5 Stories of How Nonprofit Financial Software Drove Greater Mission Impact

We explore the stories of 5 nonprofit CFOs who have transformed their organizations’ financial operations in powerful ways that directly boosted mission impact.

Every nonprofit leader knows that without funds the organization cannot deliver mission impact. Because every dollar counts, the nonprofit financial software that helps you count every dollar plays a critical role in achieving your mission.

Traditional accounting systems often lack the nonprofit-specific functionality most nonprofit finance leaders need in order to make the right decisions, including real-time reporting, multi-entity consolidations, grant tracking, and multi-currency capabilities. That is why data-driven finance leaders are choosing to transform the finance function with efficient cloud nonprofit finance software that delivers:

  • Comprehensive grant tracking and billing
  • Automated nonprofit revenue recognition
  • Easy-to-use reporting and dashboards
  • A rock-solid audit trail

Complimentary e-book: The Road to Nonprofit Finance Transformation Success

Using cloud nonprofit financial software gives today’s nonprofit CFOs access to more timely insights for data-driven decision-making. In this article, we will share the stories of five nonprofit CFOs who have transformed their organizations’ financial operations in powerful ways that directly boosted mission impact.

1. Vitamin Angels delivers nutrition to more underserved women and children

Vitamin Angels is a public health nonprofit that partners with over 2,000 local organizations, including governments, to deliver evidence-based nutrition interventions to more than 60 million pregnant women and children in 65 countries annually. The organization was growing rapidly and needed to open up new sources of funding but lacked the finance and accounting infrastructure to support it. They were using Intuit QuickBooks, Salesforce, and spreadsheets to manage donations, accounting, inventory, and logistics. Lacking integration, manual accounting, and tracking processes were inefficient and error-prone, requiring a lot of double data entry.

CFO Bonnie Forssell recognized the need for a better solution and led her team to adopt Sage Intacct to reduce administrative burden, integrate with Salesforce, and build efficiencies throughout the organization. Efficiency soared in AP, AR, and revenue recognition processes. Better tracking and reporting enabled the finance team to identify $200,000 in logistical savings and apply for more complex grants, increasing restricted revenue by $14 million over three years. Sage Intacct helped Vitamin Angels:

  • Increase restricted revenue by $14 million over 3 years.
  • Identify $200,000 in logistics savings.
  • Improve AP efficiency by 60%.
  • Save 10 hours per month in AR data entry.

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“Using custom dimensions in Sage Intacct to track costs, we identified $200,000 in logistical cost savings, which enabled us to provide essential vitamins and minerals to 800,000 undernourished pregnant women and children.”

~ Bonnie Forssell, CFO, Vitamin Angels

2. Room to Read reaches more girls with literacy education

Room to Read has a mission to help girls learn to read. They have already benefitted more than 12.4 million children in 20,000 communities around the world, and they plan to reach many millions more. After a period of extraordinary financial growth and global expansion, new CFO Shari Freedman wanted a more robust financial infrastructure to better steward the organization’s more than $50 million in annual revenues.

Room to Read replaced Epicor with Sage Intacct because they wanted a cloud solution that could handle donor reporting requirements and offered full global functionality, including multi-entity and multi-currency capabilities. Freedman was also impressed by how this nonprofit financial software easily ties financial data to operational outcomes data so they could tell their story better to donors. Sage Intacct has helped Room to Read:

  • Simplify the chart of accounts from 56,000 to just 100 accounts.
  • Experience 25% productivity gains in field operations—equivalent to about $300,000 in annual labor savings.
  • Streamline consolidations across 25 entities and 19 currencies.
  • Achieve 30% productivity improvements in the global finance and accounting team, eliminating the need for three full-time positions.

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“With Sage Intacct, we have improved productivity by 25 percent for our worldwide field operations and global finance teams and seen a revenue increase of 15 percent. This translates to added resources to reach an additional 100,000 children through our literacy program and 21,000 girls through our girls’ education program.”

~ Shari Freedman, CFO, Room to Read

3. NATCO gains financial clarity to deliver more life-saving programs

The North American Transplant Coordinators Organization (NATCO) advances organ and tissue donation and transplantation by advancing education and promoting research and advocacy. For a decade, NATCO’s volunteer board focused on strategic vision while outsourcing day-to-day financial operations, to a third-party association management company, resulting in years of losses. After the board decided to bring financial and operations management in-house, the executive director, Donna Dickt, started building new processes from the ground up and implemented Sage Intacct for cloud nonprofit financial software.

Sage Intacct enables NATCO’s remote management team and board members to access real-time reporting and dashboards securely anywhere at any time. With better visibility, the organization was able to identify which programs were losing money and make decisions about how to fix them. In just one program, they were able to turn a $30,000 annual loss into a $10,000 annual profit—money NATCO now invests into other life-saving programs. With Sage Intacct, the NATCO finance and accounting team was able to:

  • Reverse continual losses and become solvent.
  • Gain $40,000 per year by being able to identify and fix an unprofitable program.
  • Avoid the cost of hiring 3-4 people in the accounting department.
  • Complete an audit in only one week.

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“When I first joined NATCO, we were losing money. Since implementing Sage Intacct, we’ve been solvent every year because our board can now see where we’re doing well and what we need to fix. Their whole attitude about the future of the organization changed once they had valuable financial information they could actually make decisions with. Bottom line, Sage Intacct is helping us save lives.”

~ Donna Dickt, Executive Director, NATCO

4. Potential Church stewards accelerated global growth

Southern Baptist-affiliated Potential Church expanded from a single church in Florida to an international church with 13 locations and a weekly attendance of 13,000 people. Having doubled its membership over just five years, Reggie Alexis, controller at Potential Church, was looking for a financial management system that could keep up with the church’s big plans for future growth to 100,000 attendees and 50 campuses.

Potential Church chose Sage Intacct because of its pure cloud approach and seamless integration with other key business applications. Immediately, the church realized benefits through improved speed and accuracy. Time and money saved through efficiency freed up people to focus on growing the church and funds available to expand mission and ministries. By streamlining accounting processes, the church was able to:

  • Slash monthly close by 50%.
  • Reduce AP processing by 33%.
  • Cut weekly revenue recognition from 5 days to 1 day.
  • Save $80,000 annually by repurposing staff.
  • Gain timely visibility into performance across 13 church locations.

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“Because of our streamlined processes, our existing finance staff is in a great position to support Potential Church even as we add another 10 campuses or so. As a matter of fact, we were able to reduce our accounting staff by one and avoid another full-time hire, saving us approximately $80,000 each year as a result of the extreme efficiencies we’ve gained with Sage Intacct.”

~ Reggie Alexis, Controller, Potential Church

5. Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma turns added efficiency into meals

Many families rely on the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma to help keep food on the table. The organization distributes more than 28 million pounds of food and grocery items each year to 450 partner agencies, including food pantries, emergency shelters, soup kitchens, senior centers, and after-school programs.

With donations and distributions steadily rising, growth put a strain on the organization’s finance and accounting processes. CFO David Parrack decided to upgrade from Intuit QuickBooks to Sage Intacct in order to gain real-time visibility and better reporting. As a result, the finance and accounting team at Community Food Bank has become much more data-driven and efficient, enabling the organization to:

  • Distribute 100,000 more meals due to efficiency savings.
  • Repurpose one-half of a full-time employee’s time from AP to more valuable work.
  • Keep administrative and fundraising expenses to just 4% of the overall budget.
  • Gain new insights and better visibility to improve programmatic impact.

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“With Sage Intacct, we were able to free up half a person’s time. That freed up $25,000—that’s equivalent to 100,000 meals.”

~ David Parrack, CFO, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma

Final thoughts

Nonprofit finance transformation isn’t only about the technology—it’s about using your financial and outcomes data to make sound decisions and reach the highest levels of mission impact. To build efficiencies, you need nonprofit financial management software that works as hard as your people, streamlining accounting workflows and reporting. Modern cloud accounting solutions help you gain the right insights with a full view across your organization, in every location, in real time. To learn more, read The Road to Nonprofit Finance Transformation Success e-book.

The Road to Nonprofit Finance Transformation Success