From XU Magazine, 
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Helping Charities Adapt to the New Situation

June 25, 2020

These are extraordinary times that we are living through, the current global crisis is something we thought only ever happened in the movies. Life as we know it from now on will be quite different. It is quite likely Covid-19 will influence the way we work in the future.
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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This pandemic has shown us that we can successfully work from home. There are of course both advantages and disadvantages to working remotely. Isolation in this case is good as it stops the spread of the virus. But for many people not having contact with people is lonely and difficult. However, with all the technology and the internet that is now available most people are able to keep calm and carry on, albeit slightly different.

Carry on with Xero

As an online provider, there is no reason why anyone cannot carry on with their accounting, bill payments, invoicing, receive donations, etc. As long as you have access to the internet, have permissions set and a login, you can access xero the same if you were in the office or anywhere in the world.

Having an addon app like infoodle that fully integrates with Xero and payment gateways means there is no double handling. One system to manage it all; receive payments or donations, reconcile transactions, report and receipt. With automatic bank feeds, automatic feeds into infoodle and even auto reconciling it all saves time. Even reports can be auto generated. For those who make Gift Aid claims there is automatic filing with HMRC. With these automations comes accuracy as there is no or very little manual data entry. All can be done remotely.

The financial impact of Covid-19, loss of trade, loss of jobs, loss of income has already shown a 40 - 60% decrease in giving to charities. Now more than ever charities need to work smart. Reduce their costs even more so maybe reducing expensive office space and working from home is now a good option.

Platforms like Xero and infoodle also bring more accountability as more people are able to access the same information, even if it's a view only permission. No more treasurers operating on their own spreadsheets and needing to ask for reports to check your financial status, the chair or directors can now track day to day how they are going.

Charities also will need to be smart about how they raise awareness and finances, traditional methods of charity boxes, letter box drops, street appeals and door to door are not safe options. This means going more digital with online campaigns, blogs, social media, email marketing. This means you will need a good CRM that helps you keep your newsletter lists clean, tracks your marketing campaign and tracks pledges and donations is important. But also online giving platforms that allow you to receive recurring payments and not take large percentages.

Carry on with a Good CRM

Charities with a good cloud based CRM system like infoodle are able to carry on taking good care of their community.

Access: Each person is able to access their data quickly and easily. With one source of data each person has access to the same, uptodate and accurate information. They are also able to update data, add notes and assign tasks for others to pick up, issue receipts and so much more.

Even under normal circumstances, charities rely on volunteers, so much of the work is done outside of normal office hours. Both infoodle and Xero being cloud based means you can access it from anywhere on any device. Also both allow for unlimited users and permissions so the right user can access the right amount of information they are allowed to access. Office administrator, manager, treasurer, bookkeeper, client or volunteer can have appropriate access.

Communication: Email, text or app notifications are some of the ways a good CRM should be able to send communications to your people. During the first 2 weeks of the crisis infoodle has sent more emails then what they normally send each month. 4 times as many texts were sent during the first week of preparing for the lockdown. Phone consultations, or using apps like zoom, skype, discord and facetime are just some ways of having contact with your stakeholders. Many organisations who use the infoodle app where able to keep in contact and stream through facebook, listen to podcasts or watch uploaded video recordings.

Adaptable: Charities need to ensure those they care for are able to still receive the help and care they need, their situation now may be different and have different needs. The charity needs to be able to adapt to the different needs so your CRM needs to adapt:

  • Easily change and add new fields
  • Easily build new forms for data gathering
  • Easily generate new criteria reports

Tracking: With the current environment, we need to be able to track whom we have been in contact with in case we unfortunately come in contact with the virus. Keeping attendance on all your groups - later when we are allowed to meet in small groups again, means we can quickly and easily run a report showing who we had contact with and all their contact details.

Connections: Being able to easily see the connections each person has with other people in your organisation or community gives you a 360 view and helps understand how people engage with you and each other. Easily being able to see who emergency contacts are, Dr’s or Carers and who has been in contact with others in case you do need to run a report.

Documentation: Being able to store your documents in the cloud and easily access them, also be able to reliably allow access to only those who need to have access and manage those who are allowed to edit documents. While Google docs and dropbox gives this access, having it all in one system like infoodle means there is only one system to manage.

Xero Can Service the Charity Sector Together with infoodle

Both systems are easy to access and easy to use. Both have good help, support and training available, free of charge. Together with infoodle you can track and report on your funding and donations and whatever else you want to report on. Through infoodle you can communicate with your stakeholders; donors, funders, supporters or clients and issue statements, tax receipts, newsletters and any other communications via email, text, app notifications. Together with Xero and infoodle, charities can fulfil their obligations as well as their mission.

Why leave it there?

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