Non-profit organizations are known for having a difficult administrative side, and presenting lots of problems on that front. Running a smooth organization requires experience and patience, and the ability to communicate efficiently.
Nowadays, there is quite a lot that can be done to improve things on the technological side too. It’s important to be aware of those opportunities and know how to leverage them properly.
Let’s take a look at some of the options available to non-profit organizations for streamlining their administrative work. Use them to increase the entire work that you do.
1# Efficient Handling of Communications
Running a non-profit involves a lot of communication with various entities. This can often get complicated, to the extent where you will need a dedicated team to deal with that early on. There’s still a lot you can do on your end to streamline this aspect of running your organization though.
Modern solutions on the software market can make it easy to segment and organize all your communication. Calls, e-mails, letters, everything can be organized and dealt with in a way that makes sense. This can cut down on a lot of the waste that typically accompanies handling the communications of a non-profit organization.
At the same time, it is very important to record and keep all communications. This is something that is often forgotten. The fact that you run a non-profit organization does not mean you will not need proof in the event that something goes wrong. And this proof can easily disappear when you do not have a system to record.
Tracking communication increases the efficiency of the process because there are references whenever something has to be checked. For instance, instead of having to ask questions about a past project, team members can check the records and get the data required. This increases communication speed, which is the goal at the end of the day.
2# Consolidating Financial Channels
You must also pay attention to your financial operations. These tend to be complicated in a non-profit organization as well, and there are lots of regulations that you typically have to observe to ensure that you are doing things correctly.
Look into specialized non-profit fundraising software for events where it makes sense. This will relieve you of a great portion of the burden that comes with organizing all financial channels.
You will typically have a more diverse financial flow than other organizations of your size. You have to account for things like donations – both recurring and one-off payments – and various other special payments which can be more challenging with regular accounting software.
A very important and often neglected part of financial management for non-profit organizations is paying bills. Something that seems to be so simple can easily lead to huge problems when not properly handled.
Instead of setting up manual administrative tasks, it is a good idea to set up automatic bill payments. This is very easy to do, especially for things like electricity or water.
4# Working with Large Volumes of Paperwork
Another part of running a non-profit that you will need to account for is the amount of paperwork involved.
There is a lot more bureaucracy in this line of work, and you should be prepared for that accordingly. You’ll need to go beyond basic spreadsheets and calendar tools, as you’ll need to divide your attention between several different fronts.
Make sure to be as diligent as possible when it comes to organizing all that documentation. You will likely be required to produce it for various reasons in the future, and having everything nicely sorted in advance can make things significantly easier in this regard.
Keep an eye on any regulations around your line of work as well. There are often lots of changes in that field, and you will want to be on top of everything that’s happening on the legal end.
If there are any new regulations that you have to comply with, it’s best to tackle those in advance instead of putting them off until the last minute. Having a consultant on board to guide you through these situations is often the best course of action.
Non-profits are very important for the economy and unfortunately, they are often seen as being much easier to run than a for-profit business. This is incorrect. In reality, the exact same things go into the administration of the non-profit. You need to control everything.
Remember that if you do not have the necessary experience to manage a non-profit or for-profit organization, you need to have people around you that can. Your staff is always important and you need to control everything that happens.
In fact, with non-profits, this is more difficult because laws are not that well known and you have to deal with specific rules that do not apply in other scenarios. Always know what you do or have someone with experience help you.
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Author: Shiraz Khan