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AcctTwo Blog

Measuring What Matters in Nonprofits

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The right nonprofit financial management system can enable the access to statistical financial and operational data so you can automatically calculate key metrics such as financial (revenue), statistical (membership), or a combination (donations per attendee). And it can offer the visibility, automation, access, and adaptability you need to grow your organization or ministry and succeed. Whether you benefit from fast and easy reporting or automating processes that yield greater efficiencies, you will be a better steward of your funds when you start measuring what matters in nonprofits.

The Right Financial Software System Makes it Simple

As you consider a strategy based on nonprofit outcome metrics, consider your financial management solution and how it can simplify the process. For example, a modern, fund accounting solution will automatically tag and track your data by key dimensions—giving you instant visibility and insights so you can proactively manage locations, programs, members, and funds. 

Outcome Metrics - Measure What Matters in the Nonprofit WorldPerhaps you want to measure attendance, volunteer hours, meals served, immunizations given, or constituents funded. The key is to integrate and calculate those statistics against budgets, plans, projects, and expenses. For example, if your organization is membership driven, you may want to track revenue (financial) by membership count (statistical) compared to the prior year. Metrics such as these let you easily monitor, track, and report on outcomes. A best-in-class financial management solution can do it all–within your system of record.

Take the first step: Define the key metrics that best measure what is most important to your mission. Don’t 
get bogged down with tactical issues such as “Who will measure what—and when?” The subsequent details and processes follow naturally–especially when you use a modern financial system to make it easy.

Take advantage of external resources to get up to speed quickly. You may have too few or too many metrics, but consistent progress brings success. Balance your approach with measures that reflect the complete picture of your organization’s health and impact. Measuring and reporting outcomes will require extra effort. But doing so brings immediate and long-term benefits to the organization as well as its funders and constituents.

Case Study: Valley Creek Church

Valley Creek Church is a multi-location church in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area with four campuses and plans to launch four more campuses in the near future. The church has roughly 6,500 members in attendance each weekend. Valley Creek's membership is a cross section of people from the community - people on a journey with Jesus and with each other. The church welcomes people from a variety of backgrounds and a full spectrum of spiritual maturity.

Valley Creek has been on AcctTwo's platform for more than three years. The church made the switch from Shelby Systems v.5 financial management software. "AcctTwo has really taken our accounting and finance to a different level from what that program was able to provide," says Baden. Watch this video to hear more from Baden about improvements they've seen since transforming their technology:

Todd Baden - Valley Creek Church_Marketing Edit

 

Previous Accounting Challenges

  • Valley Creek's legacy system (Shelby) was a limited accounting application and was unable to provide the more sophisticated management reports they require.
  • Dashboard reporting was manually created and very time consuming.
  • Data had to be consolidated from multiple sources.
  • Monthly processes and workflows were paper or email-based and very manually driven.
  • The finance team was unable to efficiently produce ministry reporting which inhibited church leadership’s decision-making capabilities.
  • Streamlining the delivery and content of the executive-level reports was necessary as the organization continues to grow and expand.

Benefits Realized With AcctTwo

  • AcctTwo simplifies the budgeting process both from creation to accountability.
  • The church can easily integrate their new system with their choice of other systems.
  • Their cloud accounting software is efficient and flexible which positions the church well for continued growth.
  • Valley Creek Church, with the help of AcctTwo, now has a system that runs efficiently and saves endless hours of unnecessary manual efforts.
  • With Sage Intacct, Valley Creek's Leadership team has real-time visibility into their financial and operational data through easy to read dashboard reports.
  • Church leaders can now focus more on the mission of the organization instead of being buried in transactional documentation.

The increasing demand for nonprofit financial transparency and accountability from donors is compelling today’s nonprofits to seek ways to both produce and demonstrate successful outcomes. A recent survey showed that more than 25% of nonprofits struggle with heightened expectations and increasing scrutiny from several sources—including ever more savvy funders looking for financial management techniques and controls employed commonly by for-profit businesses. This white paper describes how nonprofits like yours can effectively leverage outcome metrics to boost success. Read it now.

Topics: Not-for-profit Industry Faith-Based not-for-profit Metrics