Major Challenges Faced by All Not For Profits in Canada

Running a not for profit today can be a tough go. There are a lot of amazing not for profits out there that are all making this word a much better place. But running these not for profits (including society’s and charities) can be very difficult. Many face a lot of challenges in their operations. The main challenges are generally:

  • Recruitment of both Staff and Directors;

  • Financial and regulatory compliance; and

  • Budgeting and cash management.

In this article we are going to explain how current technology can help you solve the first challenge. We will issue future articles covering the last two.

So How Can You Recruit for your Not-For-Profit?

The main issue in recruitment is that staff and directors are constantly being asked to do more! Much of this work is administration and does not relate directly to the cause of the organization.  For staff, you need to present paid employment position that allows them to make a difference. For directors, you need to understand that these are generally unpaid volunteers,  time is precious, and directors are leery of high time commitments.

“You need to create a environment where its easy for your directors to say yes to coming on-board (pun intended).”

If you can reduce the paperwork and allow for greater flexibility, it will be much easier to get both employees and directors to say yes and work with your not for profit.

Well that sounds easy doesn’t it? Well it actually can be with the right processes (and technology) in place. Here are a few key tools that can make a big difference:

What Technology can Help?

  • Cloud accounting software. Make sure your employees, directors and management can access the financials and work remotely. For example, Xero accounting software has an employee expense claim app that allows employees to claim expenses paid personally right from their phone (just snap a picture, code and submit for approval).
  • Video meeting tools. Having remote meetings for your not for profit can reduce the time commitment of your directors and even allow staff to work from home. We like Zoom but you can even use Google Hangouts.
  • Electronic payables. Who like cheques? The answer is no one! Switch your NPO to an electronic payment solution like Plooto. These programs are designed to incorporate dual authentication so you can meet your requirements for dual signature and approval. The difference is you are not signing a cheque, instead you get an email that the payables run is ready for review/payment. You (as the signing authority) log in with your individual login and password and confirm that you approve the payment. A second authorizer does the same from there separate login (and maybe from a different city across Canada). Plooto costs just $1.00 per payable whereas cheques including the cost of the actual cheque PLUS the time commitment in preparing by both administration and management far exceeds that.
  • Virtual application and interview. This is for when you actually hire. Consider using an application like SparkHire to widen your geographical area  and create a simple but automated tool. You can activate it for the period you are hiring and then de-activate it to save costs once the role is filled.

We use many of these tools and more in creating a refined process environment for our not for profits clients. Each one can work amazingly and help create the environment that allows both directors and employees to focus on making big impacts.

Virtual Heights Accounting

A CPA firm that focuses on process automation using technology. We offer year end, tax, CFO, controllership and bookkeeping services and specialize in professional services, e-commerce and the not for profit sector. If you have any questions, please contact us from our website.