By Aleks Sheynkman
Director of Engineering
Consider the heroic efforts of nonprofits around the world. They do so much for so many, with funds that largely depend on the generosity of others. Nonprofits need to make every penny count and often, the best way to do that is to run lean. It’s why facilities management software for nonprofits is such a good investment.
Nonprofits, like any other organization, need a base of operations where they can coordinate their efforts. Unfortunately, that means big overhead. Facility management software helps justify this overhead and maximize its return on investment as an asset to the organization, rather than an anchor.
Here’s a look at three different ways nonprofits use FM software to further their mission, even despite the cost of a commercial real estate lease.
1. Coordinate an event
Donor events are a mainstay in the world of nonprofits. Many nonprofits depend on the deep pockets of generous donors to fund their operations—even as soon as next quarter. These organizations need powerful tools that help them put together a major event quickly, at the lowest possible cost. This is where nonprofit facility management shines.
Rather than rent a ballroom for untold thousands, many nonprofits use facility management software to transform their own facilities into the backdrop for donor events. To show attendees “where the magic happens” brings an element of realness to their donation. But it takes work to create the space for an event. Floor plans change, furniture moves, and orchestrators need to be mindful to create an environment for entertaining.
From cordoning off important work areas to pathing guests from the entrance to the event, facility managers play an instrumental role in turning the workplace into an event space. Done right, it’s a savvy way to court donors.
2. Create an agile workplace
The goal of any nonprofit is simple: do more with less. When you’re always up against a shoestring budget, you learn to get creative with what you’ve got. That goes double for facilities, since they’re a major investment. Nonprofits need to milk every ounce of efficiency out of their investment in a workplace. What better way than by adopting an agile work environment?
Managing an agile work environment is tricky in and of itself. Facility management for non-profits is even more difficult. There aren’t just full- and part-time employees to orchestrate—there are volunteers, interns, donors, members, visitors, and innumerable other personnel to keep track of. There’s just no feasible way to maximize facilities without a coordinated software approach.
A facilities management platform ensures every office, workspace, and meeting room are used to their fullest, and that everyone has a space to focus on the organization’s mission. It can also serve as the central command center for badges and access control, as well as allocation of assets. Nonprofits can’t leave anything unchecked. Facilities management software gives them the oversight they need to run lean without hamstringing themselves.
3. Track regional offices
Consider facility management for 501(c)(3) organizations with nationwide or global locations like the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). UNICEF has eight major locations in the United States, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, Belgium, Japan, Republic of Korea, and Hungary. An organization with this scope needs a way to manage facilities at the location level, as well as from above.
How is the desking layout at the Hungary building different from that of the Italian location? What effect does this have on operational efficiency? What is the adjusted lease rate of all buildings in the portfolio? How many employees work at each location? All this information is very relevant to nonprofits spread over multiple locations, be it nationally or globally.
Whether for the annual report, budgeting and forecasting, or compliance with local municipal standards, nonprofits need immediate visibility over their workplaces. Facility management software gives it to them. Each location can use the software as part of daily operations and facility management reporting. Then, that data is fed to the cloud, where top executives, real estate managers, and governing voices have instant access for data-backed decision-making and reporting.
Facility management matters for nonprofits
Whether it’s to set up a successful donor event, maximize the ROI of a commercial lease, or track satellite locations as they grow, nonprofits need facility management software. There’s so much opportunity that stems from good facilities management, and nonprofits are smart to capitalize on it. Proper facilities management leads to more dollars spent on the mission, instead of on overhead or lost to inefficiency.