Getting Grant Ready: Technology Considerations for Your Financial Systems
Guest Blog by Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman Partners, Jennifer
Fundraising and development activities are not only critical to the success of any nonprofit; donors and grant makers are demanding more transparency than ever around organizations’ finances. With sites like Charity Navigator and the industry’s emphasis on maximizing the performance of the board of directors, it is important that nonprofits’ reporting mechanisms provide accurate and timely information enabled by the best technology.
Appropriate technologies and systems can become an important factor in alleviating the administrative burden of reporting to multiple end users (external and internal) as well as ensuring compliance with federal, governmental and donor requirements. However, while technology is the enabler, your process has to start with a hard look at your organization, the types of funding it receives, and its current technological capabilities. Are you able to adjust your current accounting and reporting systems to provide the information required from a compliance and reporting standpoint for government and foundation grants, or is it time to consider an investment in an entirely new system? Furthermore, what are the benefits and possible concerns related to transitioning to a cloud-based system versus the traditional on-sight software?
Grantors and management expect an organization to be able to report on an individual donor or programmatic basis, which means your accounting system should have the capabilities to address direct cost allocations, overhead allocations and reporting of expenses on a functional basis. This also becomes a key consideration when accounting for an organization’s largest and most scrutinized expense – salary. Will your systems allow for the accurate capture, allocation, and transfer of salary data in an efficient and secure manner?
Furthermore, what does your system offer in terms of tracking compliance with the requirements under the new Uniform Guidance such as
There are many technology solutions available to assist nonprofits with grant reporting but your organization’s leadership should first understand the correlation between compliance and accounting system functionality, as well as the pitfalls and opportunities that can be reasonably expected when considering current technology or an upgrade. Join Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman Partners, Jennifer