How NFPs can increase efficiency and competitiveness

There is no doubt that the changes to the NDIS have significantly impacted how Australian Not-for-Profits (NFPs) are running their businesses. Changes to the scheme have prompted NFPs to rethink how they operate in terms of reducing costs, upskilling their workforce and competing for donations and funds.

Recently, the NAB published their annual report on how Australians are supporting our Not-for-Profit sector. The report revealed an overall drop in charitable donations – both in dollar value and number of contributors.

So, with reduced donations and government pressure to become more commercially savvy, how can NFPs increase efficiency and competitiveness without blowing out their costs?

Technology offers a range of different solutions to automate routine tasks, increase efficiency and enable employees to focus on their core purpose of providing the best possible service to their clients.

Operational efficiency

The government has made it clear that it wishes for NFPs to become operationally efficient. Similar to the way corporate organisations conduct their businesses, NFPs need to concentrate on reducing overheads and increasing output. Expenditure needs to be carefully considered and the ROI measured to ensure the best outcomes for the organisations bottom line.

Traditionally, HR spends a lot of time administering multiple systems and running repetitive routine tasks, impacting employee’s ability to focus on servicing clients. NFPs are recognising that HR technology is a great enabler to productivity.

Key commercial benefits include:

  • Dramatic decrease in the time spent managing core HR activities
  • Faster onboarding of new employees, leading to a shorter timeline to productivity
  • Rapid implementation of both compliance and soft skills training
  • Increased visibility over all HR functions including recruitment, onboarding, professional development and performance management
  • Streamlined reporting capabilities that save time and reduce risk of inaccuracy
  • Enabling employees to focus more time and effort on their core mission and purpose

Last year, the New Zealand Red Cross were seeking a cost-effective system that could simplify the provision of Health and Safety training to their people. They adopted an online learning system that streamlined their compliance management, and they are experiencing significant savings in both time and effort.

Competitive Advantage

With more competition for government funding and donations, NFPs are considering how they can best upskill their workforce, create more bandwidth for fundraising and increase positive outcomes for their cause.

Because NFPs often employ both full-time staff and volunteers, it can be a challenge to efficiently manage onboarding, upskilling and compliance requirements. Geographic dispersion is also common and adds another level of complexity to the execution of training requirements.

Face to face training can be expensive and difficult to coordinate, however online, or “on-demand” training offers a streamlined solution that allows rapid execution of course content, visibility over progress and completions, mobile accessibility and reporting capabilities.

By using relevant compliance and soft skills pre-built courses, additional effort can be saved in course design and creation.

Another advantage of online training is the opportunity to upskill employees or increase core capabilities – this can be especially useful when you want to empower your people to be more effective in their roles or learn new skills that will benefit your organisational.

Ultimately, the way NFPs operate their businesses is changing. By focusing on efficiency, productivity and ongoing learning, NFPs can positively impact their bottom line and successfully continue to raise necessary funds to keep operating effectively.

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