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What Nonprofits Can Do To Stay Afloat & How Tech-Driven Processes Can Help Them Thrive in 2021 Featured

What Nonprofits Can Do To Stay Afloat & How Tech-Driven Processes Can Help Them Thrive in 2021 Elisabeth Wales

Like many sectors since the onset of the novel Coronavirus, nonprofits are dealing with significant uncertainty. The timing couldn't be worse. As their goods and services are in historically high demand, nonprofits are operating with diminished funding, distributed staff, and daunting fundraising challenges.

While donations to healthcare-related nonprofits have increased since the start of the pandemic, other organizations are struggling to raise sufficient funds. In this environment, it's more important than ever for nonprofits to be good stewards of their limited resources.

In other words, to survive and thrive in the months and years ahead, nonprofits will need to maximize efficiency and accountability. Here’s how nonprofits can begin today.

Improving Efficiency

Many nonprofits are being asked to do more with less, making efficiency a critical indicator of sustainability and growth potential. Revising time tracking and expense management processes can focus spending, illuminate savings opportunities, and more closely align resources with intended outcomes.

For example, reviewing data from time tracking initiatives should yield important information, including:

  • How much time and money is spent on particular projects and priorities.
  • Potential spending areas that can be reduced or eradicated.
  • Purpose and spending alignment.

When this information is integrated with accounting, HR, payroll solutions, and other systems, nonprofits achieve a more complete picture of their efforts by evaluating efficiency across the organization.

It's easy for mission creep and day-to-day operations to inflate spending. In the short term, evaluating spending can help maximize resources and services while budgets are tight. In the long term, proactive efforts to maximize efficiency will foster thriving organizations regardless of circumstances.

Promoting Accountability

Brand reputation is an essential component of engagement and giving. Network for Good, a PR consultancy helping nonprofits build donor relationships, powerfully reminds organizations: "Donors come to your nonprofit because they believe in your mission. They stay with you because you prove yourself worthy of their trust and commitment."

Branding and brand management may feel unnecessary or even inappropriate during these challenging times, but it’s one of the most straightforward ways that nonprofits can reach and convince potential donors to contribute to the cause.

Too many potential donors have been let down by misguided or mischievous causes, as instances of fraud or misuse frequently create headlines.

Therefore, people want to know:

  • How effectively nonprofits spend money.
  • How much money is dedicated to overhead.
  • How transparent is an organization's spending.

In a highly competitive fundraising environment, accountability and reputation management are critical to encouraging potential donors to support the cause. User-friendly time tracking and expense reporting initiatives provide data-driven clarity to internal operations, creating marketable metrics that can propel fundraising initiatives.

Marketing during a pandemic is undoubtedly a delicate task. Many potential donors are experiencing financial or personal hardship and a general sense of pervasive unease. Sustainable nonprofits will need to attract donors, even in a difficult environment. Promoting accountability and relying on that brand association is a great place to start.

Fundraising is a fundamental component of many nonprofits and 2020 is a difficult year to excel at this priority. In an increasingly competitive environment where potential donors have more options and often less money to give, nonprofits have to maximize their resources and marketability.

Approaching how you manage many elements of your nonprofit operations, starting with time tracking and expense management, will equip nonprofits to manage output and marketability at a critical time. Nonprofits exist to solve difficult problems for people who need them most, and this challenging time can be an opportunity to do that more efficiently and with more accountability.

Maximizing and promoting accountability are tangible components of a comprehensive approach to brand management, donor outreach, and mission management. 


Alan Tyson serves as the CEO of DATABASICS,  a time and expense management solutions provider recognized for its deep expertise, next-gen technology, and customer-focused platform by leading global organizations including such nonprofits, associations and philanthropies as the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, The Trust for Public Land, ATSSA, Pathfinder International, National Quality Forum, PRA Health Sciences, and American Academy of Physician Assistants.  Connect with Alan on LinkedIn or follow on Twitter @DATABASICSinc

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