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Not all dashboard software is made equal. A nonprofit may not need every bell and whistle, but certainly software must be robust enough to tell the full story so that key stakeholders can understand the state of the organization. In a previous blog post, we focused on 12 key financial performance metrics to monitor the financial health of your nonprofit. Once you can use dashboards to track those KPIs, there are six important elements that a successful nonprofit dashboard must include6:
- Communicate strategic results and business intelligence: Dashboards should provide a summary of KPIs that show the impact of programs and outcomes. For example, quantity of services, enrollment numbers, and quality score.
- Present data visually in easy-to-consume formats: Graphs and charts help stakeholders visualize impact. Nonprofit dashboard software should allow users to easily build attractive visuals that convey information effectively.
- Provide snapshots of both the current moment in time and trends: Using visual indicators to quickly spot the information that matters most. Whether that be a day-to-day statistic or a larger, broader trend, the right snapshot can prepare decision-makers to stay agile and understand what is coming.
- Performance analysis: Efficient dashboard software can slice and dice your data across different dimensions to get different views without needing to run a separate report. This can help organizations analyze from all angles without wasting critical time.
- Highlight any anomalies: When presenting dashboards, it’s critical to flag any results that are out of the ordinary, such as an unprecedented one-time gift. The right filters and dimensions can help clarify data to provide the most accurate picture.
- Sampling of KPIs specific to role: Tailoring the dashboard experience to different stakeholders is key. By controlling who sees real-time reports and period-end views, organizations can get critical information to the right people at any moment. The best software allows you to select the appropriate KPIs to display for each role.
Role-based dashboards: Customize views to better monitor performance and outcomes
Role-based dashboards provide at-a-glance views of what matters most to each nonprofit manager, executive, board member, and other stakeholders. Financial leaders benefit by getting instant visibility into key markers of financial stewardship while program managers can keep tabs on metrics related to program budgets and outcomes.
In Sage Intacct, role-based dashboards, such as this CFO view, gather the most important KPIs for an individual’s job into a single view.
With Sage Intacct, executive leaders and program managers can keep track of key nonprofit KPIs on a regular basis. Real-time reporting and dashboards provide regular insight to help drive decisions that ensure mission success. The ability to drill-down into KPIs relevant to each role helps leaders look forward and plan, based on what’s really happening in programs, and make more proactive decisions.
KPIs that matter most: How Sage Intacct’s financial reports and dashboards provide visibility when you need it
Sage Intacct provides pre-built reports, dashboards, and visualizations based on nonprofit finance best practices. Once you have access to real-time metrics with the context of dimensions, you can provide staff and management the ability to gather the most relevant information to their role through customized, role-based dashboards.
In Sage Intacct’s nonprofit accounting software, the finance team can easily configure dashboards, or even sets of dashboards, for any user role and set permissions to ensure that each user receives only the information that is relevant and approved for his or her role. With our nonprofit dashboards, your finance team has access to wide visibility through open integration with other best-in-class applications. For example, you can track statistical metrics that are central to your organization’s operations and programs such as donor relationship management, payroll, staffing, fundraising, or payments data.
Open API integration in Sage Intacct allows nonprofit leaders to see the complete picture of organizational performance and outcomes from multiple data sources.
See it work: Role-based dashboards in action
Role-based dashboards deliver insight into financial or operational health and trends occurring within the organization. For example, the Board Member dashboard view below provides key KPIs at-a-glance. It includes visuals indicating that fundraising and administrative expenses are down while program efficiency is improving.
Sage Intacct role-based dashboards can be built for anyone in the organization, from executives to program managers and fundraisers. Above is an example of a Board Member View.
Key metric visualizations like these help nonprofit leaders easily track trend lines and stay on top of any potential concerns to guide the organization around financial challenges. At a glance, nonprofit executives, board members, and finance leaders can gain insights they can leverage for better decision-making.
Increased visibility can help key stakeholders strengthen funding stability and guide planning and strategy. The ability to instantly view the number of constituents served allows the board to understand the organization’s reach and measure its impact.
Both the CFO and Board Member role-based dashboards include notes from within Sage Intacct. Sage Intacct Collaborate puts everyone on the same page to improve communication and teamwork, expedite processes, and improve decision making. In one click, a board member can see all messages from the Finance Committee for example, giving them the complete context from all participants in one place. Likewise, the CFO and auditor can communicate just as easily, reducing audit time and expense.
“Before, everyone was in the dark, but with Sage Intacct it’s a whole new world. Department managers can see precisely how they are doing with the click of a button … As a result, people are controlling their costs proactively, the organization’s overall expenses are down, we’re sticking to our budget, and our spend is under control.”
Alisa Brill, Chief Financial Officer, Paws Chicago
Nonprofit leaders need agility and adaptability to respond to an ever-changing philanthropic landscape. Access to real-time insights tailored for specific roles is more critical than ever. To respond to an ever-changing philanthropic landscape, nonprofit leaders need to improve agility and adaptability with access to real-time insights tailored for each person’s specific role. With quick access to nonprofit KPIs, presented in a user-friendly visual format through a nonprofit metrics dashboard, key stakeholders can monitor financial and operational performance. With this improved visibility, leaders will have the tools to strengthen financial stewardship and make more proactive management decisions.
For an in-depth look at how dashboards can provide finance professionals and executives with a real-time view of what matters most, download our eBook, Achieving Real-Time Visibility with Nonprofit Financial Reporting and Dashboards.
1,2 Sage Intacct, 2021 Nonprofit Technology Trends Report
3Fidelity Charitable, COVID-19 and philanthropy: How donor behaviors are shifting amid pandemic
4Gallup, Percentage of Americans Donating to Charity at New Low, May 14, 2020
5NLC, Survey Reveals Impact of COVID-19 and 2020 Challenges on Nonprofits at Year-End, November 16, 2020
6NPQ, Models and Components of a Great Nonprofit Dashboard, December 18, 2019