Helping beneficiaries is the raison d'être of nonprofit organizations — everything else is in support of that. Not-for-profits (NFPs) must be able to optimize the use of their funds so that less is allocated to internal and administrative tasks.
In one of our previous posts, we looked at the reasons for rising IT costs and how turning to an MSP helps NFPs reduce expenses without reducing their IT capabilities. Now, let’s explore a few long-term investments and methods that can make nonprofits even more cost-efficient.
Deploy the latest and best unified communications systems
Nonprofit organizations must always enroll benefactors and raise funds for their initiatives. To accomplish this, your marketers must be able to respond to voicemails, emails, and direct social media messages in a manner that is both timely (i.e., no messages are missed or take too long to provide a response) and orderly (i.e., staff must send responses to the right recipients and not confuse them with contradictory replies).
Efficient communications is also key when sending staff and volunteers to the field. By being equipped with reliable devices that are backed by a strong network, they can be quickly deployed to where they are needed, such as sites that are severely hit by natural disasters.
Unified communications (UC) can fulfill the requirements of not-for-profits cost-effectively by streamlining departmental processes in their respective platforms — customer relationship management (CRM) for marketing and field service management for external operations — with voice over internet protocol (VoIP) telephony as the backbone for each.
VoIP is an incredible upgrade from outdated landline systems because it offers the following benefits:
- Scalability – add more users quickly, easily, and affordably
- Mobility – deploy frontliners with office extensions, enable each to leverage one single number and work from anywhere there is an internet connection
- Modularity – use only the features you need, avoid paying double for existing capabilities
- Ease of integration with other software and platforms – complement your existing communications management tools (e.g., allow agents to access your CRM while they’re in a call)
- Lowered costs – internet telephony is simply more affordable, especially when it comes to long distance calls
Automate processes where you can
Thanks to advancements in software, many repetitive and routine tasks can now be automated so that your staff can be free to do more value-added work. The routines involved in maintaining databases, reconciling bank records, managing event schedules, and sending marketing emails can be helped along with robotic process automation (RPA). With RPA, software applications perform the same set of procedures an employee does, all without tiring out, getting bored, or becoming prone to costly error.
Consolidate systems and streamline processes
Don’t let departments use different IT systems. This practice leads to interdepartmental friction and process gaps that need to be filled with more software solutions. More often than not, these solutions have redundant features, which means that you pay more to have the same things. Furthermore, having disparate systems results in the formation of data silos that double menial tasks, such as updating redundant records, and inhibits a 360 degree view of the organization.
By consolidating systems and streamlining processes, your organization gains cost-saving efficiencies. Additionally, you can set your firm up so that departments can work better together through greater transparency, knowledge sharing, and interdepartmental collaboration. To implement all of these cost-efficiently, turn to professional IT services for help.
Implement a bring your own device (BYOD) policy
Personal devices such as smartphones and laptops are now powerful enough to let field workers accomplish tasks efficiently, so implementing or enforcing a BYOD policy enables you to expand your workforce without necessarily having to invest in new hardware.
BYOD also lets you mobilize staff to different site locations and have them submit documentation live or conference with people who are in other places, provided that they have an internet connection (and sufficient data allowance). This means greater overall productivity while minimizing costs.
However, you need to weigh your potential hardware savings against having to invest in cybersecurity measures such as mobile device management and mobile application management. You need to ensure that the sensitive information of your donors and beneficiaries are protected from unauthorized access or disclosure.
To explore the best BYOD strategy for your organization, consult with a reliable managed IT services provider such as XBASE Technologies. They will help you arrive at the best IT solutions so that you can still enjoy cost savings without compromising on cybersecurity requirements.
To learn more about all of the ways your expanding nonprofit can optimize your use of IT resources without sharply increasing your expenses, contact our consultants at XBASE technologies. We have the expertise you need for coming up with and implementing the most cost-effective IT strategy that grows with your organization.
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