In the past, access to critical information was difficult for nonprofits due to lack of access to robust applications that streamline daily operations. This is no longer the case with new and emerging cloud solutions that can revolutionize your nonprofit.
Access to information is critical in order to run a nonprofit organization effectively. Like a regular business, nonprofits must have access to the resources they need to accomplish their objectives. The problem in the past is most nonprofits could not afford to invest in IT infrastructure and the IT staff required to monitor and maintain it.
At the same token, access to data and applications that allow you to manage donors, track activities, and convert incofmration to insight is crucial to any nonprofit organization. Previously, only the larger nonprofits could afford the infrastructure to meet daily operational requirements, leaving small nonprofits to struggle with maintaining existing systems instead of focusing on their daily goals and objectives.
Thankfully, cloud computing has solved these problems by allowing smaller nonprofits, as well as organizations of all sizes to harness new technology regardless of their IT budget. Once your nonprofit decides to migrate to the cloud, you can access the resources you need based on a subscription model. This places the responsibility of the IT infrastructure maintenance in the hands of the cloud services provider while your nonprofit leverages the advanced features and modern design of robust applications.
The Subscription Model
Cloud computing services provide nonprofits with a subscription-based model that allows you to pay as you go. You pay a flat monthly rate which is typically based on the resources you need, as well as the number of users. Security applications, maintenance, and the installation of customized applications that accommodate your specifc nonprofit operational needs are taken care of by the cloud services provider.
The subscription model allows you to reduce costs associated with traditional IT and accurately budget for monthly fees and resources while leaving the infrastructure concerns to the cloud services vendor. It also provides you with access to applications that would otherwise be cost prohibitive for most nonprofits.
Cloud computing can revolutionize your nonprofit in the following ways:
The Subscription Model is Predictable
By paying a flat monthly fee, there is never any concern about unexpected costs associated with maintaining an in-house infrastructure. Plus, there are no expensive upfront costs you would otherwise be required to invest to implement IT on the premises.
In the past, nonprofits were required to pay a license fee to access the software and then a separate cost to upgrade to the newest version. When you use cloud computing services, the updates are automatically performed to ensure you are always using the latest version of the software. This is typically accomplished with no additional cost to your nonprofit organization.
When you implement a cloud computing model, nonprofit volunteers can enjoy limitless access to data and applications. This removes them from the constraints of sitting behind a desk which in turn, enhances productivity.
With cloud computing resources, nonprofit workers can break away from their desks and go out to serve the community without losing control over data management processes. Instead, they access critical data and applications in a secure environment using the Internet while working closely with donors and community members.
When using cloud computing services on a mobile device which can be accessed from anywhere and at any time, nonprofits can benefit from features such as:
- Advanced Accounting Processes: Many nonprofits face strict requirements when it comes to managing and tracking funds. By accessing modern cloud applications, you can easily manage and allocate funds without losing focus on important daily operational activities.
- Automated Processes: Advanced cloud applications allow you to automate a lot of processes which prevent human error and save time on tedious, but necessary, back office tasks. For example, you can configure software applications to send out an alert that warns you when a specific activity is going to exceed budgetary limits that you have preset in the software.
- User Access Control: Cloud software applications allow you to easily configure user controls which allow them to access the information and applications they need to perform daily tasks. The controls can also be configured to restrict access to specific areas which helps to prevent security risks associated with human error.
- Improved Decision Making: Cloud applications provide you with the analytics tools you need to make accurate decisions when it comes to donation and grant compliance requirements. The tools allow you to easily access source documents and reports that provide necessary data which allows for accurate decision making. The data collection process is automated with tools that provide a way to drill down to specific information which saves time wading through a sea of data to find what you are looking for.
- Dashboard Alerts: The software dashboards included in cloud computing applications are comprehensive. They allow you to configure and manage automated alerts that ensure everyone stays on task and meets deadlines in a timely fashion.
- Spreadsheet Integration: Instead of accessing spreadsheets separately, cloud applications allow you to fully integrate spreadsheets with many aspects of the software. This removes the guesswork from importing and exporting data to and from multiple areas throughout the cloud computing system.
These are only a few of the features that explain how cloud computing can revolutionize your nonprofit. When you work with the right cloud services provider, they can customize a solution that will help you to maximize your daily objectives while saving time and money.