Nonprofits start with an idea.
Twenty years ago, one founder witnessed resilience in war-torn Eritrea as a group of children kicked around a shirtball together.
Today, Right To Play educates and empowers over 1 million children a year to rise above adversity using the power of play.
Team Rubicon began after Haiti experienced a devastating earthquake in 2010. Now the organization mobilizes veterans globally to continue their service amidst disasters.
Polycultural Immigrant And Community Services started by helping Polish refugees in 1973. Today the organization assists over 10,000 immigrants as they adjust to their new life in Canada.
These successful nonprofits started from one idea and now help many individuals. Their expansion is the result of passion, dedication, and efficiency.
At the very core of all nonprofits is their mission to help. Whether it's to serve, to provide, or to protect, nonprofits drive social impact. Unfortunately, these organizations need more than just a mission; they need fast-tracked, interpretive solutions to achieve their goals.
How can nonprofits sustain their mission long enough to grow in today's world?
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to redefine the ways organizations operate. Microsoft made an exciting announcement to install artificial intelligence into all of its products. This enhancement will help nonprofits thrive in an oversaturated, competitive landscape, sharpening their efficacy, decision-making, and innovation.
Without funders, nonprofits can't continue doing their important work. And without thoughtful planning, these organizations can get cast aside for their lack of clarity and transparency.
A stronger system of inputs can assist in yielding better outcomes. Accelerating their mission requires nonprofits to manage several incoming resources, such as:
With an AI-enhanced ERP solution, nonprofits can achieve maximum productivity in fundraising, proposals, strategic planning, and the bottom line.
Fundraising is essential for the sustainability of nonprofits. However, identifying potential donors and tracking donations can be challenging. With smarter technology, organizations can automate their fundraising efforts. AI, for instance, can quickly analyze past donation data and identify trends to determine potential donors. Without the use of AI, executive directors and administrative assistants need to complete this labor-intensive task on their own. Instead of spending time on reporting, AI predictions can free up executive directors' time to spend on more important tasks, such as building relationships with their donors to maximize donor retention rates. Studies show that "nonprofits that boast a high retention rate have loyal supporters who come back year after year to donate to the organization." Without repeat donors, nonprofits must scour new financial opportunities to stay afloat.
Additionally, AI can help nonprofits automate their donor stewardship efforts. By analyzing donor behavior and preferences, nonprofits can customize their communication to increase engagement and build stronger relationships. This level of personalization can include recommendations for specific amounts to donate or suggestions on campaigns that match the donor's interests.
Grant writing is a necessary avenue for raising money in the nonprofit space, but unfortunately, writing plays only a small part in getting the actual grant. Grant approvals have many factors, including:
Before the introduction of AI capabilities, many of these factors were out of nonprofits' hands. While there's no concrete formula for getting grant approvals, AI can help organizations strengthen their positioning.
Grant writing's complex process requires thorough research and analysis. This is a considerable time investment for a fickle and, at times, fruitless outcome. With AI enhancement to an ERP, nonprofits can simplify the grant writing process. AI can analyze past successful grant applications and identify the key factors contributing to their success. It can also recommend potential grant opportunities based on the organization's focus areas and past grant history.
AI can also help nonprofits tailor their grant proposals to fit specific requirements. By analyzing the application guidelines and the organization's past performance, AI can provide recommendations on structuring the proposal and highlighting the organization's strengths. While it can't promise grant monies, AI can reduce the time spent creating proposals.
Strategic planning is essential for nonprofits to achieve their goals and maximize their impact. Unfortunately, there are challenges in gathering and analyzing the necessary data to inform strategic decisions. AI can help nonprofits mine data to inform their strategic planning efforts. This technology plays a significant role because it reduces the time it takes to analyze complex data sets. According to Deloitte, it also offers organizations "continuously monitored strategic plans," which helps constituents make better decisions and take swift but informed action.
ERP solutions that utilize AI capabilities can quickly analyze past performance data and pinpoint areas where the organization can improve. This will ultimately reduce potential risks since AI's predictive software can provide recommendations on how to mitigate them. By analyzing external factors, such as economic trends or changes in the political landscape, this modern technology can help nonprofits adjust their strategic plans to adapt to changing circumstances.
If economic conditions worsen in 2023, already declining operating reserves may continue to shrink. According to BDO's survey data, 38% of organizations had over 12 months of operating reserves in 2021. These reserves continued to drop to 27% in 2022 as federal stimulus funding that once boosted liquidity depleted and market conditions changed.
With uncertain economic times, budgeting continues to be a critical aspect of nonprofit operations. Unfortunately, it can be arduous to forecast revenue and expenses with accuracy. With an AI-powered ERP solution, streamlined budget automation can help organizations make more knowledgeable decisions.
AI can analyze past financial data and key trends to help nonprofits forecast revenue and expenses precisely. It can also provide recommendations on where to allocate resources to maximize impact. For example, if AI could identify programs with a higher return on investment, it can recommend an organization to increase funding for that program.
AI can transform nonprofit operations and help organizations achieve their goals. With the integration of this technology in systems like ERPs or CRMs, nonprofits will be able to:
By using AI to streamline their operations, nonprofits can focus on accelerating their mission and maximizing their impact.
Nonprofits must arm themselves with modern solutions to succeed during these economic times. A comprehensive ERP system designed specifically for nonprofits like Sparkrock 365 can help streamline operations, reduce the risk of errors and delays, and improve decision-making.
Microsoft continues to support its customers through innovative solutions like AI. They've invested billions into the OpenAI platform that powers technology like ChatGPT. Sparkrock 365 will adopt and integrate that same technology with our Microsoft-powered ERP solution. We're excited to share that vision with our customers and encourage you to connect with us for a chat.