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Archive for the ‘Navigator 2013’ Category

Understanding and Protecting Donor Intention and Grants

October 8th, 2014 No comments

Nonprofits and NGOs are in a delicate position because they depend on donors to uphold and support their cause and grants to fund their mission. At the same time, their donor counterparts and grantors are passionate and excited about imagesthe mission, and nonprofits need to respect the intent of the charitable donation or grant.

If donors were to find out their money was spent in a way contrary to their desire, future funding could be in jeopardy, not to mention the potential for a PR crisis. This is why clear communication with donors is extremely important for nonprofits and NGOs of any size. Adhering to donor intention doesn’t just protect your relationship with one particular donor or grantor; it also protects the overall mission of your nonprofit.

Understanding Donor Intention and Grant Restrictions

There are many layers of donor intent and three specific grant restrictions. Before setting up a grant or making a direct donation, philanthropists may have broad or very specific guidelines on how the funds should be spent. Terms and conditions of a grant or donation may include:

  • Unrestricted: without a designated use
  • Temporarily restricted: contains specific guidelines on how it will be used
  • Permanently restricted: must be held indefinitely (often with the intent to generate interest)

Even if a grant or donation is unrestricted, special care should be made to address the donor’s intent. This helps develop a relationship of trust that will hopefully extend far into the future.

How to Protect Donor Intent

The first step to protecting donor intent is to have a clear cut mission statement. You mission statement will not only help attract donors, it will help attract the right kind of donors—ones who are passionate about your cause. When you share the same goals, then most of the time donor intent will align itself naturally with your everyday processes.Capture

Along with a clear mission statement, your nonprofit or NGO should have a strong commitment to ethical behavior on all levels of the organization. Perhaps this goes without saying, but even the slightest deviation from honest business practices (intentional or not) undermines your entire organization. Even in cases where donor intent isn’t clearly defined, all funds should be allocated with complete transparency and a commitment to spend it according to your donor’s wishes.

Finally, your nonprofit or NGO needs the right accounting and reporting tools so you can actually show your donors that you’re spending their funds as intended. In Geni Whitehouse’s whitepaper for Serenic Software, Grant vs. Grantt, she states, “Grant managers have strict accountability and tracking requirements, specialized reporting and measurement needs, and complex revision tracking requirements. It should be no surprise, then, that grant managers need special tools to support them.”

Selecting the Right Grant Management Software

Haphazard grant management increases the chances of mistakes and misallocation of funds. To ensure that your nonprofit or NGO is compliant with all fund restrictions, you need dedicated grant management software that integrates with your nonprofit accounting software.

Your organization’s mission is best supported with grant managing software designed specifically for nonprofits and NGOs; learn more about Serenic Software’s grants management solution, AwardVision

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…

Is Subscription Right for Your Nonprofit?

May 27th, 2014 No comments

Everything flows, nothing stands still. – Heraclitus, ~535 BC–475 BC

A couple of years ago, we wrote the original of this article about Serenic’s licensing models.  Well, all things change, so we think it’s time to update the article.

When considering nonprofit accounting software, the purchasing model adds an important dimension to the decision process.  Which is the best fit for your organization – purchasing a license and installing (either on premise or on leased servers), or making the leap into the cloud? which way to go

Perpetual License

Some nonprofits are most comfortable with their data stored locally and are willing and able to make a capital investment in the license, implementation, and necessary servers.  Additionally, they may prefer to pay their costs upfront, rather than a monthly subscription fee.

  • You purchase concurrent users (full or limited access).
  • You install the product on your organization’s computers and servers (or on servers leased from a 3rd party).
  • Maintenance of the software is under your direction and control – for example, scheduling and applying upgrades.
  • Should your nonprofit need specialized functionality, you can contract to have the product customized to meet your specific needs. Read more…

Reporting to Federal Agencies – Don’t be Tied up in Knots

March 24th, 2014 No comments

Part 6 in our blog series:  Tied Up in the Strings Attached to Federal Awards?  Streamline compliance with A-133 Audit Rules.

In this last post, we address reporting, ensuring you are ready for federal agency requests and are allocating program funding properly.

Read more…

Can You Afford Not to Handle Your Award Restrictions with Confidence?

March 17th, 2014 No comments

Part 5 in our blog series:  Tied Up in the Strings Attached to Federal Awards?  Streamline compliance with A-133 Audit Rules

In this post, we address matching funds, service and expenditure levels, and earmarking;  ensuring your organization is in compliance with any and all award restrictions. Federal Awards ebook

Matching

When federal awards include a matching component, the recipient must be able to show that matching funds have been received and are from an allowable source.

Potential complication: The auditor must determine whether the minimum amount or percentage of contributions or matching funds was provided. They must also consider the value of any in-kind contributions that were received.

Streamlined: Use Serenic Navigator’s AwardVision to create rules to monitor matching requirements while ensuring matching costs are appropriately tallied on a recurring basis. By defining the matching requirements at the receipt of the award, organizations will have evidence of their guideline compliance over the life of the award. Read more…

Where Did that Laptop Go? Track Your Assets

March 10th, 2014 No comments

Part 4 in our blog series:  Tied Up in the Strings Attached to Federal Awards? Streamline compliance with A-133 Audit Rules.

In this post, we address tracking purchased equipment and real property, ensuring you are safeguarding your equipment and even being compensated for your share. Federal Awards ebook 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…

Giving Nonprofits the Power of Choice

June 6th, 2013 No comments

We’re very excited to announce the newest software release of Serenic Navigator, built on Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, which enhances collaboration for nonprofit financial management. Read more…