Six Reasons Non-profits Can’t Afford to be Without the Cloud
In this economy and with high unemployment rates, non-profits and volunteer organizations are taking a hit. When people are struggling, they cut down or stop their charitable donations. As a result, organizations are pinching pennies. You may not think this is the time to invest in new processes, but moving your non-profit to the cloud can be a cost benefit for the future. The recent fiscal cliff deal has charities worried. By limiting the deductions for charitable donations for people in upper income brackets, it’s feared that donations are going to drop even further. Charitable organizations are under a lot of scrutiny these days. There are all kinds of charitable scams, or organizations that are run ineffectively. Unethical or inefficient organizations utilize most of the donation money on administrative costs. Donors are researching charities and non-profits before making the decision to donate through websites like Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator rates charities using a variety of methods. If a non-profit spends less than a third of their budget on programs, they receive a 0-star rating. Why is this the right time to move to the Cloud? 1. Ethical charities attempt to achieve the lowest administrative costs possible. Not-for-profit organizations must be transparent and provide donors with financial statements that show where the money is going. By moving to the cloud you show your donors that you are utilizing today’s technology to run a more efficient organization. You may be able to run your organization with less paid staff and reduce redundancies. 2. If you are trying to cut expenses, you need to take stock of everything you are doing and eliminate waste. More charities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), not-for-profits, religious or volunteer organizations are realizing that eliminating paper and wasteful processes helps to cut costs. You need to show benefactors that your organization is forward thinking and increase transparency.
3. By storing and sending documents through a secure email and document delivery service, you show donors that you are concerned about their confidential information. Many organizations provide tax receipts for donations and they send out yearly or quarterly financial statements (or they should, if they want to retain donors). Some charitable organizations are already using some cloud-based services, such as accounting applications or fundraising programs.
4. By moving your business to the cloud, you won’t need as much expensive office space. Some volunteers or employees can work from home and you won’t need all that file cabinet space. Conducting non-profit business in the cloud is also green and that is something all charitable organizations should be striving for.
5. Your information is secure in a cloud-based system. There are some non-profits that may be considered controversial by some people. For example, organizations that work for human rights have been targeted by people with an agenda. Their offices have been broken into and papers and computers have been destroyed. By moving your business to the cloud, your information is secure.
6. Non-profits have realized the benefits of an online presence through blogs and social media. Now is the time to move one step further and take that step into the cloud. America’s philanthropic organizations do great work, such as the recent efforts to help the people affected by Hurricane Sandy. Fighting for those charitable dollars requires a new way of thinking to move forward.