The rise in cloud computing has been great for the nonprofit sector. Cloud based software makes it easier for foundations, associations and other organizations to improve all sorts of internal processes like grant management or donation management. What you may not know, however, are some of the additional benefits of how moving certain procedures to the cloud could make your organization better.
Grant and donation management made easy
Many nonprofit and foundation groups are still managing central procedures using paper-based processes. A good number of small foundations utilize various databases for the grant making process, from application review to delivery of funds. The costs of using outmoded processes really add up over time. If you’re using paper, you’re not only paying for postage to send out communications to constituents, but you are also paying for the extra time it takes manually enter the data into a format, like Excel, where it can be reported on and shared with donors and board members. Luckily, cloud-based software makes it easier to manage these operations, and the solutions are more cost-effective than most organizations realize.
Collaborate more effectively
One of the main disadvantages of using databases, spreadsheets or paper is that they don’t give you much visibility into what the rest of your team is doing. A cloud-based solution enables organizations to manage tasks, collaborate on documents, share contacts and accomplish many other things, Techsoup says. An automated solution enables your organizations to see clearly what stage board members have reached in the application review process. You can even gain insight into reviewer comments and percentage of completion on each application.
Efficient collaboration is important on every level of you organization. A good software platform is very useful for collaboration within your organization, but it can also make it easier for you to communicate with applicants, donors and board members. Grant management software can easily be configured for all types of roles within your organization, while still giving everyone access to the same database. Applicants can log in to submit materials, staff members may login to perform their reviews, and board members and donors may have direct access to specific reports important to them. All the data you need is safely maintained in the software, but different user interfaces make the workflow process intuitive based on what each of your user’s specific needs.
The size you need at a cost you can afford
Nonprofits and foundations often hesitate to move to the cloud because they’re unaware that there is a cost-effective solution on the market, but this isn’t the case anymore. Software-as-a-service platform solutions, otherwise known as cloud-based or hosted solutions, can be scaled to fit specific needs. The best allow you to start small and grow as much as your want with the platform as you require more functionality. In other words, cloud-based solutions are often far more versatile than software you are forced to host on-premises. They are also much cheaper for nonprofits and foundations to subscribe to because they help eliminate the high costs of on-premises data storage, server fees, server maintenance, upgrades, etc.
According to Nonprofit Technology Network, cloud computing has enabled many startups to enter the market, leading to a greater diversity in offerings. While traditional software models may not have fit the specific needs of organizations in the past, cloud-based solutions are quickly changing the environment for small and large organizations and the achievement of their goals. Whatever you need a cloud-based platform solution for – be it grant, donation, event or volunteer management – there’s likely a cloud-based software solution that will work for you.