Instead of having to "do more with less," here's how your nonprofit can better allocate resources to "do more with more."
Since the Great Recession, nonprofit organizations have grown in both size and number. Donation participation and gift totals are at an all-time high.
In addition, the latest Giving USA report shows that 2014 marked the fifth year in a row for increased donations.
More importantly, "[in] 2014, Americans surpassed the peak--last seen before the Great Recession--giving an estimated $358.38 billion to charity, a 5.4 percent increase from the prior year."
This proves that the nonprofit sector of the economy is growing at a steady pace. This is great news for those in need—including the unemployed.
However, many nonprofit executives are feeling pressured to lower overhead expenses, including payroll, as a percentage of their operating budget.
As we've written before in our blog article, "Impact Vs. Overhead: Which Is More Important", donors often base their view of a nonprofit organization's effectiveness on the percentage of revenue it spends on its mission and services.
This personnel-vs-programs funding conundrum leaves nonprofits in a tough position.
Namely, how can a nonprofit serve its constituents as effectively as possible with the minimum amount of personnel expenses, while at the same time ensuring staffing levels are actually sufficient to accomplish the nonprofit's goals?
A nonprofit with high operating costs when revenue is low is seen as wasteful. But you can't fuel your mission without all hands on deck.
So what's the solution?
Raise funds more effectively so that not only will your nonprofit not need to lay off employees, but actually hire more people — and still increase fundraising revenue.
How is this possible? Through better nonprofit software.
Nonprofit CRM software empowers your staff & volunteers
Fully-integrated CRM software allows your nonprofit to be able to maximize efficiency, reduce time spent on menial tasks, and better allocate your resources, both financial and human.
The vast majority of obstacles nonprofits must overcome to achieve these goals are inherent within systems that are comprised of point solutions. (For a closer look the drawbacks of point solutions, read more here.)
As an example, let's say your nonprofit currently has five full-time employees processing gifts and pledges of $1 million per year. But you want to grow your nonprofit revenue to $10 million. That means hiring more payment processors, right? Not necessarily.
With better software, your nonprofit will be able to automate many of the repetitive tasks your current employees are performing, freeing up their time and energy to become focused on more high-level, high-value tasks — like more strategic segmentation and return on investment analysis, donor appreciation, or building stronger relationships with major donors.
So nonprofits that upgrade to better software can have their staff spend less time manually updating records or performing double or triple data entry. Less manual intervention leads to less time required to perform the same tasks.
This means that some of the staff can now focus on other areas of work where they are greatly needed. Which of your departments are understaffed? Do you have people who have more potential than their current role allows them to achieve?
With greater automation and more efficient software, outreach campaigns can become more effective, more donors can be reached at the right time with the right message, and overall awareness of your nonprofit's mission can reach new heights.
The correlation between a large staff and inefficient organization is usually an indicator that a nonprofit's staff is spending a disproportionate amount of time on low-value, low-return activities. This restricts your fundraising ability and keeps your nonprofit from developing a steady, robust rate of growth.
Contact us to begin moving your people toward more fulfilling, more worthwhile efforts in pursuit of your nonprofit's mission.
Your staff and constituents will thank you!