The Unique Needs of Nonprofit’s Financial Management Software


Financial Management Software offers many crucial business money management functions such as, budgeting, banking, planning, reports, tax preparation, etc. For profit based businesses today have readily adopted this time and money saving software, but nonprofits are an ‘animal of a different color’. Their needs are vastly different from regular financial management software capabilities on the market today.

Some of these unique needs of nonprofit financial management software include:

  • Fund accounting capabilities – Fund accounting emphasizes accountability over profitability. Being able to track how money is being spent in the form of financial statements and reports is mandatory for the nonprofit organization. Many nonprofits are solely funded by grants. This requires detailed tracking and accountability of every dollar spent.
  • Fundraiser campaign management functions – Those nonprofit organizations involved in fundraising need financial management software that allows for recording donations, provides receipts, and tracks donors for future fundraising campaigns.
  • Complete transparency – Mistrust of nonprofits has been an issue in recent years and this can reduce donations received by donors. Having financial management software that offers financial efficiency will keep your organization from being flagged by watchdog organizations. Donors want to see that most of a nonprofit’s revenue goes towards its program.

The bullet points above show some of the unique needs of a nonprofit financial management software, but there are other functions that would also be useful to your nonprofit organization.

Scalability is a function that takes into consideration the software’s capability to expand along with the organization. Report export options that can handle FASB and GASB reporting is useful for the nonprofit organization.

According to the NCCS (National Center for Charitable Statistics) there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the United States. While there are not as many financial management software solutions out there to choose from, the number of options can be overwhelming to select the right fit for your company.

Strong financial controls are important for any organization. An integrated approach to all facets of your organization is important to ensure proper accuracy and “One Version” of the truth for success.

If you are looking to assess your needs for a new system and implement financial management software for a nonprofit, contact us to assist in reviewing options best suited for your needs today and long term.

NetSuite for NPO? An IT Solution at a Fraction of the Cost


A Review of NetSuite for Nonprofits

The IT needs of nonprofits are identical to that of any global business. One exception being that most often small nonprofits are lacking the funds to address those needs. This is why Netsuite is such a valuable tool to consider. In this article, I review NetSuite for Nonprofits.

Are you seeking a cloud based software-as-a-service business management tool for your Nonprofit? NetSuite! 

If not, here are some of its key benefits to help familiarize you:

      • Connected: Keep everyone connected through integrated software all connected through the cloud. While keeping IT costs to a bare minimum.
      • Unified: The ability to manage all funding by allowing you to associate staff with donors in logged real time; easily tracked from a central dashboard.
      • Professional: Quick and easy creation of a professional web presence that allows for rich interactions with others for a marginal overall cost.

Best of all, Netsuite will often make their software available for next to nothing (which includes their complete software suite and five user licenses, all coming in around 50 to 80% off, depending on your size).

Additionally, if IT management at next to nil doesn’t convince you that Netsuite is worth your time, they are also very active in promoting social good (for a sample, check out to see all of the product donations, charity events, and grants they actively participate in).

According to, David Geilhufe, program manager for, made it very clear as to the intentions of his organization, stating:

When we looked at what good we could do in the world, we found that there were a lot of organizations in the world that look like companies, but which exist to make the world a better place.

Pretty inspiring to say the least. For a complete rundown of what Netsuite can offer you, and to see why “300 large and small nonprofits rely on Netsuite to provide functionality that spans constituent engagement to financial management in a cloud-based, integrated solution,” visit their industry overview page for nonprofits.

For more information on ways to assess, select, implement, and develop cloud based software for your nonprofit, contact us anytime.

Is eCommerce important to your NPO?

eCommerce for NPO's is Events, Billing, Donations, and Selling items with inventory. It's important! We can

When you first began working for your nonprofit association business, you probably did not realize how much you would have to handle e Commerce commercial like transactions. After all, nonprofit generally means “no profit,” right?

Well, as you’re learning, that’s not exactly the case.

“Nonprofit” really means that one or more individuals aren’t making a personal profit from your organization. Your nonprofit organization still needs to bring in funds in order to stay afloat and keep its message out there. And, you association nonprofit is being (should be) run like any other online store.

So eCommerce is a part of your life, whether you like it or not. From standard sales order transactions to conference registrations and journal subscriptions, you handle a wide variety of business interactions. However, there are some differences in scope and focus when it comes to nonprofit e Commerce. For example, you probably are not charging, collecting, and paying taxes for the business you transact, which makes your process different from that of the for-profit commercial organizations you do business with, such as the printer who handles your publications, or the hotel that hosts your annual convention.

Fortunately, there are eCommerce software systems that are designed specifically with the nonprofit organization in mind. This is the reason why a commercial CRM or ERP package (out of the box) will not meet your needs unless you have a trusted industry focused partner developer or consulting firm which can aid in the implementation process.

eCommerce Software Systems designed for nonprofit associations take into consideration the critical tracking of donor funds and simply that tax issues are not. To be sure, Important elements that your nonprofit association software should support to successfully transact eCommerce business include:

  • Orders
  • Donations
  • Billing
  • Member and Non Member pricing
  • recurring Drafting of Donations
  • Accounts receivable
  • Subscriptions
  • Event registrations
  • Marketplace or display vendor payments
  • Deferred income processing
  • Continuing education
  • Payments for Abstract Submissions (Call for Papers)
  • Certifications
  • PCI compliance

You will also want to make sure that your eCommerce software will fully synchronize with your member and donor management database so that all your transactions are integrated with your members, clients and donors. If you’re ready to learn more about how SmartThoughts can help with your nonprofit eCommerce, contact us today.