If you’re the head of a nonprofit, you’re well aware of the financial challenges that make it difficult to achieve your mission. You don’t have the big budget that for-profit companies do, so you understand the need to operate efficiently and spend every dollar wisely.

Manual processes and sifting through large volumes of paperwork are a time-consuming burden you can’t afford. And implementing costly, complex IT systems at your office is an expense you can do without. With funding getting harder and harder to come by, it’s in your best interest to take advantage of affordable technology tools that will save you time and money.

You can start by shifting the HR and employee-management tasks of your nonprofit to the cloud. In simple terms, the cloud refers to software and services that run on the Internet, instead of locally on your office computer’s hard drive. Most cloud services can be accessed through a Web browser – all you have to do is log in to manage your information. This will bring you one step closer to a paperless office, improve your workflow, and allow you to spend more time on your core mission.

The benefits of making the transition far outweigh any issue holding you back. In fact, most of the concerns related to expense, complexity, transition time frame and security are based on common myths. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the silver lining that comes with moving your nonprofit to the cloud.

According to a 2016 study by the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), 96% of nonprofit organizations that use the cloud said it provides clear benefits in many areas.

1. You’ll Reduce IT-Related Expenses

You can easily make the switch to Web-based HR software without breaking your budget, and it won’t be long before you start seeing the return on your investment.

According to the 2016 “Nonprofit Technology Staffing and Investments Report” by the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), small nonprofits spend an average $2,127.45 on technology per staff member. They also spend 13.2% of their budget on IT. Nonprofits on a tight budget often struggle with these expensive costs, and eventually turn to more affordable, cloud-based solutions. By making the switch, you could cut down on costs associated with acquiring and maintaining IT hardware and software that are often bundled with additional features you don’t need.

The right partner will take care of your complicated IT requirements – you’ll get easy access to all of the HR recordkeeping applications, servers and storage you need without having to worry about installing, updating and maintaining them. This will reduce spending on an internal IT team or outside consultants. And there’s more good news for your nonprofit – you’ll only pay for the services and resources you use.

Some online HR software services are available as individual apps for specific functions such as employee records, attendance, time off, hiring, etc. So instead of buying expensive, all-in-one solutions, you can purchase exactly what you need.

2. You Can Work from Anywhere

When you say hello to the cloud, you’re also saying goodbye to the clutter of paper employee records. You’re breaking free from the restrictions that come with using installed software on your office computer.

Paper records and desktop software keep you chained to your desk, but Web-based HR software gives you access anytime, anywhere from a computer or suitable smart device connected to the Internet. The advantage of running software through a website is something your nonprofit can appreciate. You’ll be able to get additional work done outside the office, as well as outside office hours.

3. Your Data Is More Secure in the Cloud

Data security is one of the biggest concerns for companies considering the move online. In light of high-profile data breaches, you’re wondering if your information can be easily hacked or lost in the cloud. The truth is, your nonprofit’s data is far more secure in the cloud than on your office computer.

According to education and advocacy group Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, which tracks data breaches at nonprofits in states where notifying the attorney general is legally required, a total of 116 nonprofits reported breaches occurred between April 8, 2005, and February 13, 2018. In many instances, sensitive employee, client and donor information was compromised by physical breaches such as the theft of computer devices, as well as through hacking.

Most online HR software providers invest significant funds to strengthen privacy and data security. They employ well-trained experts to anticipate threats and protect your information from the prying eyes of hackers. When choosing a provider, it’s important to select one that uses impenetrable firewalls, password protection and encryption.

If your nonprofit wanted to implement this level of security on its own, it would take a big chunk out of your budget. But, by using the cloud, you’ll get these state-of-the-art security features built right into your service.

4. You Can Increase Collaboration

Working together as a team is easier with the cloud. Your employees can securely access the most recent records or document versions any time, anywhere. This is particularly useful if you have more than one office location. Information is stored online, where changes and comments are clearly tracked.

The employee self-service feature of online HR software also promotes collaboration and engagement. You can provide employees access to enter or update their personal information, as well as submit requests for time off. Through this collaboration, your nonprofit will significantly lower costs by sharing infrastructure and administrative expenses.

Well-designed online HR and employee-management software that is built and run by HR experts ensures continual updates occur to maintain compliance with recordkeeping and retention laws.

Are You Ready to Move to the Cloud?

If you’re all set to take your nonprofit’s employee-management tasks online, HRdirect Smart Apps can get you there without a hassle. For a limited time, small, U.S.-based non-profit organizations can receive select HRdirect Smart Apps free for one year. That’s right, free – and there’s no catch.

Key Takeaways
  • Cloud-based services can reduce costs associated with manual paperwork, improve your workflow and allow you to spend more time on your core mission.
  • When you move your HR and employee management tasks to the cloud, you shift the burden of updating and maintaining hardware and applications to your cloud provider.
  • Cloud-based software gives you access from any computer or suitable smart device, anywhere.
  • The cloud provides state-of-the-art security features built right into your service.
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