The main reason why many people join not-for-profit organisations is their desire to bring positive change into the world, make an impact in their community and be surrounded by others with the same passion. However, it often happens that instead of focusing their time and effort on serving their cause, they become drained by excessive paperwork and administration. Are there any ways for charity workers and volunteers to save time spent on admin and instead spend it helping others? In today’s article, we share our best tips to help you become more productive and find freedom to focus on your purpose.
Streamline your management systems
The secret behind productivity is simple: it lies in creating systems and streamlining processes. Charities can certainly benefit from establishing structures that allow them to run more effectively. The first step in this direction would be entrusting your processes to management software, which can help tremendously with managing your resources and making time to focus on your mission.
Some of such tools include Xero and infoodle: using them together, you can store all your information in one place. There is no need to remember multiple passwords and log in details, just as there’s no double entering of information, which reduces errors and improves reliability. You can track payments, send reminders and generate receipts easily within one centralised database. Another important aspect is that having both Xero and infoodle hosted on the Cloud, there will be no stressing about access, updates or support. Finally, while both tools are intuitive and work together seamlessly, comprehensive navigation and regularly updated help systems make finding information easy and straightforward.
Reduce stress by avoiding mistakes
Most accounting errors are associated with double entering of information and unavoidable typos or missed records. Their number can be reduced by automating the process of capturing and importing transaction data from bank feeds. Xero provides an option of collecting data directly from the bank, while infoodle has automatic reconciling of Xero data. These features make the process of handling finances both simple and secure, allowing you to quickly produce reports for stakeholder meetings or tax reviews, and protecting your data with an option to enable “permission dependent” access for your employees or volunteers.
Use a project or task manager
We have all had moments when it was hard to stay on top of our workload. One way to solve this is to have a project management system that allows you to create task lists and set up reminders. Setting up to-do lists and highlighting your priorities can help you gain better focus, avoid procrastination and keep up with deadlines. Use calendars in order to distribute your time and resources better. Colour coding works great for blocking time to complete different projects.
If you are already an infoodle user, you will benefit from using our Dashboard Widgets, such as to-do’s, task reminders, and notes. Our dashboard has a simple and clean interface allowing you to create lists and tasks for personal use, or share with a group of people. This can help you build workflows and coordinate the work of your entire team. Managing your projects in infoodle will keep your processes well organised, so no important deadlines get forgotten and nothing and no one falls through the cracks.
Simplify by creating workflows
Creating reliable step-by-step systems that you can automate can help you to accomplish more without taking on more responsibilities or adding to your workload. The efficiency of charities, often under-staffed and time-poor, depends on automating repetitive tasks to ensure that all processes run smoothly. Workflows, which are an essential part of infoodle, are an excellent way of streamlining these processes. For instance, customisable email templates allow you to respond to inquiries, follow up with donors and send thank you notes in minutes. Improved communication, in turn, helps to develop stronger relationships with your stakeholders and ensures that you consistently deliver professional experience.
Use time management strategies
Goal setting. It’s crucial to set goals before approaching any amount of time you have. Setting goals means taking responsibility for that time, as well as the outcome of your efforts. Use the SMART goals approach to set specific and realistic goals, making sure they are achievable. Take into consideration the time frame and the resources you have and get clarity on the details such as dates and numbers.
Time blocking. This allows you to use time more effectively. Identify your most productive time of day, schedule your most important tasks during that time and eliminate all distractions for that period. It helps to focus your energy and finish tasks and projects much faster. However, people work most productively in intervals of 60–90 minutes, so don’t forget to schedule in breaks!
Task batching. Group similar tasks together, so you don’t waste time switching between tasks. On average, it takes about 20 minutes for a person to switch from focusing on one task to another, which means multitasking does not actually work. Having themed weeks or days to tackle similar tasks all at once is more effective. These could be client days filled with calls and meetings or research days when you look for information on funding.
It is also important to establish support structures, such as creating automated task reminders based on projects you are currently working on. With infoodle, you can even set up text or email notifications to make sure that no time-sensitive tasks get forgotten.
These steps to boost productivity are quite simple, yet effective. Taking advantage of the features provided by infoodle, you can cut the time spent on administrative work and dedicate it to things that truly matter: following your calling and serving your community in the best possible way!
Interested to learn more about the infoodle CRM and accompanying packages? Watch a demo on demand or contact our product experts to find out how you can save time and effectively manage your nonprofit organisation with only one system that is safe, reliable, intuitive and available anywhere from any device.