps every non-profit’s programmes growing through the years.
It’s a hard fact that NPOs will not operate without other charitable people: partners, donors, sponsors, volunteers, and more. These individuals help get the word out about the causes, and bring projects or campaigns to life.
This is why non-profits do the best they can to maintain or increase member engagement. They reach out to people via phone, direct mail, email, social media, and other modes of communication.
While having a large membership base keeps a non-profit running, it can also drown the organisation in a sea of user data. Information overload can cause confusion or worse—disorganisation.
Through non-profit ERP software, such organisations can keep track of their dedicated membership base neatly. This system brings order to the mob of manage member accounts by segmenting them into specific groups in the database.
In addition to organised member data, this program enables structured communications. Account owners can make custom forms and applications, create membership terms, and set up renewal grace periods.
Some ERP systems for non-profits are even equipped with messaging capabilities. Users can craft personalised messages with mail-merge tools, and set automatic email responses.
Greater Regulatory Compliance
Who says not-for-profit organisations don’t have to keep themselves in compliance? They must also comply with prevailing regulatory standards to lay a strong foundation for their organisation.
Just like for-profit companies, NPOs must execute a number of tasks: keep good records, act in accordance with company bylaws, file a 990 informational return on time, conduct proper board meetings, and pay taxes on unrelated activities over $1000.
When these duties are accomplished, non-profits can build trust with potential donors, safeguard their reputation, and—most importantly—fulfil their noble mission to positively impact the world.
But what happens if they fail in doing such things? The failure to obey regulations violates the public’s trust. It will undermine their reputation, and create a nightmare that may haunt them for years to come.
To avoid regulatory compliance issues, one should invest in non-profit ERP software. Most modern ERP vendors design their systems to comply with state laws and industry standards.
Given that this software solution is a computer program, automation is in its DNA. With it, compliance can be automated. Back-office operations are programmed to align with relevant industry regulations; thus minimising human error in data processing, and streamlining inefficiently manual workflows for greater conformity to the law with less effort.
Additionally, the software usually comes with tight security features befitting a tool that facilitates compliance: a built-in firewall, data access control, and other such means of safekeeping classified information.
Summing It Up
ERP software improves the cost-effectiveness of management accounting, unifies fundraising data and contacts, and automates compliance. It helps not-for-profit organisations function smoother, and obey the law better with less stress.
Saj Parreno is a content strategist with SEO and digital marketing expertise. She gained experience in the field from working for high tech companies and start-ups and is on a mission to help businesses communicate value and reach more people.