Why NFPs are Turning to Online Services
Tuesday, 21st May 2013 at 10:59 am
Not for Profit organisations can start reaping the benefits that online technology offers as more integrated, interactive and tailored web services emerge to address their operational and reporting needs.
Standards & Performance Pathways (SPP) and Management Support Online (MSO) are two leading examples of a new generation of online services that combine the interactivity of web-based software with the quality content provided by information portals.
Online services like the SPP and MSO are a little like a ‘virtual consultant’, only they go beyond a consultancy role to build staff capacities in the long-term.
Standards & Performance Pathways (SPP) helps organisations meet their standards reporting obligations. In the paper-based world, standards reporting can be a complex and time-consuming task, but one that’s fundamental to an organisation’s responsibilities to funding bodies and clients. It’s a process complicated all the more when multiple standards are involved.
The SPP harnesses online technology to streamline this whole process. You can:
- Complete online assessments based on standards relevant to your organisation
- Automatically generate tailored electronic workplans that set your organisation on the path to meeting standards requirements
- Upload evidence documentation (such as policy documents, reports and statements) that demonstrate your organisation meets requirements
- Complete multiple standards by completing a single set (which eliminates duplication of effort)
- Track your organisation’s progress against industry benchmarks
The technophobes among us need not worry because the system is wonderfully intuitive.
“Overall SPP has reduced our reporting time significantly,” State Manager with the Drug Education Network in Tasmania Ronnie Voigt said.
“The system is intuitive. I found my way around quite easily. I love the educational qualities of SPP and the resources provided.”
The SPP is also useful for organisations requiring accreditation.
“It’s one of the most helpful accreditation systems and online support I have ever seen and I have done quite a few (ISO’s, banking sector, public sector, schools, – often no quality improvement but loads and loads of paper),” Director, Macarthur Legal Centre Graeme Chambers said.
Management Support Online (MSO) is focused on the day-to-day governance, management, operations and administration of Not for Profits. It provides tools, policy/procedure templates and guides on everything from financial management and human resources, to board meetings and client services.
As well as providing a vast set of resources, the MSO also includes:
- Skill-building sessions
- Training programs
- Diagnostic assessment tools
- A confidential advice service (phone or email) where you can talk through any issues that might come up for your organisation
It is an incredibly practical service. Another benefit with it being online is that the offering grows and can be responsive to user needs.
“MSO is a fantastic resource for NGOs,” Doreen Goldsmid at Chinchilla Family Support Centre in Queensland said.
“Having had to search for templates to match certain issues, I was really happy to receive particular assistance with rental of equipment. It’s always the first site I check out.”
Funding bodies and peak agencies also have the option to sign up for a tailored MSO and/or SPP portal for organisations reporting to them. This offers funding/peak agencies the chance to brand the portal as their own and tailor content offerings.
Online services such as the SPP and MSO represent the emerging generation of online solutions for Not for Profit organisations. They offer the quality content of information portals, interactivity and great workflow of web-based software, and the responsiveness and support of a consultant.
What’s more, they are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, which means rural and remote is no barrier. Remote is what these services do best.
You can take a free two-week trial of Standards & Performance Pathways by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll find both services online at http://www.ngoservicesonline.com.au
Jane Bradfield and Julie Nyland are the directors of Breaking New Ground, which provides NGO Services Online (incorporating the SPP and MSO).