Why Nonprofits Should Ditch Spreadsheets


Many nonprofits still use spreadsheets even though the technology is going out of fashion. 

At one time, spreadsheets were a robust tool that helped organizations manage detailed data in an organized and visually appealing manner. 

However, spreadsheets are now an outdated tool. Using them consumes time, resources, and can result in frustration. More importantly, spreadsheets pose risks such as data theft. 

What Is Nonprofit CRM? 

You probably know CRMas Customer Relationship Management software. The flavor of CRM for nonprofits is usually called Constituent Relationship Management software. It’s an efficient solution for managing relationships with donors, clients, volunteers, and other constituents in one place. 

Unlike conventional CRM software that focuses on financial data and relationships with clients and potential leads, a nonprofit CRM gives organizations a better look at their relationships with their constituents.

This advanced tool helps nonprofits track donor communications, manage volunteers’ schedules, coordinate fundraising campaigns, and much more than a typical spreadsheet program.  

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Here are a few reasons why nonprofits should ditch spreadsheets and switch to nonprofit CRM tools:

#1 Workflow

Unlike typical organizations, nonprofits often have fewer resources, such as labor. In fact, it’s not unusual for people working in nonprofits to wear many hats to make up for staff or volunteer shortages. With time being such a precious commodity, nonprofits must avoid a slow and inefficient solution like spreadsheets. 

Spreadsheets are no longer the most efficient way for nonprofits to manage their records. Using them can be time-consuming. Since they don’t carry built-in reporting features, you have to create reports manually. And if you want to create complex reports, you need experience and advanced skills. 

They’re also challenging to track or collaborate with, resulting in inefficiencies. How many precious minutes have people in the office spent looking for spreadsheets in their junk folders? 

Instead, nonprofits should try not-for-profit CRM software to improve workflow. The software allows nonprofits to manage and streamline complex and sophisticated data in a very useful way. 

For example, efficiency is one of the biggest reasons why Silent Partner’s CRM is the top client care software for hospice and palliative care organizations. Hospices and palliative care homes can be incredibly busy and require technology that enhances time-management. 

The CRM also features a centralized, secure database that makes it easy for volunteers, staff, and others to conveniently access information from anywhere with an Internet connection. In other words, nonprofit remote workers can effortlessly collaborate when using a good CRM. 

#2 Security 

Security breaches can be fatal for a nonprofit. Stolen data can negatively impact a nonprofit’s reputation and morale, lowering donations, volunteer time, and much more. 

Spreadsheets can be stolen, viewed, modified, or stolen in seconds by an insider threat or an intruder. They can also be lost. The chain of custody between spreadsheets is challenging to establish. Additionally, spreadsheets lack passwords and internal controls for security. 

Compare this to top CRM tools. They have multiple protocols to protect data security. For one, nonprofit leaders can customize them to set access on a need-to-know basis. This means that anyone entering the office, like a volunteer or donor, can’t see sensitive data. 

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Additionally, CRM uses data encryption and utilizes top password security to protect sensitive accounting information. No one will know who your top five donors are unless you want them to. 

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#3 Compliance

Countries have stricter laws in place to protect data. For example, in the United States, the federal law HIPAA requires organizations to protect sensitive information. Canada’s PIPEDA is even stricter than HIPAA. 

Good nonprofit CRM software is both HIPAA and PIPEDA-compliant. It ensures privacy and security and helps you follow information. By contrast, spreadsheets are notoriously challenging to track in organizations with fast workflow. 

#4 Errors And Support

A tiny spreadsheet error can cost a company millions — money a nonprofit can’t afford to waste. Unfortunately, it’s easy to make errors with spreadsheets. Moreover, spotting errors after publishing spreadsheets can lead to misunderstandings and even more errors. 

Why not let a computer manage the numbers? Your CRM software is less likely to make errors than an overworked accounting team that manually manages spreadsheets. 

Modern nonprofit solutions allow you to follow income and expenses or generate insightful reports. Integration with leading accounting tools like QuickBooks is also simple. 

Of course, CRM software usually has responsive support. Compare this to Microsoft Excel, which offers little to no support. If your Excel sheet is corrupt, you’re probably on your own. 

These are just four reasons why your nonprofit should ditch spreadsheets. Don’t waste your time, patience, and mental wellbeing on spreadsheets. Instead, use CRM tools for nonprofits. Join the modern standard.

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