Year-end fundraising always proves to be a busy season for nonprofits. And as nonprofits juggle staffing shortages and recession fears, it is critical that your organization has an efficient and robust process for creating reports that will enhance your chances of getting much-needed funding.
Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) recently joined a webinar co-hosted by Social Solutions and Nonprofit PRO on Aug. 24 to discuss how case management software has enabled the organization to complete reports in just a few clicks of a mouse.
A nonprofit that operates more than 50 programs across more than 20 sites in Brooklyn, New York, BCS began implementing Social Solutions’ Apricot software in 2020. BCS’ programs are spread across four divisions: education and youth development; family, community building, and workforce development; health, housing, and homelessness solutions; and services for people living with disabilities. Since adopting Apricot, the nonprofit has transformed its reporting capabilities and its communications across its many divisions and services.
Within the organization, BCS has reported smoother communications and data sharing among staff members.
One feature of Apricot that BCS shared its excitement about when first implementing the software was its referral feature. Before Apricot, BCS noted that it was difficult to determine how many individuals were being served across its agency with a high level of confidence. The organization’s previous data management system required staffers to create a new profile for individuals for each program they were a part of. Whereas, in Apricot, nonprofits can assign a single individual profile to any program those participants are involved in. BCS has now been able to track improvements in its referrals.
Compiling reports was also a significant pain point at BCS before it adopted Apricot. In the past, the program director manually tallied services or pulled data together from multiple case worker spreadsheets over the span of a month or more in the reporting period. This took them countless hours and days to tally all that information and submit reports.
At the click of a button in their Apricot portal, the program director and other staff members can now pull a report in a format that meets the requirements of an existing or potential funder.
Creating robust reports that funders want to see is critical in boosting your fundraising efforts. In early 2022, Social Solutions replicated a 2017 survey of hundreds of foundations, charitable trusts, and corporate giving programs across the U.S. The goal was to provide nonprofits insights into what they need to communicate to funders in order to secure more money.
From 2017 to 2022, we have seen a marked increase in the preference for digitization and data-based reporting. Previously, when funders were asked what reporting format they preferred, they said they wanted to see impact stories, paper, and spreadsheets. Now, funders primarily want to see a digital portal or dashboard. While some still want to see spreadsheets and impact stories, our survey shows that digital formatting is becoming the preferred format.
Social Solution’s Apricot software makes it easy for your nonprofit to meet these new, preferred formatting needs when creating reports for funders. In moments, you can create dynamic, beautiful digital reports for potential and current funders.
When it comes to the content of those reports, we have discovered that funders primarily want to see program outcomes when looking at nonprofits’ reporting. Smart software like Apricot allows organizations to organize and analyze their data in a centralized place. This means that at any time, staff members can log in and see every data point across every program.
Your program directors juggle a lot, even without the added burden of year-end fundraising. Social Solutions’ easy-to-use Apricot software not only ensures their time is spent well, but it also improves your nonprofit’s chances of securing the funding needed to continue serving your community. Get a demo today.
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