What is Enterprise Resource Planning, and Why Does My Nonprofit Need It?

Everybody at your nonprofit organization works hard to make the world a better place. And regardless of your mission, all nonprofit organizations have to track things like employees, finances and other crucial data points. The logging, tracking and analysis can be time-consuming and take valuable resources away from your core mission. The good news? Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can free up time and resources within your organization so you can focus more on achieving your goals and less on mundane administrative tasks.

What is Enterprise Resource Planning?

So, what is an ERP system, anyway? Specifically, ERP refers to software and systems that have been specifically designed to manage many of the tedious administrative tasks of an organization. This can include things like finances, budgeting, human resources, payroll, workforce management and more. Ultimately, an ERP solution helps connect different departments and segments of a larger organization to communicate better and improve performance. Meanwhile, these solutions can help to free up valuable time and resources.

The History of Enterprise Resource Planning

While the term was not coined until the 1990s by the Gartner Group, the concept of enterprise resource planning has actually been around since the early 1900s. By 2000, the first cloud-based ERP software solutions were introduced to the market. These platforms were the first to use the internet rather than relying on organizations to have their own on-site servers.

Today, ERP solutions come in the form of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) to suit the changing needs of businesses and organizations across the globe.

Benefits of Enterprise Resource Planning for Nonprofits

There are countless benefits of ERP software, especially as it relates to Nonprofit organizations. Specifically, the right ERP software offers one unified solution for purchasing, reporting, human resources, budgeting and more.

One of the most valuable features of an ERP platform for nonprofit organizations is the seamless and automated reporting. Consider, for example, that many nonprofit organizations are expected to provide detailed reporting to their funders; these reports can be extremely time-consuming to produce and play a major role in future funding for the organization.

An ERP system can automate much of a nonprofit's reporting so that employees can free up their time and resources to handle other work. Meanwhile, you can rest assured that the reports generated by ERP software will be detailed, accurate, and ready to present to board members or other funders with confidence. Reporting can also help nonprofits make better-informed decisions about their operations.

Likewise, ERP software can save nonprofit organizations time and money — and while profits are never the focus of these organizations, the reality is that freeing up money to allocate elsewhere can help nonprofits better reach their goals and achieve their missions. An ERP platform can save organizations time and money by cutting back on time-consuming and repetitive data entry. At the same time, automation reduces the chances of human errors and other data entry mistakes that can be costly.

Finally, because ERP software can handle payroll and accounting, nonprofits can help keep employee morale up by ensuring that they are paid the correct amount and in a timely manner. Common payroll and accounting mistakes can be avoided, and employees can always rest assured that they will receive the correct amounts on their checks.

Industries and Applications for Enterprise Resource Planning

No matter what industry your nonprofit operates in, ERP solutions can provide several benefits. Some of the more common industries where ERP solutions are often adopted include:

Meanwhile, the right ERP platform can help to tackle any of the following applications:

  • Human resources
  • Management accounting
  • Financial accounting
  • Project management
  • Customer relationship management
  • Workforce management
  • Payroll
  • Donor management
  • Grant management

Get Started With Enterprise Resource Planning Today

If your nonprofit organization is still disjointed and handling its human resources, payroll and other administrative tasks manually, it's time to explore ERP solutions. Specifically, a platform like Sparkrock 365 streamlines your operations while freeing up time and money. From there, your organization can focus more on what matters most: working towards its mission and making the world a better place. Contact us today to find out more or to get started!

Are you ready to spark change?

With Sparkrock 365, you'll have the tools to manage your finances and workforce more efficiently so you can focus on what you do best. Go from paper-based processes to intelligent online workflows, and access the data you need to make a real difference in your community.
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