Archive for the ‘Business Intelligence’ Category

How Technology Has Changed Philanthropy for the Better

October 1st, 2014 No comments

We live in a time when tech companies and computer savvy gurus have found a way to improve just about every professional field through the means of technology. Philanthropy, likewise, has changed immensely.MEGWARE.CLIC

The “old days” of philanthropy—before technology and social media had an impact on attracting donors—involved primarily the elite funding their favorite charities. Philanthropic giving was something a select few did at the end of their careers, after they were done amassing great wealth.

Now philanthropy is more egalitarian. It’s easy for nonprofits and NGOs to reach out (through tools such as smart phone apps and social media campaigns) to people from any socio-economic background, and enable them to donate easily and in small amounts. Philanthropy isn’t something you have to wait to do anymore—technology allows you to make donations in easy and often creative ways. Read more…

Tips to Calculate Financial ROI & Evaluate Mission ROI

June 18th, 2014 No comments

Remember that, as a nonprofit, you need to look at not only Financial ROI, but also Mission ROI. These two different returns are closely related. If a particular service is contributing a great deal toward the success of the mission, it may not be essential for it to make money. Conversely, if a service is not contributing directly to the success of the mission, it better be a profit center. A good example of the latter kind of service for most nonprofits might be a fundraising event that does not provide services directly to constituents, but does bring in more funds than it spends and contributes those excess funds toward the direct servicing of constituents.

Here’s a visual demonstration of this concept:

Tips to Calculate Financial ROI & Evaluate Mission ROI

That said, you need accurate numbers to measure financial ROI, and here most nonprofits are behind the curve due to what’s called “cost-shifting.”

Cost-shifting arises when one funder says they’ll pay for direct costs, but not indirect, on a particular project. So, you shift the indirect costs out to a different cost center. Another funder pays for 50% of the CEO’s time, and so you move her expenses there, even if she really spends 90% of her time on the project for a while. After 10 different funders weigh in with their particular reporting needs, the cost picture is so muddled, that you can’t really tell what your real costs are, unless you back out the adjustments.

Can your reporting system do that? Can it tell you what a particular service or grant is really costing you?  Can it track the source of funding separate from the program cost, while still allocating to the appropriate funding sources?  Without that information the staff and board can’t make an informed stewardship decision. In addition, this information needs to be available often with greater frequency than just monthly. Doing the homework now on your ability to quickly respond in a prudent fashion is key.

Read more in our case study written by Peter Brinkerhoff.

Nonprofit Software Solutions Lead the Way for a Paperless World

February 19th, 2014 No comments

A world without paper; what would that be like? It may not be too far into the future, with the increase of eReaders, Tablets, and Mobile Internet and Apps. It is growing evermore commonplace for organizations to reduce the amount of paper they use. Not only is this an ethical approach to modern business practice, but it can also help streamline processes.

Using a cloud-based or on-premise system where documents can be viewed and collaborated on by multiple users in real-time, and from any location, can provide this paperless world many aspire to and increase productivity. Rather than spending endless man hours tracking down files, staff can update documents quickly and securely, reducing the margin for error, and providing accurate information at the touch of a button. Plus, paper-based processes can be laborious and expensive, unnecessarily wasting resources and creating a lengthy and confusing paper trail. Read more…

Improve Grant Management Functions: Extend the Life of your Nonprofit

January 29th, 2014 No comments

Nonprofits are subject to high levels of scrutiny, not least from the government. In any one day a grant manager may interact with government agencies, private foundations and charitable organizations, each with their own set of rules, compliance and reporting requirements. How can grant managers meet the needs of all these different stakeholders? Using software that allows for meticulous and detailed grant tracking, while meeting the needs of both grantor organizations and grantees, is certainly one way to tackle the challenge.

Grant managers need access to information in real-time; information must be secure but easily accessible based on individual roles and access rights. Read more…

Empower Your Nonprofit with an Integrated Software Solution

January 22nd, 2014 No comments

Nonprofits are constantly looking for ways to increase efficiency and productivity and work smarter. This can be hard to do with many different software solutions and time-consuming manual processes prone to duplication errors, which can in turn lead to non-compliance. To ensure data integrity, project and expenditure tracking, and transparency, it is vital to integrate organizational processes with solutions tailored to the specific needs of the nonprofit. Read more…

Five Tips for Creating Actions from Innovation

November 25th, 2013 No comments

Innovation is a buzzword that will always be evergreen. Fundamental within the nonprofit sector, without action it will be wasted and lead nowhere. While sometimes it may seem elusive, there are some steps nonprofits can follow to exploit available opportunities for innovation and turn these opportunities into tangible actions. Read more…

What can non profits learn from Moneyball?

April 12th, 2013 No comments

The 2011 film Moneyball, which is based on the bestselling book by Michael Lewis, focuses on the true story of how the Oakland Athletics baseball team managed to improve their ability to win games on a considerably lower budget than the teams they played against. Compared to their competitors, they had limited resources and dollars for acquiring players. To put this into perspective, the Oakland Athletic were able to challenge the New York Yankees in the playoffs on a quarter of their budget. Read more…