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Guest Post: How to Improve Operations at Your Nonprofit

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
This is a guest post by David Klein, Director of Marketing, ClickTime
 
No one ever said running a nonprofit is easy. There are countless rules and regulations, a near-constant battle for funding, and significant pressure to simultaneously reduce overhead costs and recruit top-tier talent. 
 
There’s also a host of metrics by which nonprofits measure their performance. This includes total amount of donations, growth in donations, donor retention, social media presence, and website traffic (to name a few). But more important than that, there is the mission. The entire reason for a nonprofit’s existence. 
 
With so many challenges and variables, how can nonprofits stay focused on what matters most? 
 
Track Employee Time 
By this we don’t mean retina scans or any sort of biometric or location monitoring. We’re talking about simple online timesheets. By tracking employee time, nonprofits can ensure that the entire team is working on the right projects and spending funder or grantor money as effectively as possible. Employee time tracking offers new visibility into operations that empower executive directors, CFOs, and managers with data — and answers — on how to better deliver on the mission. 
 
Create More Accurate Program Budgets 
Once you’ve started tracking time, you’ll begin to understand the number of employee hours — and true cost — of performing certain types of work. This can provide deep insights into creating future program budgets, and forecasting how much time and effort it will take to deliver on your commitments to your members or donors. 
 
Staff Smarter
How many employees does it take to run your organization? What about your fundraising efforts — if you bring on additional help, is there enough capacity on staff to train, manage, and mentor them? Is it more cost-efficient to design your annual report in-house, or should you work with an agency? Do you have enough funding to hire additional office support? How do you know when it is the right time to make these decisions? 
 
These can be challenging questions. That’s why it’s so important to have the answers readily available. There’s virtually infinite reports that can be generated from the data hidden within employee timesheets. And simply by entering hours, the larger operational picture becomes much more clear — freeing up your time to focus on strategy, on vision, and above all, achieving your mission.