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Web makes business of foundation management easier

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Publisher’s note: This article was prepared by Microedge Inc. The Philanthropy Journal does not necessarily endorse the opinions, products or services offered or cited in this paid advertorial.

Philanthropy has never been healthier than it is right now, and the good news is, there’s more to come.

According to a Boston College study, Americans will be investing $5.5 trillion to $7.4 trillion into philanthropic causes during a 20-year time-frame that will take us through 2017.

A profusion of these philanthropic dollars are flowing into community foundations, as many donors are interested in making a local impact.

As a result, community foundations have experienced some of the most significant increases compared to other foundations, with double-digit growth in funding for the past three years.

In order to sustain this level of expansion, community foundations know that it is critical to deliver solid investment performance and measurable results for their giving.

Consequently, foundation executives are demanding immediate access to current foundation performance information, in order to be most proactive and precise in their decision making.

Rather than waiting for a staff member to manually extract information and create reports, which consumes valuable time and resources, executives are relying on web-enabled technologies, such as online business analytics, to gain direct access to trends and key organization statistics.

Recently, one of the oldest and largest community foundations began using web-based business analytics, and finds it to be an invaluable management tool.

“One of the major benefits is the ability to provide an online view of trends for key organization indicators, enabling management to make better decisions for our foundation,” says Richard Drolet, director of MIS, Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

“The models also provide the analytical functionality to do ‘what if’ analysis for future planning.”

How can you tell if online business analytics are right for your organization? Just ask yourself a few simple questions: Does your organization provide instant access to up-to-the-minute executive level reports?

How easily can you monitor your organization’s status and history?

How does your organization’s performance compare to industry benchmarks? Are you able to predict future trends with the information that is readily available to you today?

If you’ve got these issues covered, you’re ahead of the game.

But, most likely, we’ve brought up a few challenges that you’ve been facing lately.

Online business analytics enable community foundations to maintain a critical eye on performance, helping them understand where they are today, so they can better plan for tomorrow.

To learn more about how other community foundations are improving their management and decision making, contact MicroEdge at 800-899-0890 or www.microedge.com/technology.

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