When it comes to effectively managing a non-profit organization, few people consider the need for custom software. Sure, prebuilt applications can handle a lot of the software-based workload and needs. Still, unlike profit-driven companies, non-profits carry out certain tasks differently due to their unique organizational structures and the philanthropic nature of their founding missions.
While the management of a non-profit is relatively similar everywhere, for tax compliance purposes, some states have regulations that require an organization to meet specific thresholds to qualify. Generally, however, a non-profit is founded to accomplish particular humanitarian or collectivist work. For example, homeless shelters aim to provide temporary housing and necessities for the less fortunate. Meanwhile, a cancer research foundation funnels enough clinical research and care funds to those in need.
However, similar to profit organizations, non-profits also require operational expenses to function. They also have hierarchical management structures that oversee different working areas, including governance, administration, and programs. Due to these managerial complexities, non-profits also need customized software solutions to mitigate challenges and run optimally.
Below, we’ll take a look at the kinds of custom applications that non-profit organizations frequently use.
Software types for non-profits
Since profitability isn’t the driving factor behind non-profits, they need to secure funding for their missions to remain sustainable. The primary method for doing so is usually through donations. This means that custom software programs for non-profits must focus on outreach and spreading awareness about the organization’s mission. These proprietary programs can be extranet web portals, custom mobile apps, and intranet applications—all of which are critical in organizing and disseminating marketing collateral.
On top of outreach, non-profit organizations also require accounting and asset management software for bookkeeping. This program is integral to the success of every non-profit since different donors typically need specific reporting disclosures and requirements to account for the funds and inventories. These automated applications also come in handy to help non-profits declare their revenues to keep their tax-exempt status when filing their tax forms.
Non-profits also need custom applications built with database features to support stakeholder management and prospecting activities. These applications allow non-profits to compile data of every donor, including their demographics and income levels, to create more relevant fundraising strategies.
How does non-profit custom software work in action?
To see how these different functionalities work perfectly in tandem in a non-profit environment, take, for example, the work we did for the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA). We worked with the organization to create a platform to consolidate all of its existing applications and technologies into a unified intranet portal.
This was a challenge unique to the WTCA, as the organization has hundreds of licensees spread across 92 different countries. Moreover, these licensees were all using various applications for different purposes. To improve the organization’s workflow and processes, we successfully unified these multiple applications under one platform.
In addition, we also built a comprehensive extranet web portal serving to raise public awareness of the WTCA’s global mission.
What non-profits should look for in a development company
Custom software development isn’t cheap, and non-profits, in particular, are often incredibly mindful of budget restrictions. However, this doesn’t mean that non-profit organizations should only hire the cheapest developers they can find. Low-budget development usually results in an inferior product, and nobody wants a custom application that doesn’t function as well as it should.
Every so often, a developer will offer a discounted rate for their services, but this isn’t something that non-profits would conveniently and frequently chance upon when hiring a team to build their software. The reality of budget constraints means that non-profit organizations are looking for the best candidate through other criteria. In particular, they must find companies they feel confident will deliver the best possible product.
For starters, non-profits can peruse a company’s portfolio to verify if the developer has worked on something similar to their project requirements. Likewise, they can check the testimonials from past clients to see how well the company executed the projects. In some cases, non-profits can contact representatives from potential development companies directly to assess the candidate’s viability immediately.
Why Asahi is the Right Fit for Your Nonprofit Organization
At Asahi, we’ve built custom software solutions for all types of companies, including non-profit organizations worldwide. Our team of professionals comprises experienced engineers and designers fully dedicated to delivering a final product that meets the expectations of our clients and then some.
Perfect functionality, beautiful user experiences–these are the things we strive for when working with any client, and we never settle for anything less. Check out the reviews from our satisfied customers here to get started.
Are you looking to hire a custom software developer for your non-profit organization? Reach out below and receive a complimentary consultation session with us.