SAN MATEO, Calif.—Dec 19, 2017
Oracle NetSuite, one of the world’s leading providers of cloud-based financials / ERP, HR, Professional Services Automation (PSA) and omnichannel commerce software suites, today announced three nonprofit customers that are leveraging the NetSuite platform to create efficiencies, raise additional funds and further their mission. Charitable organizations and social enterprises are abandoning entry-level desktop applications, disparate systems and manual work for more effective and streamlined operations in the cloud. Nonprofits such as FH Canada (Canadian Food for the Hungry), the Caring and Sharing Exchange, and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester are effectively tackling key challenges in program management, regulatory reporting, fundraising, and tracking donors and beneficiaries with NetSuite. These organizations are realizing sizable cost savings and operational efficiencies that they can channel into social impact programs for education, healthcare, clean water, sustainable agriculture, legal aid and other support for populations in need—whether in a nonprofit’s home city or halfway around the world.
Traditionally, nonprofits have been slower than other industries in adopting technology to improve their performance. Limitations in funding, working capital and IT resources create a barrier to entry that can be difficult to overcome. As a result, many nonprofits struggle with standalone Excel spreadsheets, Access databases and server-based applications to manage financials and constituents, driving up administrative costs. That also hurts a nonprofit’s accountability and transparency ratings on sites like Charity Navigator, which individual, corporate and philanthropic donors use when evaluating prospective beneficiaries. Ultimately, outdated technology and labor-intensive manual work can undermine a nonprofit’s fundraising and ability to fully achieve its mission.
Founded in 2006, the NetSuite Social Impact group is empowering nonprofits to use NetSuite to further their mission, regardless of their ability to pay. More than 1,000 nonprofits and social enterprises around the world are supported by NetSuite Social Impact, which makes available free and discounted software licensing to qualified organizations. The program also includes Suite Pro Bono, under which NetSuite employees provide their expertise to help nonprofits with training and customizations to make the most of the platform. To learn more about NetSuite Social Impact, please visit www.netsuite.com/socialimpact.
Nonprofits using NetSuite for such functions as fund accounting, grants management, FASB reporting, fundraising, constituent management, and program management are gaining greater efficiencies and visibility into operations. FH Canada, the Caring and Sharing Exchange and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester are among the many nonprofits to improve efficiency and heighten their social impact with NetSuite’s unified cloud business management platform.
Food for the Hungry Canada (FH Canada) (www.fhcanada.org), part of the global Food for the Hungry (FH) organization, works with communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America who end poverty and become self-sustaining through leadership training and programs to improve healthcare, education, clean water, agriculture and more. Since 1994, the Christian nonprofit has “graduated” 63 communities after 10 years of collaboration to address the root causes of poverty. Today, Food for the Hungry staff, the vast majority of whom are hired from local countries, work with communities in Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Haiti and Guatemala. FH Canada relies heavily on individual donors, who may sponsor a child or purchase a gift such as school supplies, gardening tools or livestock for recipients through FH Canada’s online store.
Live in 2005, NetSuite has given FH Canada a unified system for all key processes, including its ecommerce web store. Fundraising income has grown by over 20 percent annually in recent years as the nonprofit utilizes a central donor database for personalized communications. Reallocation of savings on IT personnel has allowed FH Canada to funnel resources into fulfilling its mission, while real-time data has markedly improved insights and collaboration across the 20-person organization. “Having everything integrated in a single system lets us re-purpose resources to our mission in supporting programs and fundraising,” said Mark Petzold, Director of Communications and Technology, FH Canada. “NetSuite makes it so much easier to maintain and build donor relationships with one snapshot across all interactions.”
The Caring and Sharing Exchange (www.caringandsharing.ca) since 1915 has made a big difference for needy people in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Its flagship Christmas Exchange program helps about 20,000 people each holiday season with food hampers or vouchers. Since 2011, a program called Sharing in Student Success has equipped thousands of students with backpacks full of school supplies—more than 2,500 students in 2016. Importantly, the nonprofit serves as a data repository to identify duplicate recipients across 350 partner agencies to prevent recipient duplication—saving the community $600,000 a year and ensuring equitable distribution. With NetSuite live in 2013, Caring and Sharing is more effective than ever as need continues to grow. The nonprofit is saving $50,000 a year in bookkeeping and administrative staff, freeing funds for program work and fundraising. It estimates eliminating 1,000 hours a year in manual data entry. And fundraising income is up 20 percent a year with NetSuite supplying a unified donor database that supports more personalized outreach, while duplication checks are done faster and easier for both Caring and Sharing and partner agencies.
“To have everything in one place helps us run more efficiently and puts more resources where they are needed,” said Cindy Smith, Caring and Sharing Executive Director. “Because we’re able to spend more time on programs and fundraising, we’re able to make more of a difference where it really counts.”
The Legal Aid Society of Rochester, NY (LASROC) (www.lasroc.org), incorporated in 1921, provides pro bono and low-cost legal services in such areas as domestic violence, child support, housing and immigration for about 10,000 individuals a year in a nine-county region of Western New York. Like dozens of other Legal Aid chapters across the U.S., LASROC continuously juggles a rising caseload against limited resources and funding uncertainty. A staff of more than 80 committed legal and administrative professionals, as well as volunteers, are essential to LASROC’s success. So is identifying time and cost savings that enable LASROC to focus resources on social impact. NetSuite plays a key role, enabling LASROC to avoid about $50,000 a year in licensing, hardware and maintenance costs—nearly the salary of a full-time starting attorney who can handle up to 400 cases a year. Those savings are in addition to better efficiency and visibility across the organization. LASROC managers have real-time insights into costs vs. revenue, while accounting is far faster. For instance, payroll journal entries that previously took hours are complete in five minutes with NetSuite, giving finance personnel flexibility to contribute elsewhere across the organization.
“Because NetSuite is so efficient, we spend a lot less time on administration and put those savings directly into client services,” said Kathia Casion, Civil Division Director at LASROC. “If we don’t have to spend as much time on record-keeping, we’re able to help more clients.”
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