Modern Nonprofit Tools for Long-Term Success
When you look to donate money to a charity, what are some considerations that influence your decision? Of course, it’s important that the charity supports a cause that’s important to you. But isn’t the way the organization spends its money just as important?
You want to know that 100% of your contribution is going toward supporting the mission you care about—which may include program costs, reasonable salaries, and adequate supplies. You want to make sure that the organization that’s getting your money is running as economically as possible and can provide an accurate accounting of its efforts.
Now think about your nonprofit organization. If you are still hosting the data and applications that you’re using to run your core operations and development efforts—from your accounting software to your donor relationship management and fundraising systems—on premises, you are not setting your future organization up for success. And you might be putting the future viability of your organization into question.
Better Security for Your Fund Accounting Data
You say that you’re concerned with security and that’s why you’re not in the cloud. But old-school, outdated on-premise software is not only costly to maintain, but also poses huge security risks.
Sure, the software companies that provide cloud-based solutions aren’t 100% secure. No one—not even our largest government and financial institutions are. But these companies have substantially more resources than what a typical nonprofit has. The organizations behind the cloud-based services can afford the latest tools, technologies, and talent to ensure that the data they’re hosting is as secure as possible. Their business models depend on this. If they were continuously hacked or breached, they wouldn’t be around for very long.
More Cost-Effective for Your Nonprofit Organization
You may say that it’s a big cost to move your internal systems to the cloud. My response is that every business makes investments based on their return. And the return on your investment for moving to the cloud is substantial.
For example, because cloud-based applications are hosted centrally, these applications are open for many seamless integrations with other like-minded tools for fundraising, expense management, website integration, email marketing, and analytics that could never function if these tools had to work with thousands of disparate, self-hosted databases. Which means you would have access to a wide variety of fundraising, collaboration, and communication tools that you don’t have now. You and your employees would also be able to access your data from wherever and whenever, any time of the day, any place in the world, without worrying about a local support issue.
Cloud-based systems are not only secure, but they’re frequently backed up. They’re able to be upgraded quickly with new features added or bugs fixed while your workers are asleep overnight. They’re supported round-the-clock by service teams ready to answer questions and ensure that your people get the information they need when they need it. They’re also designed to be accessed by just about any device, using just about any operating system so there’s no reliance on any one vendor.
Future Focused to Prepare Your Nonprofit for What’s Next
All the benefits of cloud-based applications have an enormous impact on a nonprofit. But there’s one even more significant benefit that’s implied in a good, cloud-based application: perception.
How do you perceive an organization that’s using the same technology in the same way that they did more than 20 years ago? If you’re looking to attract forward-thinking Board members, what kind of reaction do you expect them to have when they discover the same thing about your organization?
As you’re recruiting top talent in these times of tight labor, do you really think you’re going to have a leg up on the competition if your technology isn’t competitive? Will you be able to attract younger employees in 2022 with software dating back to 1992? And what impact will that have on the senior management you want to recruit so that they can do their jobs if they can’t access information about prospective and current donors in real-time so that they can…well…do their jobs? With the right technology to help you run your organization effectively, you can make sure your organization is set up for long-term success.
Cloud-Based Software: A Priority for Your Nonprofit
So, here’s the tough-love advice: Upgrade. Migrate. Transition. Move your applications and data to the cloud. Take advantage of all the cloud-based tools available to help you keep your overhead low and increase your ability to fundraise. Evaluate your vendors carefully and mitigate any security risk you may perceive. Hire a consultant to help you put together a budget to do a full move to the cloud over a 12-month period and then use that consultant to project manage the implementation.
Lean in and embrace this technology. Your future self will thank you.
Fund Accounting Software that Drives Impact
Find out how Blackbaud’s Financial Edge NXT® fits your organization.