Digital Tools to Improve Your Non-Profit Operations
The Non-Profit Times reported that 71 percent of non-profits attributed their inability to plan new digital strategies to a shortage in staff. Today, we live in the digital age, and it is essential that non-profits engage in new digital strategies in order to succeed. This means using digital tools in all aspects of your non-profit operations: fundraising, donor management, accounting, HR, and marketing. There are countless tools to help your non-profit automate routine tasks, outsource operations, and focus on and achieve the end goal.
FUNDRAISING: There are a lot of great tools for fundraising. We really like Funraise and Network for Good for fundraising. Their tools allow you to easily create beautiful fundraising pages that work for different programs and projects and automatically send tax receipts to your donors. As a non-profit, you can't operate without funds, so it is essential that you find a great online tool to help you. Facebook is another great fundraising tool because it allows people who have donated to share the fundraising campaign with their network of friends. You can even add donate buttons to live videos or photos to show people the great work you are doing and inspire them to donate.
DONOR MANAGEMENT: Bloomerang and Funraise are great donor management systems if you have a smaller to mid sized non-profit. If you are a mid to larger sized non-profit, Network for Good is more robust and would therefore, be a better option for you. This is not the time for a roladex anymore. You need a virtual system that helps you track your donations and manage your donors. These management systems allow you to keep those donors and update them without having to send individual emails. It is so important to have a log of your transactions with your donors and have insight into who they are and what they've given. If there is any tool that you need from this list, it is a donor management system.
ACCOUNTING: When you think of accounting, you probably think of a person with a calculator or our dearest friend, the IRS. Truth is, accounting isn't always fun, unless you're one of us at Lykke with a passion for accounting and non-profits. You didn't start your non-profit to do accounting. You started it to accomplish your mission, which is why most of the time, accounting often gets overlooked and is put to the sideline until tax season rolls around and you're trying to play this game of catch up. That's why your non-profit needs to outsource your accounting operation and hand it over to professionals. It's one thing to send an email to a donor later than you expected and another to file your tax form late. If you're feeling understaffed, outsourcing your accounting should be your go-to.
HUMAN RESOURCES: Automating your HR system can save you a lot of time. Hiring, time-tracking, and payroll can be a nuisance if you're handling it yourself.
Hiring: Our favorite tool for hiring is BreezyHR. It is exactly what its name is: breezy. It completely revolutionizes the hiring process breaking down the process into smooth, organized funnels. You can easily move candidates from funnel to funnel, and there's even some magic behind moving candidates. You can set up email templates that automatically send to candidates when you move them into different stages of your hiring pipeline. For example, after someone has applied and you reviewed their resume and want them to move onto the next phase, you can drag them into the "interview" funnel. As soon as you do that, it will automatically send the candidate an email asking them what times they are available for a phone interview. You can customize it for your hiring process as much as you want. This tool is a hiring game changer.
Time-tracking: Time-tracking your employees and even volunteers is essential. We've searched the market for the best time-tracking tools and we love Deputy! (We even use it here at Lykke.) Deputy allows employees and volunteers to check in and out of the clock (you can even see the location they checked in at), you can send team-wide announcements, shift reminders for those who are scheduled, and it integrates with a great payroll system called Gusto. Even better is its pricing, which is a mere $3 per user per month, but if you send them proof that you are a non-profit, you get 50%. That's $1.50 per user per month! You may wonder why you would ever want to time track your volunteers, but it can give valuable insight into how many hours volunteers are working and where they are working.
Payroll: One reason why Deputy is great is because it integrates with Gusto, an easy and intuitive payroll system. Payroll is one of those words that sounds like nails on a chalkboard. You think of excel spreadsheets and numbers and names all over the place, but Gusto changes this. After easily approving time sheets in Deputy, the information can be sent to Gusto and when you are ready, in just one click, you can send out payroll on a monthly, quarterly, or even weekly basis for a flat, reasonable fee per month. Better yet, the software files and pays all your payroll taxes and takes care of W-2s and 1099s for you.
Canva. Canva. Canva. We can't say enough about how great this tool is. You can create everything from a beautiful Instagram post to a chic looking flyer, all pre-generated to the sizes that you need, yet still extremely customizable.
When in doubt, freelance. Hiring a freelancer is a less expensive alternative to hiring someone and it gets the job done by an expert.