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Can Enterprise Resource Planning benefit your charitable organization?

INSIGHT ARTICLE  | 

Did you know?

  • While the latest report from Statistics Canada, released in 2017, revealed that total donation rose 7.7 per cent from the previous year, the number of donating tax filers fell by 0.9 per cent.
  • Competitive charitable organizations are able to achieve a 45 per cent donor retention while best in class are around 60 per cent, according to a statistic from NetSuite’s benchmarking portal.

Although the growth opportunity for charities is evident, charitable organizations are competing to get more dollars from fewer donors. In this competitive landscape, transparency and clarity on the operations can be a differentiator to secure the next fundraising dollar and to retain your existing donors.

Donor retention is a key element to the long-term success of a charity. In addition, transparency in reporting is core to the relationship with the donor. An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution may be the answer to address both donor retention and transparency in reporting.

For charitable organizations, ERP integrates resources — people, programs, assets, knowledge and technology — to achieve higher levels of performance. It’s all about ensuring you have the right people, doing the right work, and enabled by the right technology to help advance your mission.

ERP software commonly runs in the cloud instead of on your premise. This has many benefits:

  • Efficiency – The ERP can eliminate the need to purchase hardware or employ a large IT staff. With ERP cloud solutions, ERPs also integrate donor and financial data in a single platform in order to have a 360-degree view of your donors and operations in real time.
  • Real time updates - Since the ERP industry evolves rapidly, ERP providers keep their solutions up to date so that organizations can retain focus on their mission instead of trying to configure their solution to be in compliance. Cloud technology and Software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers include the cost of this maintenance as part of the licence fees.
  • Access to real time customized data – The system will allow for ease of access to reports customized to your needs. This can include dashboards, customized ratios or key performance metrics.
  • Consistent data – The use of a single data source can reduce errors from duplication and also allow for easier tracking of donor relationship activities.
  • Security – Since ERP providers host a massive amount of data, the providers ensure that their policies, protocols, technologies and controls utilized to protect virtualized IP, applications and the associated infrastructure comply with the highest standards.

To determine if an ERP system is right for your charity, ask these questions of your team:

  • Has our organization’s current computer system grown with our organization? Does it meet the demands of our business, or does it increase silos in our organization?
  • Do we enter similar data multiple times across our departments?
  • Is the data in our system consistent throughout the organization?
  • When asked a question about our organization, can our employees respond quickly and knowledgeably?
  • Are we leveraging the information within our system to create strategic planning opportunities?

If you feel after asking these questions that an ERP may be a good fit for you, consider working with an advisor to see what system will fit your budget and long-term needs.

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