Intro to RPA for Nonprofits

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Yes, you can do more with less!
More, more, more with less, less, less.

The pressure is on nonprofits! The pressure to do more with less. Do more with less money, fewer people, fewer resources, and less time. At the very least, do not do less.

One solution is to increase productivity, or in engineering terms, improve the ratio of input to output. The way you might achieve this is by implementing Robotic Process Automation, or RPA.

Finding ways to save money with higher production in your organization

The topic of productivity in ERP systems has been a passion of mine for over thirty years. As an industrial engineer, it has been frustrating to watch software advances reduce productivity in ERP systems. The mouse and the browser are significant examples of productivity-killing technology (but that’s a topic for another time).

So how do we improve the productivity of our operations and ERP software with the Covid global pandemic adding to our challenges in running our nonprofit organizations?

What are some advantages of RPA?

The best answer may be taking advantage of the productivity improvements provided by implementing RPA capabilities. As an example, let’s look at the automation benefits of RPA Hyperautomation Platform.

RPA has nothing to do with robots as we think of them in the traditional sense. C-3PO will not be joining your workforce or replacing people.

RPA is software that helps to automate repetitive human tasks. The result is work completed faster, more accurately, and less expensively. Imagine spreadsheet macros on steroids. Spreadsheet macros at one time were the most extensive programming language in the world. They made life easier by automating repetitive tasks in your spreadsheets. The big difference with RPA is that the capabilities are not limited to spreadsheets.

A recent article discussed 100 uses of RPA in the enterprise. Imagine “macros” improving every business workflow that is data entry and paper-intensive—entering data faster, with fewer errors and fewer resources. Click here for the infographic of the 100 uses.

AP Automation – the “Gateway” application

A typical example is the automation of accounts payables, often offered as AP Automation. How does RPA affect the accounts payables function in a nonprofit organization?

Multiple industry group studies show that a typical AP invoice costs between $15 to 40 dollars per invoice to process and pay. The differences in cost are typically accounted for by regional pay differential and the complexity of internal processes such as payment approvals.

Now imagine that this accounts payables process is automated with an RPA platform. The difference will be substantial. The process will run significantly faster, process with fewer errors, and typically cost less than $5 per invoice. That translates into an actual dollar savings of $10 to 35 dollars per invoice. Per invoice!

What programs might you fund with your RPA savings?

The math from here is simple and straightforward; what programs could you fund with those savings?

Of course, Accounts payables are not a function that is unique to nonprofits. What about an industry-specific example that showcases RPA being leveraged by a nonprofit?

One of my recent nonprofit customers processed 2,000 checks per month from donations to its national service center. With this high volume of transactions, they wanted to automate the process of sorting, filing, and processing checks for these payments. That increase in speed and efficiency was key to servicing their affiliates more efficiently.

The solution to transforming this critical process was to implement the RPA platform for donation data entry. The result was that donations were processed more efficiently, with everything tracked and managed for compliance within their financial system and CRM donor database.

These two examples are just the tip of the iceberg of what you can do to transform your nonprofit organization to do far more with less.  If you’d like to find out more about RPAs and how they can help your organization, please contact me via  I’ll look forward to working with you.

By Peter Joeckel, guest blogger, HandsFree  Hyperautomation




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