Conducting business in the non-profit world can be an extremely rewarding and challenging proposition for the seasoned corporate executive. There is a substantial gap in the utilization of solid business planning, management techniques and infrastructure. But being a non-profit does not mean that the company is “for-loss”. The underlying difference in a non-profit and a for-profit is what is done with the “profits” or excess funds. If the non-profit can operate efficiently then it can utilize additional funds to provide more services to the community.
A great way to capitalize on the efficiency gains realized in the for-profit work is the use of technology. Many SaaS (Software as a Service) providers are now offering grants and deep discounts to non-profits to equipment them with the tools that for-profits use. These systems typically provide the ability to manage fundraising, marketing, human resources, projects, customers/donors, general ledger, key performance indicators and of course financial reporting.
Human capital is a premium for non-profits; the ability to leverage tools such as SaaS systems are vital to efficiency and centralized operations. In the past the non-profit would use five or more systems, including manual processes to manage the business, which can put a strain on leadership already tasked with multiple roles. But now a non-profit organization can manage all aspects of the business through web-based services that do not strain IT infrastructure and can often be customized by department and/or job function. It is time for non-profits to work smarter and not harder…as the saying goes.