December 27, 2011 by Mitch Taube Categories: Document Scanning

While donations to non-profits are up substantially this year, many are reporting increases in their operating expenses as well.1

Outsourced document scanning services and a cloud-based document management system can improve a non-profit’s efficiency and cut operating costs, allowing a larger percentage of donations to directly fulfill the organization’s mission.

When staff and volunteers spend time collecting, completing, filing and retrieving documents, forms and other information, they’re wasting time and money chasing paper; time and money that could be better spent meeting the needs of the non-profit’s constituency. They may also be wasting time keying information (and occasionally making mistakes), or looking for a document that’s in another office, in a briefcase, or just “missing.” And, of course, all of those documents need to be stored, sometimes for years, which costs money.

Document Scanning and E-forms: Save Time and Money

Most of the documents a not-for-profit handles every day don’t need to be paper documents at all. Instead, donation forms, membership forms and client files can all be scanned and securely stored electronically, retrievable in seconds from any computer, available 24/7, and with no physical storage space needed.

With e-forms, a not-for-profit can quickly and easily build live forms for standard documents, such as membership applications, donation forms and personnel reviews, which can be completed in less time than a paper form. The information on those forms integrates seamlessly with most fundraising and financial software, automatically populating databases and spreadsheets. By eliminating the need for manual data entry, e-forms streamline their paperwork, free up their personnel, and reduce the incidence of data errors.

Fast Set-up, Immediate Benefits

  • Existing paper files can be scanned and indexed quickly for fast, easy start-up.
  • Scanned and indexed documents can be integrated with most business applications, such as fundraising and accounting systems.
  • E-forms can be designed so information automatically “flows through” to wherever it’s needed.
  • All forms and information can be stored securely for as long as desired and made available 24/7 to authorized personnel.
  • Documents are never lost, “borrowed” or misfiled.

Do More with Less

With budgets and human resources under more pressure than ever, paper files waste valuable time and money. Efficiency studies show that office workers spend up to 50% of their time looking for information, and an average of 18 minutes searching for a document.2 That translates into $14,000 worth of productivity lost per worker per year due to an employee’s inability to find the data required to do his job.3 Add to that remote workers, or operations or personnel that span multiple sites, and the inefficiency grows.

Document management with online retrieval shows donors and other stakeholders that a not-for-profit is operating smartly and efficiently. More importantly, these systems allow not-for-profits to deliver a higher quality of service to more clients with fewer resources.

Start Saving Now

Help a not-for-profit you support put the efficiency of comprehensive document management services to work for them and start saving them time and money. To find out more, have them contact an experienced, certified document scanning service provider.


1 Crain’s New York
2 Gartner Research
3 IDC Canada