Charity reporting is vital as charitable donations drop

Untitled design 2020 12 16T114730.829 | Charity reporting is vital as charitable donations drop
By Toby Lester | 16th December 2020 | 8 min read

This winter will be uniquely challenging for charities. In statistics, the outlook is particularly bleak. 

Over 20% of charities have less than a month’s expenditure in reserve. Without a much-needed top-up, these organisations are dangerously close to the edge. 

Amidst this lack of stockpiled funding, demand for charitable services hasn’t dropped. In fact, there’s currently a 42% increase in demand for services but a 48% decline in voluntary donations. Altogether, over £10 billion of charitable sector funding shortfall is predicted over the next six months. 

We took this insight from our recent insightful webinar discussion – "How to weather the storm". Fortunately, our panel didn’t just discuss the difficulties set ahead of us; they also found creative ways to bypass these challenges. 

Reporting is essential 

What’s clear is that, despite the difficulties we face, the need for reporting will not suddenly fade away. It's still essential to keep up your compliance reporting.  

In fact, clear insight into your finances could make the difference between surviving and thriving over the coming year. 

So how do we do this despite dwindling resources? 

Automate key processes 

Every organisation now has access to user-friendly automation tools, and charities are no different. Savvy charities are already looking to automate their key back-office workflows, such as purchasing approvals and invoice processing. 

The less strain and reliance you put on your staff, the more you can safeguard your everyday mission-critical processes. Automated workflows also free up your staff for more value-added tasks. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your processes are always in place, no matter what happens. 

We explored this is greater depth during our IRIS Live event – you can watch a free recording here. During this webinar, it became clear that charities also need to work towards making their data more accessible. 

Improved accessibility 

If your financial, HR and other critical data is spread across multiple systems, it’s crucial to have a way of rolling this up into a single comprehensive view. Otherwise, it’s essentially inaccessible, and you won’t have access to the information you need when you need it. 

It's possible to make sense of all a charity’s many data streams by consolidating them into one single interpretable set of data with business intelligence software. This is crucial as it gives you access to the real-time actionable data you need at a time when the situation changes on a near-daily basis.  

During a crisis, you need to make decisions instantly – so make sure you have the systems in place to support a quickly made but informed decision process. 

We designed IRIS Analytics with this need in mind. It collates data from around your organisation and presents it to you in clear, easily interpretable graphs and charts. 

How we can help 

If you’re looking for a software provider that can help you to implement these processes, check our software for business. Our comprehensive charity administration suite has been designed to provide not-for-profit organisations – and we’ve helped a number of charities over the years to stay on top of their reporting demands by putting them in control of their finances. 

We also discussed all of the topics in this blog in much greater detail during our IRIS Live week-long event. We’ve taken some choice moments from the event and published recordings for you to watch at your leisure; they’re available for free here