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3 Reasons Nonprofits Should Be in the Cloud

Non-profit organizations (NPOs) are hurting.  With tightened budgets, reduced staff/volunteers and increasing needs in the community, every non-profit agency out there is looking for any advantage they can find in order to survive these difficult times.

One way to make a significant impact is to move document management processes online to Cloud Computing platforms, also known as Software as a Service (SaaS).  Here are 3 reasons why:

REDUCED COSTS

Every dollar spent is highly scrutinized in a non-profit.  In the current economic downturn this practice has never been truer.  With more people suffering from economic hardship due to high unemployment levels, the need for non-profits has never been greater.  The cruel irony is that with more Americans out of work, donations are down and non-profits are forced to do more with less.  It was reported just last week that 85% of NPOs believe demand for their services will increase in the remainder of 2011.  Of these slightly less than half believe they can meet the demands of their local communities.

Online document management can help bridge the financial gap.  Moving documents online to SaaS applications can significantly reduce IT infrastructure costs by allowing nonprofit document managementan NPO to stop purchasing costly hardware.  When hardware goes out the window, so too goes the expensive maintenance and labor costs associated with it.  One recent study estimated the cost savings can be 20% or more by moving documents and information to the Cloud.

INCREASED EFFICIENCY

No more lost documents.  No more redundant processes.  No more wasted time searching for critical information.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  With online document management your NPO can realize these benefits almost instantly.

Take for example approval processes, which tend to be a headache for non-profits.  This is especially true when it comes to cost and contract related documents.  Multiple people must review and approve invoices, purchase orders or other financially relevant data related to daily operations.  This approval process could take days or even weeks if someone in the approval chain were busy or absent.  The contract review process is another key area that can now be expedited with web-based electronic review and electronic signature.  No matter where your contract staff or vendors are they can access the contracts, provide supporting documents, review, edit and electronically approve.

Moving your document processes online allows an NPO to see exactly where in the approvals process their documents are, who has done their due diligence and where any potential roadblocks exist.  Documents are automatically routed along the workflow chain and alerts are sent when a delay occurs.  Set the documents to flow automatically to multiple people or go directly to others when someone is not available. Increased visibility across the entire organization allows everyone to know exactly where documents are and in what status, fostering a collaborative environment of productivity and teamwork.

DATA BACKUP AND SECURITY

Even NPOs need data security and backup.  If their infrastructure is impacted people around the world can suffer.

Most important to an NPO is the accountability factor.  Many charitable organizations receive government and private donations to their cause; therefore government agencies and donors mandate visibility to NPO accounting practices in order to prevent fraud or waste.  Here is where the benefit of SaaS applications comes into play.  With online document management tools, NPOs can maintain financial and other organizational records that meet retention schedule requirements as well as comply with audits or any other legal investigation.

All data is encrypted and stored on secure offsite servers which are accessible 24/7 by authorized users only.  Multi-level permissions control who has access to what records and for what purpose.   DocuVantage manages the infrastructure, updates and upgrades so you can focus on your mission.

Find out how other nonprofits have moved their organization to the Cloud!

Topics: Nonprofits/NGOs, SaaS

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