Non-profit organisations often face difficulties in their day-to-day operations. Be it a lack of staff or a tight budget due to lack of funding, non-profits have to navigate through several issues to keep the organisation running. However, thanks to modern technology, there are numerous apps available that aid and ease the operations of NGOs.
Though some are free while others are paid, they work just as effectively as human staff and sometimes even help in reducing operational costs. Some apps even offer special prices to NGOs. The following apps are among the highest rating apps for NGOs.
1. Give Lively
One of the biggest challenges NGOs face is the lack of funding. Since they rely on donations and grants, which are unstable sources of funding, non-profits often have to curtail their spending at the cost of the quality of their services. Fortunately, there are several digital platforms available that help non-profits raise funds for their cause. Give Lively is one such app that offers a completely free platform for digital fundraising. It provides various services and tools such as donation buttons, text to donate, event-ticketing, peer-to-peer fundraising and customisable fundraising campaign pages, among many others. Give Lively has over 7000 non-profit members and has helped raise over $250 million so far. It is an easy-to-use app; the only con is that its membership is open to U.S non-profits only.
QuickBooks is accounting software that can be used through its app or online. It aids non-profit users in tracking donations, bookkeeping and invoicing. QuickBooks also allows users to categorise revenue expenditures based on funds or programmes, generate reports accordingly, and monitor and manage cash flow. It all depends on the type of service plan the NGO has subscribed to. One of its cons is the high cost. The least expensive one is QuickBooks Online Simple which costs $25 per month. It includes only one account user and offers limited services. The most costly and all-inclusive subscription plan comes at a whopping $80 per month. Thus, QuickBooks may be unaffordable to small non-profits.
FreshBooks offers services similar to QuickBooks. It also provides tools to create customised invoices and recurring profiles for donors who regularly donate, in addition to online payment options for easy and secure donations. FreshBooks stores and organises the organisation’s expenses in the cloud and creates expense and financial reports. It can integrate with several apps such as Stripe and FundBox to further ease the organisation’s operations. The app allows authorised users to do the above-mentioned when travelling or overseas since it syncs with desktops. While it is a paid app, it is a cheaper alternative to QuickBooks, ranging from $15-$50. Moreover, it offers a tiered pricing system and a non-profit discount that allows NGOs to pay the fee of the lower tier for their chosen solution. One disadvantage is that all pricing plans include only one user. Additional users cost an additional $10.
PayPal is an app best known for its fast and safe online payment system. PayPal users can send or receive money, make online payments as well as set up merchant accounts. PayPal extends its services beyond commerce and to the non-profit sector. NGOs that are PayPal account holders can add a standard or customised ‘Donate’ button on their website, post a donation link on their social media platforms, and use a QR code at fundraising events and accept donations easily. In addition, PayPal enables the organisations to receive donations made through credit cards or from donors who hold a PayPal account. Unfortunately, PayPal’s services are not free. The transaction fee usually ranges from 1.9% to 3.5%. However, they do offer discounted rates for NGOs.
Making expense reports is a requirement for every organisation. Expensify is an app that automates a large part of the expense reporting process. Employees only need to take pictures of their receipts while the reports are created automatically through SmartScan technology. Once the expenses are approved, they receive compensation in their bank accounts in less than 24 hours. It also allows for automatic approvals while flagging those who need permission. This would be of great use to NGOs since it helps save both time and money and increase efficiency. Expensify is free for up to 25 SmartScans only. For unlimited scans, prices start at $ 5 monthly per user for companies.
Such apps are a blessing to small and large NGOs alike. They help facilitate the operations of NGOs, whether it be fundraising or accounting procedures. NGOs can save time and money on staff since some roles are already covered by the apps and increase efficiency. The above-mentioned apps are some of the best apps at hand to ensure the smooth running of NGOs. However, it should be noted that there are other commendable apps available.
Vijeshna Ramkalawon, YUVA Intern and BSc (Hons) Finance Student at the University of Mauritius