How ERP Can Help Charities Thrive

While ERP systems have long been acknowledged as efficiency and productivity boosters in the corporate world, their potential impact on the charity and non-profit sector is often overlooked. This blog explores some of the key benefits ERP software can deliver for charity and non-profit organisations.

The author of this page: Brendan Geraghty
Brendan Geraghty, Practice Director - D365 for Financial Operations Jan 29, 2024

Helping organisations unlock the full potential of their data, ERP systems seamlessly integrate all critical business data. From finance and operations to HR and sales, ERP software provides a single source of truth for all business data. Widely embraced across many industries, ERP plays a pivotal role in optimising critical business processes and boosting efficiency across the board. However, it is not only the corporate space that can leverage the powerful features of an ERP system, charities and nonprofit organisations can benefit greatly from the adoption of an ERP system.

Navigating the operations of charities and non-profit organisations involves juggling numerous tasks from comprehensive financial planning and industry compliance to donor and grant management. Balancing this without a centralised system can lead to charities relying on a lot of manual work that is time-consuming and prone to error. In this blog, we delve into how ERP software can benefit charities and non-profits while ultimately helping amplify the positive impact that these organisations aim to achieve.

More Efficient Financial Management

One process that is critical to charities is efficient financial management to help maximise budgets to drive positive change. As an organisation that relies heavily on donations and grants, keeping tight control of financials is critical. ERP software can help charities better manage their finances from managing budgets to tracking expenses and forecasting cash flow.

Streamlined Business Processes

ERP software can also help charities streamline business processes. Through automating key manual tasks, employees can spend time completing more valuable activities for the charity. This can also boost productivity across the organisation allowing employees to work smarter. This in turn can decrease operating costs across the organisation and put the charity in a strong position to seize any upcoming opportunities.

Enhanced Reporting & Analytics

Another key benefit of ERP systems for charities is enhanced reporting functionality. Most ERP solutions have easy-to-use reporting tools that can help generate reports quickly and easily, allowing charities to have access to real-time data across all of the charity stores or warehouses as well as details on donations or grants. Having access to this real-time data also helps ensure better decision-making across the organisation.

Improved Donation & Collection Management

A modern ERP solution can provide a holistic view of donor and collection management. ERP software can automate the processing of donations from recording the contributions to sending acknowledgement emails. For a charity or non-profit with several retail outlets, ERP can connect all the information from different stores in a single dashboard providing greater visibility and control as well as better accuracy when it comes to inventory.

Optimised Grant Management

An ERP system can also help charities and non-profits streamline grant management. Charities are often funded by a number of different grants whether it be from public or private entities. Once received it is important that the organisation can keep track of how the funds from the grants are used. ERP can help with this by easily tracking expenses against the funds and producing relevant reports easily.

Greater Compliance

Keeping track and adhering to any regulations that charities or non-profits need to comply with can be a tedious task, but it is a critical one. When finance management is completed very manually or in silos, it is easy for things to slip through the cracks when it comes to compliance. ERP systems can help automate compliance with most ERP systems integrating back-office operations with the same rules. Further, if a charity wants more advanced compliance functionality, the solution can be tailored to meet these needs.

Get Started Quickly

With cloud-based ERP solutions rising in popularity, it has never been easier to get started with an ERP solution. Opting for a cloud-based solution not only future-proofs the organisation but eliminates the historically big initial investment associated with ERP solutions and replaces it with a monthly subscription fee. It also reduces maintenance costs and provides greater security for all the charity’s financial data.

Easily Expand Functionality

Cloud-based ERP solutions offer organisations the opportunity to expand functionality as needed. For example, Microsoft’s cloud-based ERP solution Business Central has native integration capabilities with other Microsoft applications. One way of expanding functionality for charities would be harnessing Microsoft’s CRM solution Dynamics 365 for membership management to help streamline the management of any subscriptions, member emails and much more.

If your charity or non-profit organisation is looking to optimise financial management, get in touch to speak to one of our specialists.

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