New Research Shows Nonprofits Aren't Getting the Full Value of Case Management Technology
Today’s digital world both gives us the opportunity and requires us to rely on technology to help us streamline our day-to-day tasks. We all have busy schedules that make it difficult to stay on track, so we rely on technology to keep us on schedule and keep us efficient in our tasks—especially those of us in nonprofit space.
What Is Case Management?
The introduction of case and data management software has helped nonprofits soar in keeping track of their data. With it, nonprofits are now able to track, report and measure how they are delivering on their mission. Its functionality includes donor records/management, scheduling of appointments, create or publish release forms, process service referrals, implement or plan for goals, handle program enrollment, measure program progress, etc.
There’s abundant opportunity with case and data management software, but are nonprofits getting the most out of it? That’s what NAPCO Research and Social Solutions sought to find out in their newly released report, “Operational Software in the Non-Profit Industry: Adoption, Issues and Opportunity.”
There are two types of case and data management software: off-the-shelf software and a homegrown system (a technology solution built in-house). Research shows that 63 percent of nonprofits use advanced technology for case management, with 79 percent using off-the-shelf software and 21 percent building a homegrown system. It’s suggested that off-the-shelf software has evolved to meet the needs of most nonprofits.
In fact, when respondents were asked how technology has impacted their organization’s manual processes, 49 percent of those who use off-the-shelf technology reported a “significant positive impact” vs. 36 percent of those who use homegrown technology.
Case and data management has been proven to solve several pain points, which include
- More easily access data to present to donors (79 percent)
- Better manage individual cases (65 percent)
- Automate/reduce effort to produce reports (52 percent)
- Reduce staff/reallocate labor to other tasks (46 percent)
- Identify new ways to serve clients (39 percent)
- Identify areas in the organization to reallocate resources (36 percent)
Are Nonprofits Getting the Full Value?
While nearly 99 percent of respondents of the study said they received value from their case and data management software, there’s still more value to be gained. Only 26 percent of nonprofits said that they get full value, while a staggering 73 percent said they get partial value and 1 percent said they get close to or no value at all. This leads us to believe that both the nonprofit and the vendor need to work harder to help the nonprofit gain maximum value from their investment.
Research advises the vendor to continue to improve their system’s usability of the technology, develop training materials and provide education and best practices to nonprofits (e.g. in-person events).
Nonprofits are advised to remember that it’s not enough to go through a procurement process and deploy the software—it must be internally evangelized, processes and procedures must be updated to ensure process and technology are in-sync, and progress continues to be evaluated to ensure optimization of personnel and technology.
Here are the final key takeaways from the report:
- Increase value you're getting from case management software.
- Use data to stop small problems from becoming big problems.
- Use technology to identify new ways to serve clients.
To read the full report from NAPCO Media and Social Solutions, click here.