IT Selection for Charity
“Magnatec’s input has made a massive difference to us. It was just the push we needed to work through our challenges” – Debra Morris, Headway Derby Chair
IT Review & Consultation
Headway Derby are an award winning local charity providing a range of therapeutic support and rehabilitative development services for brain injured people, their families and carers in Derby, Southern Derbyshire and East Staffordshire.
Headway were looking to improve their IT estate and move as much of their day to day processes, reports and paperwork onto cloud based IT systems.
This was to include:
Document storage & management
Staff, Trustee, Donor & Member profiles
Finance & Reporting
When considering the IT solutions the budget had to be a big factor but, as a charity, Headway Derby already had Office 365 installed at zero cost. They had also investigated various other solutions that offer their software for free to NGO’s.
Other considerations were that the software had to be user friendly and have the availability of good remote training materials & support.
1. Document Storage & Management
a. Some of the documentation is currently stored on an external drive with no back up facility.
b. OneDrive started being used but in an unplanned design with no selective user access to the folders & files. Consequently this has not continued to be utilised.
2. Collaborative Working
a. Managing tasks, projects centrally.
3. Staff, Trustee, Donor & Member Profiles
a. The majority of this data is currently in hard copy paper format.
b. No easy or quick access is available to the information required.
4. Finance Control & Reporting
a. Financial records are stored and controlled within Excel.
b. Knowledge is held by a single point of contact, opening exposure to risk and potential errors.
c. Reporting takes days and uses person hours to complete.
Cloud Document Storage All cloud SaaS solutions have simple user logon. Allows for increased security and multiple person editing with audit trail. Headway already have free access to Microsoft OneDrive and this was considered the best option to move forward with following a simple awareness session.
Collaborative Working Headway had already trialed and liked the cloud solution Trello – this has since been fully integrated into their day to day processes.
Staff, Trustee, Donor & Member Profiles Numerous web-based cloud solutions are available and were investigated, reviewed and trialed by Magantec. These can include as much or as little functionality as required by Headway. There are solutions available, specific for charities, that include HR & CRM etc. capabilities. Headway opted not to move forward on any of these for the time being as they were the most costly of all the solutions needed at this moment in time.
Finance Control & Reporting Online Cloud bookkeeping has become the norm in recent years – it allows any size of organisation to provide reports & audit information at the click of a button. Read only user logons are also available to facilitate appropriate controls. The central management of the finances will also make this process secure and risk free. Clearbooks was considered a suitable solution, this was advised over the likes of Quickbooks because they offer good discounts for NGO’s. Headway like this software but believe they need to take each step in turn and will look at moving to this when ready.
This was a great project to work on with some clear challenges and solutions available. Headway have made a good start on their move to the cloud and are now regularly using the full functionality of Office 365, in particular, OneDrive to make their work more accessible and secure.
They have also fully integrated Trello into their day to day work.
The journey is just beginning but they are on the right track and in time will no doubt be fully integrated into the Cloud which will lead to better control and gains in operational efficiency.
If any of Headway’s challenges resonate with you and your organisation then why not contact us and see how Magantec can help you.
“We are so grateful for the support and inspiration. We are in a much better place now than we were 2 months ago, before we met Duncan” – Rebecca Manship, Headway Derby Operations & Development Manager