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How Nonprofits Can Use Digital Tools To Optimize Efficiency

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

Everyone loves to support good causes when they can—but when you donate to a tech-savvy nonprofit organization that prioritizes operational efficiency, your money can be stretched farther and accomplish more. For this reason, nonprofits shouldn’t be shy about showing off their lean muscle, and donors shouldn’t hesitate to open their hearts and wallets. Using the right technology wisely allows nonprofits to optimize their efficiency in cost effective ways. Here are some of the types of digital tools that can help nonprofits accomplish more for less.

Cloud-Based Technology

Cloud-based technology like email, Google Drive, and virtual meeting apps are all now commonly used in for-profit and nonprofit organizations alike. Nonprofits can explore some of the most popular options for their sector here. Cloud-based technology (which most organizations use in the form of software as a service [SaaS]), offers the following benefits:

  • Seamless communication, collaboration, and file-sharing

  • Reduced requirements for expensive hardware and support (organizations can use tablets and laptops rather than full-size desktop computers as desired, and may only need a small IT team)

  • Energy efficiency (electricity requirements are carefully optimized by cloud computing providers)

Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRMs)

Customer relationship management systems, typically called CRMs, gather information about both donors and the people nonprofits serve, storing it all in one convenient location. This helps nonprofits analyze all available customer and donor data. Organizations can then use this information to customize their communication methods, services, and fundraisers for maximum impact.

CRMs benefit nonprofits by helping them to:
  • Improve customer service

  • Boost sales

  • Retain more customers

  • Use valuable data more effectively

  • Easily share knowledge and data

  • Manage projects more efficiently

  • Achieve more transparency across teams

Communications Technology

Digital communications technology is a cost-effective game-changer for nonprofits. Before the arrival of the internet, organizations had to rely heavily on time-consuming and expensive fliers, letters, brochures, and the like for communication purposes. Although most nonprofits still utilize these materials, they can now send messages to customers, donors, and volunteers in a variety of ways in real time. Some of the best digital communications tools for efficiency include:

  • Website landing pages

  • Emails

  • SMS software (for business text messaging)

  • Social media

  • Mobile apps

Online Fundraising and Donation Processing Software

A high-quality website makes nonprofits visible to internet audiences all over the world; online fundraising and donation processing software allows organizations to receive and track donations globally.

Online fundraising is less expensive and time-consuming than traditional fundraising, meaning that nonprofits get a greater return on their investment (ROI). Related software also captures more donor information, which helps organizations build relationships with donors. For this reason, the best fundraising platforms include donor management functionality.

Donating online is a quick and convenient way for people to give to an organization. Donation processing software offers a simple, secure way to give either on a one-time basis or set up recurring gifts. In addition to facilitating and tracking donations, it automates the process of issuing tax-compliant donor receipts, which nonprofits are required to do for all donors. When these receipts are automatically sent to donors, it frees up nonprofit employees’ time for other important tasks.

Some of the best-performing examples of online fundraising and donation processing software include:

Workflow Management Platforms

Workflow management platforms are essential for any organization striving for transparency, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. These digital tools help employees view projects online, complete tasks, send coworkers questions or updates, and keep everything on schedule—all in real time, from anywhere in the world with a stable internet connection. Workflow management platforms have allowed nonprofit employees and volunteers to continue accomplishing things from home during pandemic lockdowns and, later, as part of normal remote work.

Each workflow management tool offers different features. Here are some commonly used platforms that are free to use:

Nonprofits Can Improve Operational Efficiency With Flow

Nonprofits can make their operations processes more efficient using Flow, a streamlined workflow management tool. Flow delivers a single app that’s cost-free and helps nonprofits simplify and automate how they onboard, manage, educate, and engage with their teams. As a result, donors who give to organizations that use Flow can rest assured that their gifts won’t be spent on menial administrative tasks, and will instead go farther and accomplish more.

BeamUp Charity and its partner, Fundación Esperanza Contigo (FEC) are leading the nonprofit world in using Flow for optimal efficiency.

FEC works to transform the lives of abandoned children, improving their present and enhancing their future. We do this through quality education as well as high-impact projects that generate greater opportunities and foster a better future for children in abandonment situations. Consider donating today!

BeamUp offers programming to help underinvested youth succeed in every aspect of life. At the core of BeamUp is access to quality education about a healthy lifestyle, professional education, plant-based whole foods, making climate-friendly choices, and mindfulness. Help us support and teach kids by shopping for swag or donating today!

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