Non-profits are challenged more than most organizations to consistently have adequate resources available – both time and money. These groups run very lean, and that means they’re always looking for smart ways to “do more with less.” Here are some simple ways to reserve resources and maximize efforts…tips that work not just for non-profits but for nearly any business!
1. Organize Paperwork and Clean Up Digital Files
Nothing says inefficiency like stacks of paper, piles of folders and miscellaneous notes around your office and computer. Jumpstart improved productivity by organizing your paper and digital documents, using protocols that make most sense for how you work. You’ll be amazed at how much more work you can tackle once it’s put into practical buckets.
A cluttered office tends to add to the stress of workers; stacks of paper, “catchall” storage areas, and scattered supplies all contribute to inefficiency, too. Simple fixes don’t cost a lot but can help your organization run like a well-oiled machine:
- Keep supplies orderly. Label storage shelves with the name of items that belong there. This keeps people from putting supplies “wherever” and makes it easier for everyone to find what they need quickly. If storage is at a premium and it feels like you can’t squeeze one more thing into these spaces, look for sturdy, inexpensive storage shelving systems that help make the most out of every square inch.
- Set up folders or trays near your printers where people can put documents they find on the printer. Without these inexpensive organizing tools documents get lost or shuffled around and workers spend extra time searching for what they need.
- Insist on one way of doing things. When some people file paper documents in folders, others save digital versions to a network server and still others keep everything they create on their computers, you have a wildly confusing system that makes it nearly impossible to determine if people are working on the latest, most accurate documents. Set up simple protocols outlining how you’ll create and store documents, then walk everyone through them to ensure consistency across the team.
2. Reduce Waste
Set all computers’ settings to default to black-and-white, 2-sided print. This will save a significant amount of money on toner, paper and related printing supplies. You should also ask a business technology solutions expert about printers and multifunction devices that can be set to only print when the person requesting the document hits a button on the printer. This tool helps reduce the waste that occurs when people hit “print” but change their minds and never pick up the document! There are a number of other features printers have to reduce waste, like sending a job to the printer that’s most budget-friendly for the type of printout needed.
3. Leverage Online Tools and Apps
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of online tools and apps available (many of them free) to help organizations of all types manage tasks, organize efforts and deliver quality services on time and within budget. Take a look here for some designed just for non-profits! Focus on those that are designed to boost productivity, maximize efforts, improve fundraising, create web content, execute social media and email campaigns and manage time.
4. Talk to a Managed IT Services Provider
Hiring a Managed IT Services provider is another easy way for non-profits to save time and money while providing peace of mind that your systems are taken care of. Managed IT Services providers ensure that your business technology needs are being met and your computers and network are up-to-date and working at peak performance. They’ll help you with hardware/software setup and configuration, provide 24/7 IT support, backup and restoration and so much more.
Are you a non-profit looking for ways to boost productivity and reduce costs? Take a look at some of the solutions we’ve implemented for non-profits by going to this page on our site!