Nonprofit organizations, while having limited resources, focus on big goals: they are designed to make the world a better place, and they follow their mission. However, routine tasks consume time and efforts, significantly reducing resources available for mission-related work. What’s more, nonprofit managers often have to face many non-familiar activities – accounting in the first place.
Good news is that routine can be easily automated to save time and resources! There are many tools that not only streamline various activities, but also help handle the most tedious processes. And, contrary to the common belief, automation doesn’t necessarily cost a fortune – in fact, it helps save funds. In this article, we’ve listed five main candidates for automation and software tools that can help with that.
Being one of the most important activities for any nonprofit, fundraising usually turns into a stressful and time-consuming process. Attracting new donors and supporters is only a part of success – another part, and even more important and challenging, is retaining existing ones.
Both parts of fundraising work require significant organization and planning efforts: communicating with prospects and donors, running fundraising campaigns, organizing online giving, and much more. This can and should be automated – at least in order to speed up work.
Alongside with saving valuable time, fundraising automation brings following benefits to nonprofits:
Such tools as Classy take the pain out of fundraising management by allowing to streamline and automate the entire workflow in this part of a nonprofit’s activities. Classy allows you to organize your organization’s online presence to attract more donors and volunteers and inform them on your fundraising events and campaigns.
The tool allows to create convenient and intuitive forms for online donation, set up fundraising pages, and keep track of results. What’s more, Classy helps manage your contacts, engage new supporters, and maintain productive relationships with your existing donors.
Classy prices start from $499, billed monthly as a subscription fee for cloud app access.
Productive work is barely possible without knowing where your time goes – this is true for any industry and field. Eliminating unproductive activities and seeing where there’s room for optimization is critical for being efficient and keeping productivity levels up.
For nonprofits, accurate timekeeping is even more important: not-for-profit activities they spend time on defines their tax exempt status, so automated timekeeping data collection is necessary for easier accountability. What’s more, it’s an easier way to show donors how you’re using their funds and prove your grant eligibility to government agencies.
There are many benefits of automated timekeeping, so to be concise, the main of them are:
actiTIME is a tool that combines timekeeping and work management features, making it possible to automate both. Its smart and flexible reports provide insights into how work is performed, whether additional time or funds are necessary, and where you can optimize your workflow. This is a robust tool that allows to visualize work progress and results.
actiTIME offers a generous 50% discount for nonprofits, so for example a monthly subscription for 20 users only costs $50.
There’s no need to stress the importance of marketing automation. Efficient communication with existing contacts and prospects is based on individual approach, so basically every single detail is important for great campaign results.
Email marketing is the basis of communication with donors and prospects. Planning and running email campaigns based on previous interaction details and individual parameters of your contacts, creating personalized emails and tracking campaign results can be really time-consuming – needless to say this work is frustrating when not automated.
Among the greatest benefits of marketing automation, the following are worth mentioning:
Such solutions as Benchmark help automate email campaigns on all steps. By using it, nonprofits can dedicate more time and efforts for their mission instead of struggling with tedious manual filtering, sorting and follow-ups. The tool provides various features that make communication more personal, allow donors to feel connected, and help engage more people.
Benchmark offer free packages with basic features. They also offer a 25% discount for nonprofits for their paid plans, so a plan for 1000 subscribers costs $16.49 per month.
Managing people is often a pain, especially when it comes to organizing events. Planning and communicating plans, coordinating presence and responsibilities, and tracking what is getting done often turns into enormous threads in social media, or email chains, or spreadsheets with endless changes and comments. Instead of struggling with all that, you can just implement a special tool.
The benefits of using a solution for volunteer management automation are:
Solutions like SignUp allow to create schedules, communicate plans, and organize people for various events and activities. Flexible and easy to use, it can be configured for any planning and scheduling work. To boost participation, you can set up automated reminders and confirmations – no more group emails!
SignUp offers a free basic package. Its pricing for advanced functionality starts from just $9.99 per month.
Nonprofits are often run by people who are not accounting experts. That said, accurate financial records are vital for any nonprofit organization – due to their tax exempt status and the requirement to show donors how their funds are spent. But, spending time learning all necessary accounting procedures is rarely an option for nonprofit managers.
That’s where automation can help. It brings following benefits to nonprofits:
Special accounting tools like Aplos are designed to help non-accountants handle accounting tasks, keep accurate historical records, and manage finances according to official requirements and procedures. This solution significantly reduces time and effort spent on this part of work, and takes headache out of fundraising, reporting and budgeting.
Aplos prices start from $49 per month.
As we see, automation can be affordable: all software packages listed above cost only $624.48 in total. It’s worth mentioning here that how automation not only saves valuable time and effort, freeing them up for your mission, but also makes it possible to raise more funds by improving communication with donors and increasing online presence of an organization.