There has been a recent proliferation of “cloud” accounting and business management solutions designed to help nonprofits effectively manage their operations. These solutions offer accounting and grant management, budgeting and forecasting, fundraising and member management, donor reporting, and many other nonprofit specific features.
But how does a well-intentioned nonprofit decide on a cloud provider? Many small to mid-size nonprofits opt for cloud solutions over on-premise software because of the cost and flexibility. But which cloud provider will be meet their needs? Which solution can streamline a nonprofit’s business management processes so that staff can focus on what matters: your mission.
Following are 5 questions nonprofits should ask when selecting a cloud provider.
- Is this a scalable solution? Sure, right now your organization may not need online donation capability and tracking. But ideally, it will. Make sure the cloud provider you choose is one that can grow with your organization.
- Will data be integrated? Any business benefits from 360 degree visibility of the organization. Information about direct mailings, eCommunication, and donor tracking should be linked on one platform that is easily accessible.
- Can it be changed? Your organization has distinct needs. Your cloud provider should give you the capability to make changes and customizations.
- Will there be support? Your mission is important, and when you need help with your business management software, your provider should be there so you can invest your energy elsewhere.
- How secure is our data? This is a big one. And the answer varies greatly between cloud providers. If the answer you receive gives you any hesitation, move on.
At Brittenford Systems, we build solutions for nonprofit organizations. We welcome your questions about cloud solutions and look forward to hearing from you when you are looking to streamline its business management processes.
By Brian Dietz, a Virginia Microsoft Dynamics Partner focusing on nonprofits.