Return on Mission: 7 Nonprofits Transform Finance and Expand Social Impact
When the subject of nonprofit digital finance transformation comes up, many professionals think of benefits like more accurate, shareable financial reports and data integration. These are indeed important benefits of finance transformation, but the real reason every nonprofit organization should pursue digital financial management is stewardship. When nonprofits leverage financial technology to its full benefit, they are able to make a bigger impact in the world.
At Sage Intacct, our goal is to help nonprofit organizations gain greater visibility and control over financial management, so they can enjoy a greater return on mission. Social impact is really what it’s all about. How many more people could you serve if your organization were more efficient? How far could you expand programs if you were able to direct every donated dollar to its most impactful purpose? When nonprofits pursue digital financial transformation, success can be measured in terms of tangible benefits on your mission — impact.
A true cloud financial management solution contributes to a higher return on mission through a multitude of improvements, including:
- Enhanced efficiency and productivity
- Faster consolidations and closes
- Better cash management and stronger internal controls
- Complete visibility and transparency
- Comprehensive fund accounting
With the all-important connection between financial stewardship and return on mission in mind, let’s look at how seven noprofits translated digital finance transformation into expanded social impact.
Optimized expenses allow for greater allocation to mission
When nonprofit finance leaders can reliably track and analyze expenses, they can often find ways to reduce costs and free up funds. In order to achieve this, it’s important to have a financial management system that allows you to:
- Easily input (or import) expense transactions
- Identify and categorize expenses in a way that’s meaningful for the organization
- Track expenses across the organization and program-by-program, in real-time
- Compare budget-to-actuals in real-time and share that information
- Analyze trends with visibility into both the big picture and drill down into details
Vitamin Angels provides critical nutritional support to mothers and children around the world. Using Sage Intacct, the finance team was able to tag different expenses with Dimensions for improved reporting and analysis. As a result, the finance team identified $200,000 in logistical savings available in the organization’s programs in Nigeria. Now, the organization can deliver vitamins to an additional 800,000 undernourished pregnant women and children.
Bay County Medical Facility in Michigan is a government owned and operated skilled nursing facility. Sage Intacct provided departments with the real-time financial performance data needed to increase accountability for budget and expenses, driving real results for the facility. As a result, Bay County Medical was able to reduce spending and overtime expenses while increasing efficiency—leading to a 50% improvement in gross margin. This enabled the facility to fund capital improvements needed to grow from 80 beds to over 200 beds.
Better cash flow and revenue growth allow mission expansion
When nonprofit organizations focus on delivering the greatest possible social impact, poor financial management can put expansion plans on hold. Money shouldn’t be what stands between your team and furthering your mission. Having real-time financial information allows you to reduce uncertainty, increase financial agility and respond to unanticipated events. Staying on top of financial management leads to better cash flow, so you can support growth and expansion of your programs and projects.
Hopi Tribe Economic Development Corporation was able to move three struggling entities back into the black after using Sage Intacct nonprofit accounting software to improve cash flow by $500,000 and gross margins by 20%. The improved stewardship made possible by having a cloud financial management system directly led to nearly $7M growth in value for the organization. These results have allowed HTEDC to accelerate return on investment in a number of their projects.
Excellent stewardship is essential to a rapidly-growing church like Sandals Church. After modernizing its church accounting software with Sage Intacct, the management team enjoyed better visibility, tighter financial control, and improved transparency for church members. Since implementing Sage Intacct, donations have grown by 25%. Careful stewardship of those funds enabled Sandals Church to extend its mission impact by opening six new campuses.
Productivity and efficiency gains translate into real-world impact
Too often, the nonprofit finance team stays too busy with data entry, spreadsheets, and reporting to act as a strategic partner to the organization. Inefficient, manual accounting processes slow the flow of data. With cloud financial management software, you can stop re-entering data into different systems and use integration to share data instead. Real-time data improves the quality of reporting and shortens closes.
By saving 65% of the time they used to spend on AP processing, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma was able to free up the time equivalent of half a full time employee. That translated to $25,000 in improved cash flow for the organization. Because they are able to provide about four meals for every dollar of donations received, this small improvement to cash flow allowed the food bank to serve an additional 100,000 meals per year.
Room to Read streamlined consolidations across 25 global entities and 19 currencies with Sage Intacct. Switching to the Dimension-based database enabled the finance team to consolidate their chart of accounts from 56,000 to just 100 accounts. By being able to produce reporting faster, the organization was able to boost productivity for both worldwide field operations and the global finance teams by 25%. These productivity gains equated to about $300,000 in saved labor costs—enough money to transform the lives of an additional 100,000 children per year.
Increased visibility enhances decision making and stewardship
Digital finance transformation gives nonprofit finance leaders the ability to analyze trends, monitor key performance indicators, and view real-time financial performance dashboards. Increased visibility enables organizations to spot trends and make adjustments to operating plans that lead to improved stewardship decisions. Not only can better decision making increase the impact of your mission, but Sage Intacct’s ability to track outcome metrics provides direct measurements of that social impact.
Remote Area Medical delivers no-cost health care to thousands of people around the world, using mobile medical clinics. As the reach of its mission grew, financial leaders needed better visibility into location-specific spending. Sage Intacct delivered real-time visibility into each clinic’s costs for improved decision making, enabling RAM to expand medical programs to more patients globally.
Caring for more patients… providing food and nutritional support to more people… enhancing the care and education of children. These are real-world social impacts made possible when nonprofit organizations run efficiently and can rely on real-time visibility into financial and operational performance. Nonprofit digital finance transformation helps organizations develop the stewardship to achieve and expand their missions. For more information about how nonprofit finance leaders can become partners in expanding social impact, download our eBook, 4 Steps to Greater Nonprofit Stewardship with Digital Finance Transformation.
A native Texan, Joan has over 25 years of experience in the accounting, technology, publishing, and nonprofit fields. Bringing her experience as a nonprofit financial leader to Sage Intacct, Joan has been instrumental in creating solutions, and providing support and best practices that help ensure nonprofits achieve their mission.
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