In complex office environments where nonprofits are comprised of specialists, a high value is placed on leaders and systems that can bring departments together to get things done. Oftentimes, the finance and fundraising departments face similar challenges yet act like they are playing for separate teams. Aligning departments starts with a mutual consideration of roles.
There’s an old saying that you don’t know what it’s like to be someone else unless you’ve walked a thousand miles in their shoes. With fundraising and finance teams, there are perspectives and tasks that each wished the other better understood.
Fundraising wishes that finance could…
- Understand the challenges and process of fundraising.
- Accept that you must spend money to make money (or get donations).
- Help us maintain good donor relations.
- Offer us some flexibility—things aren’t always black and white in our world.
- Respect that fundraising isn’t easy.
And finance wishes that fundraising could…
- Understand the fact that finance’s job is complex and time-consuming.
- Accept help from experts in finance.
- Help us do our jobs better by providing us with information we need.
- Offer to sit with us to learn some basic accounting practices.
- Respect deadlines.
Coming to a consensus is much easier when you understand and respect one another’s positions in a situation. Knowing what the other ‘team’ wants can help you step closer to a compromise and to supporting each other’s vital roles in an organization.
Different Departments, Similar Needs
Although finance and fundraising reflect different departments with varying needs, both seem to experience similar challenges when it comes to data and information. Ways in which both departments can help each other overcome their shared challenges include:
- Collaborate on budgets and tracking
- Improve reports and reconciliation of financial information
- Have joint planning and goal-setting tasks
- Communicate frequently and in a timely manner
- Identify ideal processes and procedures
- Integrate fundraising and accounting software
One tool that can help both departments communicate, collaborate, and plan together is nonprofit accounting software. Various software packages such as Intaact, work independently or together to provide data sharing among teams, timely updates, and more. Cloud-based solutions enhance communications because they can be accessed anywhere there’s a web connection. It makes it easier for fundraisers who travel to visit important donors to update their accounts, for example, which in turn provides information to finance to help them do their jobs better.
While the right software can’t solve all internal scuffles, it can help fundraising and finance join hands across the net and play for a winning nonprofit. It’s an important step in the right direction.
Intacct Cloud-based ERP Software
Intacct is specifically designed to provide nonprofits with the control needed to simplify financials and fundraising so you can determine where – and how – to allocate your resources and time. Built in the Cloud environment, Intacct provides organizations with true business visibility and flexibility so they always are in the know. Designed to automate your organization’s financial processes and transform your financial department into one that strategically drives your company toward growth, Intacct has been voted one of the best-in-class financial ERP solutions on the market today.
To learn more about Intacct, or how Beck & Company CPAs can help your finance and fundraising teams work together using our nonprofit accounting services, give us a call at 703-834-0776 x 8001.