How you can improve your nonprofit’s case management system will rely on a number of factors. An effective solution will address the specific needs of your agency’s workflows, and it will also add value to your operations. Measuring that value, however, is where it becomes a challenge.
In this post, we’ll dive into how you can measure the value of your efforts, and focus on how to improve your nonprofit’s case management system overall.
3 ways to measure and improve your nonprofit’s case management system
Choosing a suitable nonprofit case management system and implementing it is only the first step of what will become an ongoing process. Digital case management systems, especially in social work, require continuous evaluation and assessment. This helps agencies not only measure the solution’s efficiency but also its overall impact. It can likewise be vital to securing additional funding, or to demonstrate your efforts to active donors.
Thankfully, nonprofits have a wealth of tools and resources for data management. There is software for database management, program evaluation, case tracking, and outcome reporting. These ensure agencies streamline client workflow and case handling, and provide valuable reporting tools. Measuring their value to the organization is where it becomes challenging, however.
In fact, a number of companies struggle to find value in digital case management systems in the early stages of implementation. It can be difficult to objectively measure efficiency and performance, more so if you don’t know where to look. To succeed, you need to analyze the right key performance indicators (KPIs), and you’ll need to consistently evaluate your system. Keep reading for 3 ways you can do this, and ultimately how to improve your nonprofit’s case management system.
Choose the most useful KPIs for analysis / (to measure progress)
The first stage to improving your digital case management system is analysis of the most useful KPIs. For nonprofits and other social good agencies, these KPIs are efficiency, impact, and funding. Monitoring these indicators can help to determine the overall value of your investment. More importantly, it can also help make it easier to seek additional funding.
Analyze for efficiency
The first KPI to focus on to improve your case management system will be analyzing for efficiency. Digital case management systems should streamline all of the workflows in the agency. Take for example the day-to-day routines of your staff. This might include participant intake or logging service delivery on spreadsheets. Managing these tasks requires time and energy for whoever is responsible for the job.
An effective case management system will streamline these efforts. It will reduce the time needed for repeatable tasks and data entry, and it will help teams work smarter rather than harder. Analysis for savings in time and effort can thus help you get an estimate of the value your case management system offers the agency.
What you ultimately want to see is the entire team, from directors to managers and case workers, spending less time inputting data. At the same time, the team should have more time for work on individual cases and with all of their constituents. Measure your system on these metrics, and you’ll start getting a better idea of what works and what needs improvement.
Analyze for your case management system’s impact
Another KPI to monitor is your case management system’s ability to communicate results. Nonprofits need to communicate their outcomes to the communities they aim to serve. They also need to do this for any potential and active donors. Doing so shows the nonprofit is both delivering on its mission, and that it is forward-looking in its endeavors.
In this regard, an effective system will help nonprofits better demonstrate the impact of individual programs. Concrete data can prove correlation between efforts and results. Data can also lead to significant insights which were previously unknown. This is in part the value of case management systems for nonprofits.
Analyze to encourage more funding
One of the most important KPIs to focus on with any case management system, especially for a nonprofit, is additional funding. Donors want to see results backed by concrete data. They also want to see data that is unique and with additional value, something that stands out in the pool of today’s social initiatives.
Case management systems worth the investment will help your nonprofit demonstrate firstly how it will utilize its funding. Secondly, an effective system will help show, with data, how those funds impact the community. This is vital if you want to encourage donors to participate in your social work, and to encourage active donors to continue their contributions.
Consistently evaluate and assess the efficiency of your system
The next area to consider is the rapid advances in today’s technology for nonprofits. If your system isn’t providing favorable results, consider why that is. It might be that you simply aren’t utilizing the technology to its fullest capabilities. On the other hand, it might be that the software you’re using has too many limitations for what you want it to accomplish.
Analyzing how well your nonprofit’s case management software is working and in what ways it’s not will help you determine if you have the best tool for the task. It will also help you make necessary adjustments, another vital concern to nonprofits.
Keep in mind that nonprofits and other social good agencies must comply with both donor and local regulations on data governance and reporting. Penalties for noncompliance can be severe and swift. This makes ongoing assessment as equally important for meeting regulatory requirements as it is to ensuring your nonprofit is making the most of its technology.
Don’t expect immediate results
Finally, a crucial mistake nonprofits make when analyzing the value of their case management system is expecting immediate results. It takes not only time but also effort to become familiar with a new case management system.
Always give your team time to adjust to new processes and expect a learning curve. With time and clear direction, evaluating the value of your system will become less challenging, quicker, and lead to more overall efficiency.
To discover more on nonprofit case management systems
Want to learn more about nonprofit case management systems? A Better Community Database (ABCD) can help. At ABCD, our mission is to provide nonprofits with the technology they need for more efficient case management, program evaluation, and outcome tracking.
With simple yet powerful features, our software aims to simplify data management for nonprofits. It’s intuitive, open-source, and designed for maximum flexibility to cater to each nonprofit’s individual needs. There are no licensing fees or user costs, and you never have to worry about security as all of your data lives on a server designated by you.
Contact us today to discover more about ABCD software and how we can tailor the technology around your operations. Whether it’s a system for case management or outcome tracking, we are here to assist.