Nonprofits produce a lot of paperwork. From your RFPs and compliance documents to conference materials and handouts for people who receive your services, paper is always present.

We think one of your 2016 nonprofit improvement policies should be to manage all of that paperwork in a single location, saving your employees time and your nonprofit money. You can find new revenue to invest in your mission using multiple avenues — let’s take a look at a few of those avenues.


Tax Compliance in the New Year

Nonprofit status comes with a variety of tax allowances and policies that you’ll need to document and track throughout the year. Your staff may also have specific documentation needs when it comes to their tax filings, such as young employees whose student loans are part of a public forgiveness program.

Document management software and other technology can help you maintain these documents and stay above board when it comes to your tax and other compliance requirements. Electronic systems that incorporate online or other digital backups reduce the likelihood of errors as well.

Tracking all of your documents in a single solution also makes it easier for your accountant to verify your expenses and expenditures. When you make their job easier, you reduce the overall cost of their accounting services. This goes even further if the IRS audits you. You can deliver all of your information through the document management software to the IRS, providing receipts and explanations for every aspect of your tax liability.

Compliance with the IRS can be very complex, but document management software can be used to track every single document that the IRS lists in its checklist of “Charity and Nonprofit Audits: Scope of Audits and Compliance Checks.”[1]


2016 Nonprofit Funding Policies

Trust is typically the most important element of a nonprofit when it comes to your funders. If there’s no trust, you can’t count on future membership fees or donations from your top contributors. Adding a document management software platform to your reporting can help you make a smarter pitch to existing and potential investors.

A DMS allows you to quickly find, deliver or generate reports that identify your key advantages. If you can create a clear path forward for their funding dollars, donors are likely very happy. You can show what your overhead is and note how much goes directly to programs. If you can beat out competing nonprofits on those metrics, you can clearly demonstrate it and show that you’re putting more money toward your mission.

Your board will also love a DMS that enables them to clearly link your current status with your stated 2016 nonprofit policies.


Confidentiality in Everything You Do

In 2016, nonprofit policies often include creating custom work or performing research that requires a significant level of confidentiality and compliance. Compliance tools are built into today’s top DMS platforms, letting you set roles to limit who can see what.

Such role-based governance allows you to restrict access and prevent any accidental leaks of personal or private information. Not only can your HR teams keep all of their documentation separate, but you can also ensure privacy for those who may receive your services.

Nonprofits have a wide range of privacy requirements based on the city and state where they operate. Technology can help you adhere to these rules and even provide specific documentation avenues that prove your protection and overall security.


Long-Term Savings Policies

A smart documentation management system also helps you track your inventory across different support settings. When your employees are out on site, visiting a trade show or showing research in funder meetings, you’ll be able to know who is where and what they have.

Scheduling with a DMS backbone can help you know how much you’ll need to accomplish all of your goals. For example, you can use this to track conference attendance and realize that you’ll have to double up on banners for a good showing when two conferences overlap. Technology will help you catch that ahead of time, so you can order and check your new goods, without the need to pay extra for a rush-printing job.

Document management software also cuts down on storage and shipping costs related to your inventory. With a DMS in place, there’s no need to print documents and ship them to different offices. Everything can be digitized, so there’s no extra information to bring to site visits or into your offices.

The first place you’ll see savings is likely your HR manual. Employees could receive it and sign it digitally, cutting printing and storage costs.

The above examples are just a few of the ways that nonprofits like religious organizations can make the most out of their budget today by implementing a document management software program.