Guest post blog submitted by: ClickTime, a leading provider of nonprofit time tracking software.
Although nonprofit organizations tend to carry the stigma of being old-fashioned and technologically inefficient, the truth is that your nonprofit software is one of the most important aspects of running a successful organization.
With the sudden move to a remote workforce due to COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, this is now more true than ever. Having an effective technology infrastructure can allow you to maintain high levels of productivity and sustain internal operations even from great distances.
Here are three of our top tips for using nonprofit technology while working from home— both during and after the pandemic. Be sure to:
- Invest in the right tools to ease the transition.
- Digitize your fundraising efforts.
- Make note of changes within your organization.
With these best practices, you can watch your nonprofit transform into an accessible, tech-savvy, and efficient organization, ready to pursue your mission from the comfort of your own homes. Ready to get started? Let’s jump in!
1. Invest in the right tools to ease the transition.
A big part of ensuring an effective nonprofit workflow is making sure your team is equipped with the right tools to get the job done. Although it might be tempting to pinch pennies and save wherever you can, it’s important to remember that nonprofit software and other overhead costs are investments.
Yes, adopting new software solutions will require upfront fees. However, the amount you’ll save in both time and money will make the investment more than worth your while. With the right tools, you can quickly and easily manage these three key processes:
- Time tracking: Time tracking is one of the most effective ways to boost employee productivity and make sure everyone stays on track. Yet many businesses and organizations still use paper printouts or manual spreadsheets to record time. Instead, upgrade to timesheet software, which is a powerful tool for collecting and transmitting your employee data. Plus, effective timesheet software makes it easy to collect and track employee data that can, in turn, be reported back to your funding sources (such as grant-giving institutions and donors). To better understand nonprofit time tracking and why it’s so important, click here.
- Online donations: If your nonprofit relies heavily on direct mail, in-person, and event-based donations, it’s time to make the switch to online giving. With the right online donation tools, your generous supporters can give in mere seconds from anywhere in the world. When you add these options to your already established fundraising strategies, you can start to see significant increases in revenue— all without leaving your house.
- Communications: The way you communicate with your donors, volunteers, and employees sets the tone for your entire organization. The most effective communication strategies are personalized and automated, both of which can be done with nonprofit marketing and outreach software. This way, you can request donations from supporters, thank your volunteers for their help, and keep employees up-to-date all without a hitch.
Because every organization is different, your technological requirements will vary as well. Now that you’re home with extra time on your hands, it’s the perfect opportunity to explore various software providers and decide on the tools that will complement your nonprofit operations.
2. Digitize your fundraising efforts.
As a result of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, nonprofit fundraising strategies have been flipped upside down. Without the ability to host in-person events and fundraisers, many organizations are concerned with how to maintain sufficient revenue. As a nonprofit professional, you might be sharing these worries.
However, thanks to the vast array of nonprofit technology at your fingertips, your fundraising efforts can be saved. By transitioning upcoming events and fundraising campaigns to the virtual realm, you can continue to raise money while abiding by safety protocols.
These are three types of tools that any successful suite of fundraising software needs to stay on top, especially during this time:
- Online fundraising platform: An optimized online fundraising platform is going to be the basis of any virtual fundraising campaign. With customizable donation forms, nonprofit payment processors, and donor management tools, you’ll have everything you need to start generating revenue online quickly.
- Text-to-give tools: A text-to-give campaign is one of the simplest ways a donor can give. All they have to do is text a predetermined keyword to a mobile giving number and follow the texted instructions to confirm their donation. And because it can be completed from any smartphone, it’s one of the most accessible and user-friendly campaigns you can run.
- Virtual event hosting platform: If your organization tends to lean toward in-person fundraising events for a good portion of your revenue, there’s still a way you can salvage those fundraisers. By switching to a virtual event, you can use live-streaming video software to record and share your event with virtual attendees.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or transitioning an already-planned event to a virtual one, the possibilities are endless! Check out Soapbox Engage’s top virtual fundraising ideas to get started.
3. Make note of trends within your organization.
During this time there are going to be quite a few adjustments. It’s important to prepare for what you can but to also be flexible as your team adapts to meet new demands. As we ease into a time of remote workforces and online fundraising, it’s important to notice changes and emerging trends.
As employees and donors each begin relating differently with your organization, there are likely to be some major advantages as well as some drawbacks. Maintaining a close emphasis on your nonprofit analytics is a great way to quantify these changes.
Be sure to ask yourself the following questions as your nonprofit transitions to a post-COVID-19 world:
- Has the number of lapsed donors increased/decreased in the last few months?
- Has the average gift size increased/decreased in the last few months?
- Has employee productivity increased/decreased in the last few months?
- Has volunteer engagement increased/decreased in the last few months?
- Has digital marketing engagement increased/decreased in the last few months?
- Has event attendance increased/decreased in the last few months?
By noting and using this information, you can paint a clearer picture of where your nonprofit stands in terms of fundraising, donor engagement, employee management, and more.
One of the greatest benefits of technology is the ease with which data can be collected and analyzed. Then, you can use your nonprofit data to your advantage by adjusting your fundraising, communications, or other strategies to align with the trends and best practices you see.
While nonprofits across the globe are struggling to sustain everyday operations while keeping employee productivity levels high, at ClickTime, we believe nonprofit timesheet software is the solution.
We’ve all heard the saying “time is money.” That means the more efficiently you distribute your organization’s time and resources, the more that ends up going directly toward pursuing your mission. Good luck!