Nonprofits have much to gain from investing in the right technology. Something as basic as having the latest operating system in your office computers, for instance, will not only shorten turnaround times but also improve your cybersecurity. Considering how much paperwork nonprofits usually deal with on a regular basis, a document management system (DMS) should definitely be a must-have.
How will a DMS benefit your nonprofit?
A DMS lets you process and store documents electronically, dramatically decreasing the amount of paper you use in your day-to-day operations. It’s obviously a good solution if you aim to reduce your office supply expenses, but a DMS can benefit your organization in more significant ways than that.
1. Streamline document processing
Processing paper documents, such as gifts, receipts, and invoices, requires plenty of your team’s time and effort. Data has to be encoded, copied, and transferred to reports and statements, which they will then have to print, file, and store in the appropriate cabinet. Unfortunately, such a process is hardly foolproof, with typos and misfiled documents being just two of several problems your team will inevitably encounter over time.
With features like document imaging and automated workflows, a DMS eliminates time-consuming and error-prone steps, such as manual data entry, in the document management process. This speeds up processing documents from minutes to just a few seconds, ensuring that your team saves time and has more energy for other tasks.
2. Boost staff productivity
More than enabling your staff to accomplish more tasks in one day, a DMS allows them to stay productive when and where they normally wouldn’t be if they were following a paper-centric process. This is because like many paperless solutions today, a DMS uses cloud servers to make crucial documents accessible through a web-connected computer or mobile device.
Moreover, unlike paper documents that only one person can modify at any given moment, files stored in the cloud can be worked on by multiple users simultaneously. So whether your employees are out on the field or working at home to avoid coronavirus infection, they can collaborate on the same documents as effectively as if they were in the same location.
3. Augment data security and maintain compliance
Considering the constant risk of data breaches and cyber threats, your nonprofit must take steps to boost your cybersecurity. Do this if your nonprofit:
- Sells products or processes donations through your website
- Stores and transfers personally identifiable information about your stakeholders, including your donors and employees
- Gathers analytics on your donors’ habits, such as the times they’re most active on social media
These details are popular among cybercriminals who use them to commit monetary and identity theft and conduct fraudulent transactions, among other criminal acts. Should you lose these data, your nonprofit could suffer a backlash from your donors and sponsors, as well as face severe penalties from regulatory bodies.
Compared to paper documents, electronic documents are much easier to secure. A DMS lets you store documents and their backups in the cloud, where they are secured behind firewalls and other cybersecurity measures like multifactor authentication.
If your nonprofit has donors from Europe or you’re thinking of expanding to countries covered by the EU, then a DMS will help ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is because the GDPR covers all organizations, including nonprofits in the United States, that collect data from EU residents.
4. Simplify audits
Audits are an important part of running a nonprofit, but they can be too painstaking. Imagine having to pull out individual folders and manually search for the data you need. This alone can take several minutes. It will take even longer if the required documents were misfiled, since you’ll have to search for them again. With a DMS, you just need to type a query using relevant keywords and the system will pull up the document you need in a few clicks.
[company_short] is a DMS that does more than assist you with paperwork. We can also help you ensure that your nonprofit remains efficient, secure, and poised for growth despite today’s many challenges. Learn more by scheduling a free personalized consultation.