Nonprofit Software: The Dangers of the Data Silo
Common knowledge tells us all that several different, separated software systems are needed for any organization to succeed. In turn, this creates a data silo, or several data silos. In the case of a nonprofit, there may be an accounting/reconciliation system (Quickbooks, Peachtree), a system for creating and maintaining a website (WordPress, Wix), a system for volunteer management (VolunteerHub, Volgistics) and an email marketing system (Constant Contact, Mailchimp), among many others. The typical nonprofit organization has several of these systems that they have to move between on a regular basis.
However, not only is a data silo an inconvenient way to maintain a nonprofit organizations day-to-day operations, it can lead to a series of dangers that can further hinder what your organization seeks to accomplish. Nonprofits may already be faced with challenges such as being short staffed, underfunded and low on resources. Because of this, they can run into many dangers when dealing with data silos and siloed software systems. We discuss some of those dangers below:
-Decreased employee productivity: When the work of your employees feels as if it is disconnected from the work that other employees are doing, they can feel isolated and their work can suffer because of it. The last thing you want is for your employees to feel that the work they are doing does not matter. However, a data silo can lead to your employees feeling exactly that. From there, you may see a slip or a lag in the work that is being done and what is being created.
-Complexity of integration: Depending on the type of software and what it does, software integration can either be a breeze, or a serious headache. What if you need to integrate two pieces of software together that perform certain similar tasks, but are incompatible? Also, an aspect of integration that is often not talked about is money. How much will it cost to perform the integration? What are the pros and cons of spending money on this integration? Will old records have to be purged, or can you hang onto them?
-Decreased emphasis on customer service: A nonprofit organization that has employees who are focused on moving between software systems is not able to keep a focus on what is best for its supporters. The emphasis is on maintaining pertinent information that is stored in several different places, instead of on fulfilling the mission of the organization and building relationships with sponsors and potential sponsors. This can potentially lead to dissatisfied supporters who may be willing to take their money, time and attention to other causes.
-Lack of communication between employees and teams: Employees and teams have to feel as if they are connected, working towards a common goal. While it is true that your development director will not work in the same capacity as your volunteer coordinator, there still should be some collaboration between the two of them and even more people on your team. Employees and teams working with data that is siloed and not connected or automated makes it more difficult to find common ground between those employees and teams, which is what you do not want.
But by using Giveffect, an all-in-one software system that is powered off of Smart Automation, your nonprofit organization can avoid these issues all together. That’s because Giveffect’s ten software systems work in connection with one another to give a seamless software experience. All of the systems exist in one place, so a user never has to leave the Giveffect platform. Whether you want to create a new fundraising campaign for your nonprofit, run a report on a fundraiser that was done five years ago to give to your board, create an engaging email marketing or direct mail campaign, or just manage your volunteers, you can do all that and more right inside of Giveffect.
Beyond just disposing of the idea of the data silo, Giveffect is ten systems within one that are all connected and powered off of Smart Automation. This means that Giveffect automates all time-consuming work that goes into things like managing donors, overseeing volunteers and raising funds. Our connected system and integrated tools make life easier at your nonprofit organization by reducing the time for administrative tasks to minutes instead of days and cutting out manual data entry. We want you to focus on the real work of your organization by making things easier for you on the administrative end.
Looking for more information or want to request a demo? Feel free to connect with us online and we’ll be happy to speak with you.
Want to learn more about how the Giveffect all-in-one software system can help your nonprofit in all of its software efforts? Visit us online at www.giveffect.com.