Nonprofits and the Paperless Office Nirvana

We’ve all been there. Scrambling for a piece of paper (an invoice, a document, a proposal) that we just can’t seem to locate. Full confession: I’ve ‘been there’ more than once. And, I would be blushing with shame if you could see my desktop…never mind the stacks (yes, stacks plural) on the floor next to my desk.

So if you were to ask me, ‘Why go paperless?’ my answer would be so that you do not send the producers of Hoarders: Buried Alive to my office.

Paperless Nonprofit

The AccuFund team has put together a compelling case for Nonprofits to go paperless, which you can view via their on-demand webinar ‘Going Green and Saving Green, Operating a Paperless Nonprofit Organization’.

They share five reasons to go paperless that Price Waterhouse has recommended as well as some staggering statistics on the hard costs of paper. Consider this, some 10,000 pages of paper are printed by the average American every year.

Prior to the live presentation by AccuFund, they surveyed the couple hundred nonprofits that had registered for the webinar. They asked the nonprofit professionals what their primary motivation for going paperless was – almost 80% indicated that they saw paperless as a way to save time and gain efficiencies. The second most popular motivation was to become more environmentally friendly, follower by the belief that going paperless would save money.

In thinking about the third motivation, going paperless would save money for a nonprofit organization, my thought was yes, probably, but how much? Would the cost of going paperless pretty much cancel out potential savings? The webinar quickly set me straight – there are significant savings to be had even after you’ve equipped the office with the tools and systems necessary to go paperless.

They presented a case study on a human services organization that took just one process (creation and distribution of monthly financial packets) and did the math. The savings were just over $2000/month, $24,000/year.

The ability to move $24,000 out of paper chasing and put that money towards something more critical to the mission – it is a powerful incentive.

You can watch ‘Going Green and Saving Green, Operating a Paperless Nonprofit Organization’ by clicking on the link.