Non- profit organizations typically function on very thin budgets, and depend mostly on charity and other funding for their activities. Just as other organizations, non-profits also have an increasing amount of data, both electronic and paper based – donor records, volunteer applications, employee information and tax records, meeting minutes, audits and legal documents among others. The task of document conversion and storage can become quite arduous and calls for a reliable document management solution. This solution should be able to ensure the security and high level of compliance that the non-profit sector requires. To transfer the old paper files into digitized system, non-profit organizations can utilize document scanning and conversion services that may be available within the available budget.
Challenges Faced by Non- Profit Organizations
- Lack of sufficient budget: Non- profit organizations completely depend on funding by funders or profits of second business. Usually, these organizations have insufficient funds to carry out their activities efficiently.
- Delay in adopting new management and technological aids: Another problem that non- profit organizations face as a consequence of limited budget and lack of skilled volunteers is the considerable delay in adopting innovative management tools/techniques and advanced technology that would enable them to improve their workflow and solve many of their problems.
- Defective networking: People who run these organizations have various programs and activities to handle and are often tied down with other profit-making business that may be their livelihood. This leads to poor networking with funders and end users.
- Poor document management: This is indeed a major challenge because these organizations also have vested goals and objectives to meet which accurate data is necessary. When documents are not organized, organizations will not have access to structured data that is vital for functioning. This problem also arises from the lack of good document scanning technology and trained professionals.
Streamlining Business Data – the Important First Step
Given the importance of streamlined business data, organizations should first adopt an efficient document management policy wherein all documents are scanned and digitized in a timely manner. The scanning part can be done by a document scanning outsourcing company within the allotted budget. The documents are usually those related to the following among others:
- Licenses and permits
Once the documents are all digitized, they can be safely stored in the computer database. Non-profit organizations can also consider implementing a reliable document management system to improve employee productivity and reduce workload.
Advantages of Digitization and Efficient Document Management
- Meet government regulations: Non profit organizations have to follow many government rules and regulations in order to avoid penalties. With digitization of all important records, the documents can be arranged systematically and thereby government regulations and compliance standards can be efficiently met.
- Manage with a small budget: Non- profits have limited budget and they have to meet all their needs within that limited budget. With digitization of all account records, the spending pattern can be monitored and managed well. It also becomes useful at the time of auditing.
- Better volunteer and staff productivity: Digitization of all valuable documents enables quick access to data and also prevents wastage of time by searching through files. This improves the efficiency of the volunteers and provides better workflow.
- Remove paper and go green: With digitization, operating and storage costs can be reduced while all unstructured data is turned into structured content. All paper documents can be removed and the organization benefits from digital assets that are easily accessible, searchable and manageable. The cost of filing and storing paper is eliminated and the organization can reduce its carbon footprint. Most importantly, additional space made available when the filing cabinets are gone can be used to accommodate staff or services.