Historically, the beginning of the year sees an influx in nonprofit donations, but many organizations are wondering if those donations will be enough to keep them running throughout the year. A new survey report entitled Non-Profit 2013 Financial Outlook, Reporting, & Systems reveals the top priorities and challenges facing nonprofits in 2013. According to the survey, 2013 will likely require non-profits to rethink revenue models and income strategies, while improving strategic planning and program results to get the most out of their donations.
The challenges are many where nonprofit organizations are concerned. For 2013, nonprofits are expected to face: reduced government funding, reduced charitable donations, increased competition, increased demand for services, and much more.
While many people are not aware of it, the nonprofit community is an enormous contributor to the American economy. During the recessions of 1990 and 2001, nonprofits actually increased their number of employees by 2.38 % a year while for-profit jobs declined at an annualized rate of 2.2 %. The nonprofit sector provides 5.5% of the nation’s entire GDP or $751 billion worth of output. Without nonprofits, the needs of many would go unmet.
So, what can be done?
The key to turning things around for nonprofits is… TECHNOLOGY. Specifically, nonprofit fund accounting software. While this may seem like a given, many nonprofits are operating without the proper technology, resulting in decreased efficiency, poor financial (donation) management, and higher costs. Nonprofit fund accounting software can help nonprofits tremendously in two key areas: reducing costs and increasing donations.
However, before you can even be considered for donations, the public must be aware that your nonprofit exists. Awareness can be established through many channels, but in today’s day and age social media reigns supreme. Consider creating an online presence for your nonprofit organization to be mission-critical. People are going to want to know and interact with your organization, and in order to do that, they will turn to social media.
You have probably already taken a look at your new budgets, and my guess is they call for flat expenses or reduced expenses and increased donations. How are you supposed to do that? Well the proper nonprofit fund accounting software can help your staff achieve much more with less. Automating financial functions through an integrated nonprofit fund accounting system where the donor’s details have to be entered only once and are accessible to all staff makes good business sense. It can help you with audits, reporting, and even bringing in more donations.
Paired with a donor management system, nonprofit fund accounting software will allow you to recognize and reward your donors, track their actions and focus on building relationships with all of your donors in an effort to increase donor loyalty.
If that is not enough, the cost of quality nonprofit fund accounting software as really become more affordable with subscription offerings. These lower prices put technology in the hands of nonprofits that were not able to afford it before.
Nonprofit fund accounting software can help you properly manage your funds and allocate them in the best way possible. This will allow you to get more for your buck and stretch funds even further. But the benefits don’t stop there. Nonprofit fund accounting software can also help you manage online donations, an area that many nonprofits have yet to look into.
The vast majority of nonprofits are still not capable of accepting online donations. This is a must! While we’re not saying to get rid of your direct mail campaigns, you do need to integrate all of your marketing channels to drive one call to action: Donate! Increasingly, your younger donors expect the convenience of visiting your website or Facebook page and clicking a link that drives them directly to a fully integrated, easy-to-use donation form.
Plus, online donations allows you to create peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, simplify event fundraising, and so much more. All of which could increase donations, and allow you to find new prospective donors.
For the sake of the economy, consider implementing new technology such as nonprofit fund accounting software. If you are already using nonprofit fund accounting software, learn something new about it, attend a training class or get with a peer group. As with all things technology is always changing and improving, and nonprofit fund accounting software is no exception.