For nonprofit organizations, grants are the lifeblood of their projects. Whether that funding comes from the government, a foundation or a corporation, nonprofits need to accurately report how they've spent the money. Otherwise, they risk being noncompliant and losing current funds or not having funding renewed.
As crucial as accurate reporting is, most nonprofits use outdated and inefficient methods of tracking. That begs the question: is there an easier way? There is.
Smart forward, thinking nonprofit organizations have begun using Human capital management platforms (HCMs), that are designed to help them effectively manage their paid and volunteer workers, so that organizations can make the most of their mission.
Challenges of Tracking Labor and Effort Reporting
In most nonprofits, the majority of funds goes toward payroll, but tracking labor and expenses is not easy. A Governing Institute survey of educators and government officials found that 50% of their organizations rely on a manual process to track labor. Only 7% of nonprofits use software to monitor labor costs, and 68% can't access the data on various devices.
According to the survey, 42% of nonprofit employees said they were dissatisfied with their current tracking methods because they’re often cumbersome, time-consuming, prone to error.
Yet the cost of not tracking data accurately is high. Of the organizations surveyed, 54% had been audited, and 11% were found noncompliant with grant funding requirements. For mission-based organizations the loss of funds can be devastating, not just to the organization but also to the individuals and communities who would benefit from the project.
Creating Effective Nonprofit Tracking
Any nonprofit leader will tell you that it's not a lack of desire to get tracking details right. It's the complexity of the process. Accurately tracking employees' time, scheduling employees to meet service demand, and gaining insights into the paid and volunteer workforce is a tall order —. especially when nonprofits must achieve all of this while operating on a lean budget and are expected to "do more with less."
But the manual tracking systems used by so many nonprofits don't provide the flexibility, oversight, and efficiency the organizations need. HCMs that are built for the cloud provide the ease of use, accuracy, and agility nonprofits need to simplify operations, optimize cost management, and mobilize their resources in service of their mission:
Tracking employees’ time. Keeping account of how much time a nonprofit employee works on a project is vital even if there's only one project involved. It's even more critical if the employee works on more than one funded project or works in different locations. Not only is timekeeping accuracy necessary for reporting, but it is also essential for budgeting because it helps organizations better manage labor costs, improve payroll accuracy, and make sure the right costs are tracked and allocated to the right projects and grants keeps the organization compliant.
To track payroll information accurately, employees must input their time correctly. Mobile management tools make it easy for employees to enter data on their device, wherever they are, and give administrators real-time visibility into the workforce.
Scheduling employees to meet service demands. Businesses that operate for profit can struggle with scheduling. But that task can be even more challenging for nonprofits, where staying within the operating budget is tantamount. Matching employees who have specific certifications, skills, or licenses with specific can be a headache.
With SyncHR Workforce Management solutions, you can create a schedule to align staffing requirements with your budget and needs, as well as with employee scheduling preferences. This flexibility helps you get work done within the parameters of the grant without going over budget. As a backup, you'll also get a notification if a schedule violates a rule like staff to participant ratios—before it becomes a compliance issue.
Getting insights into the workforce. Getting insights into the workforce, such as tardiness, absenteeism, overtime, or turnover (which indicate potential issues such as engagement) helps leaders identify and proactively address problem areas. Conversely, these insights also can point out stellar employees who deserve recognition.
Workforce insights are more useful than for just tracking and managing paid employees. Volunteers are the heroes in nonprofit organizations, but they are often forgotten when thinking about the workforce. Yet their impact is mighty. According to Independent Sector, a membership organization for the charitable community, Americans donate 8 billion hours to their communities for a contribution of $203.4 billion in time, talent, and effort. Being able to track your volunteers’ hours and contributions in an HCM like SyncHR can demonstrate the impact your volunteer-powered project has to potential funders.
Tracking labor is a necessity for nonprofits, but the task shouldn't be overwhelming. SyncHR simplifies the task, increases accuracy, and gives you real-time data to strategically manage employees and volunteers, so everyone can spend more time fulfilling the organization’s mission.
Contact us today to learn more about how SyncHR solutions help nonprofits serve more people, more efficiently, and with greater impact.
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