Charities and Technology: Finance

Charities and Technology: Finance

Implementing technology within your charity doesn’t have to be difficult, overwhelming or time-consuming. Here we look at different apps and initiatives to help bring your charity in line with the latest tech and become more digitally inclusive.

Intro

In a report from the Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital index, it was revealed that more than 100,000 charities lacked basic digital skills, which is over half of the charities registered in the UK. The report also showed that 9,000 charities don’t use the internet at all and that one in three believes being online is irrelevant.

It’s hard to imagine a world without the internet and constantly evolving technological changes, so why is it the charity and not-for-profit sector tend to fall behind when it comes to utilising them? Findings from the Charity Digital Skills Report would suggest that some of the major barriers to making the most out of digital are:

  • Lack of funding (58%)
  • Lack of skills (51%)
  • Unwillingness to change culture (46%)
  • Lack of confidence with digital (27%)
  • Unsure of steps to take (17%)

However, there is some good news as the report also mentions that there are more charities that see digital as a priority in comparison to the year before. Implementing digital technology can be as simple as using online banking. Charities can make smaller changes such as using online conferencing systems for calls rather than scheduling face-to-face meetings or use an online fundraising platform to collect donations instead of handling cash.

Over a series of articles, we’ll look at how different technologies can help to improve every aspect of your charity. From your accounting, to productivity and of course fundraising. In this article we’ll be looking at finances.

Xero

Are you effectively keeping track of your charity’s finances or still using old-school methods to get your basic bookkeeping done? There are many great cloud accounting apps that your charity could use, which would save a lot of time and money.

Xero, for example, is a great choice for charities and not-for-profits. The app can be used across desktop, mobile and tablet, and its design makes it easy to do your bookkeeping from the office or home.

It also has the ability to integrate with payroll software, making it easier to pay your staff members. Another great app; you can install on Xero include Infoodle, which is an app that would enable staff to manage administrative tasks such as registration forms, processing donations and gift aid management.

Xero has a special pricing plan for charities and not-for-profits, starting from £10 per month, where you can send up to five invoices, bills and reconcile 20 bank transactions. The great thing about Xero, is that it offers a free 30-day trial in case your charity doesn’t quite like its accounting software, but we’re certain you’ll love it!

Giftcoin

We’ve heard about Bitcoin and how it was making everyone rich, but what is Giftcoin? Most importantly, how can it be used to help your charity?

Giftcoin is a tool that uses blockchain technology to show different stages of fundraising campaigns and how funds are being spent at each stage. The donor sends funds and your charity will partially receive the funds in the form of Giftcoin. Your charity would then use the donation strictly for the causes you’re promoting. Once the cause has been fulfilled, your charity would release “evidence” of the finished project and donors can approve before more funds will be released for the next project.

This initiative may seem more of a benefit to the donor rather than the charity, but in a time where donors’ trust in charities has decreased by 6%, this may be a great solution. Pilots are still being run with the Giftcoin platform, however it’ll be good to keep your eyes open to see when this fully rolls out to all charities.

This concludes the first part of our ‘Charities and Technology’ series. If you had any questions on the tech mentioned or wanted to find out how cloud accounting can improve your charity’s finances, please contact Suda on suda.ratnam@raffingers.co.uk or 020 8551 7200.

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