It’s sometimes the people who are behind the scenes that get overlooked in a nonprofit. It’s the business side of the nonprofit management team that disappears into the shadows. Those working on the front lines, or on projects directly supporting the mission, may forget about those whose sole focus is back-office operations and organizational efficiency. Yet those who focus on operational efficiencies and productivity in the nonprofit workplace are supporting its mission in many important ways.
Without someone paying attention to operational efficiencies at a nonprofit organization, precious resources may be spent unproductively. We are going to give you some tips to improve operational efficiencies and how fundraising software can help bring everyone in your organization together for the common goal of improving operational efficiencies.
The Importance of Operational Efficiencies
“Achieve the mission” is usually the rallying cry of the nonprofit organization. Your nonprofit’s mission may be tied to healthcare, education, animal rights, the arts, or helping industry professionals network. No matter what its mission, the growing need for services, combined with the rising costs of providing those services, means that every resource at your organization must be used as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Enter the office people: the folks from your accounting, finance, human resources, sales and marketing areas (if you’re lucky enough to work for a nonprofit large enough to have people dedicated to each of these areas and not wearing multiple hats). These are the people tasked with making sure that those precious resources such as donations, grant money, membership fees, dues, and fundraising monies are spent in a wise manner. They’re tasked with finding ways to improve how your organization does its much-needed work without sacrificing the quality of that work.
If it seems like a big job, it is. Fortunately, there are ways to help improve operational efficiencies without extreme measures.
Improving Operational Efficiencies: Three Tips
Although specific people in your nonprofit may be tasked with improving operational efficiencies, everyone within your organization plays an important role. The following tips may encourage everyone to find ways to work better, faster, and smarter.
- Share resources: Share resources, people, and time with other departments. Avoid the “silo” mentality, which forms walls or barriers around your group to keep information and resources in the group instead of sharing with the broader team. The more you can share, the more efficient your organization will be. Shared resources and talents save money by adding value or solving problems that a single person may struggle with.
- Embrace mobile technology: Smartphones and cloud-based business systems are two ways in which you can make it easy for your team to work wherever they are. If they’re traveling, at an event, or at home, they can still respond to inquiries, handle work, and access company information. It makes for a much more efficient system than older site-based software and resources.
- Reduce unnecessary travel: Take a long, hard look at your organization’s travel schedule and budget. Do you really need to attend that many trade shows, conferences and events? Face-to-face team meetings can be replaced by video conferences, conference calls, or shared documents. With so many options to work easily from a distance, the need for travel should be reduced. Save travel budgets for the most important things that can only be accomplished in person, and reduce costs whenever possible in your travel by staying at inexpensive hotels, limiting meal budgets, sharing taxis, and other cost-saving measures.
Operational Efficiencies Enhanced by the Right Fundraising Software
When your entire team can have real time data at their fingertips it’s a win-win. Departments can see what is happening in other departments and utilize the information to make the entire nonprofit more efficient and work together as a team. We mentioned cloud-based systems as part of operational efficiencies, and this is a key factor when improving operational efficiencies. Cloud based software allows your team to access the information they need no matter where they are. The right fundraising software solution for your nonprofit organization can make it much easier to track expenses and income and make sure the two are balanced appropriately. Making margin enables you to fulfill your mission, and that’s important for any organization. Implementing the right software can make improving operational efficiencies a lot easier.
RBP Methods: Fundraising Efficiency through Software
RBP Methods offers a wide range of services to nonprofit organizations that make monitoring and using fundraising data easier. RBP Methods offers fundraising software that makes fundraising easier, faster, and smoother for all types of nonprofit organizations. With our extensive experience and background working in the nonprofit sector, we know what’s important for our clients’ success and can help you navigate the many possible software choices on the market today. To learn more, contact us at 503-648-9051.