Running nonprofit organizations like charities, foundations, and volunteer groups is anything but easy. They need to be efficient, compliant with government regulations, and accountable to the people they committed to serve. Limited funds and staff, however, can make it difficult for nonprofits to meet these requirements.
Investing in the right tech could solve these issues. To illustrate, a document management system (DMS) like PaperSave empowers nonprofits by allowing them to securely and conveniently handle crucial documents. Here are some of the ways nonprofit organizations can benefit from a DMS:
#1. Automating repetitive processes
Nonprofits get their funding from grants and donations, so it’s a given that they handle a lot of receipts, invoices, and other financial documents on a regular basis. Recording and organizing all of these — and retrieving them when needed — are difficult for an organization with a skeletal workforce.
A DMS speeds up and streamlines these important processes. PaperSave, for instance, captures data from both paper documents and email without the need for manual encoding. As long as users have the PaperSave app on their smartphone or tablet, they can simply take a picture of the document to capture its data.
PaperSave’s Electronic Document Imaging technology converts captured data into digital files, which are then automatically tagged, organized, and stored in cloud-based servers. The entire process takes just a few seconds, freeing staff to accomplish more essential tasks.
#2. Reducing costs and dependence on paper
A paper-centric process entails expenses that nonprofits with limited resources simply cannot afford. The average organization spends more than $80 on paper per employee, and more when the cost of printing, shipping, and physical storage are taken into account. Furthermore, it costs $220 per page to reproduce crucial documents that may have been damaged or misplaced.
A DMS uses virtually zero paper. All documents are stored, filed, and transmitted in digital formats. This allows nonprofits to lower their expenses on paper and associated costs, and allocate their budget for more meaningful uses. A paperless workflow is also nature-friendly and is better aligned with the advocacy of nonprofit environmental organizations.
#3. Improving security and ensuring compliance
One of the most common risks associated with a paper-centric workflow is fraud. Paper documents are easy to hide and dispose of. Electronic documents, on the other hand, leave a trail that’s easy to trace. They can also be backed up to minimize the risk of loss.
In the case of PaperSave, all electronic documents are saved in the cloud. Data is protected by firewalls, anti-malware solutions, and other sophisticated intrusion prevention systems to keep malicious programs and parties at bay. This tight cybersecurity is essential for nonprofits to stay compliant with industry regulations, such as HIPAA for nonprofit clinics and hospitals.
Moreover, nonprofits are required by law to submit tax-related documents and forms, such as the 990 informational return, to maintain their tax-exempt status. A DMS like PaperSave can help address this issue in three ways:
- Electronic capture eliminates the need for manual data entry, which reduces the risk of human error and ensures the accuracy of information on all critical forms.
- Automatic filing and organization makes it easy to retrieve supporting documents, speeding up the submission process.
- Cloud-based storage and backup ensures that all documents won’t get lost and get submitted on time.
#4. Enhancing collaboration
Data saved in the cloud can be accessed by authorized users using any internet-connected device from anywhere on the planet. For nonprofits with staff on the field, such as humanitarian relief foundations, this means their on- and off-site teams can access the same database of documents.
This visibility makes it easy to coordinate workflows and ensure efficiency despite differences in the team members’ geographical locations and timezones. It’s possible to collaborate as effectively as if the members of the team were in the same office.
#5. Ensuring business continuity
Maintaining business continuity after a manmade or natural disaster is a challenge for many nonprofits. Document management addresses this issue through cloud technology.
PaperSave, in particular, saves multiple copies of critical documents in off-site cloud servers. This means that even if a nonprofit’s home office were to be hit by a hurricane, their data will remain secure. As a result, they can quickly resume their operations following the disaster.
Backups also protect nonprofits from cyberattacks. Ransomware, one of the most notorious cyberthreats today, locks users out of their data and results in forced downtime. With multiple backups of their critical documents, nonprofits can remain operational even as they resolve the cyberattack.
PaperSave helps nonprofits maximize their operational efficiency, transparency, and versatility, enabling them to serve their customers and adhere to government regulations better.