Nobody likes dealing with compliance requirements. If you’re like many non-profit organizations, compliance often feels like an impediment to your mission — a bunch of red tape that third parties have placed in your way, which only pulls you away from the real work of your organization.
It’s not that the general principle of compliance is inappropriate. But the sheer effort and manual labor involved in maintaining compliance — and proving that you’ve maintained compliance — is enormous.
You may see compliance activities as interruptions of your nonprofit’s mission, but there’s another way to look at compliance — one that can actually energize your staff and volunteers, and empower your organization’s mission. Compliance helps you to be the organization you want to be.
Compliance Builds Trust
The greatest asset your nonprofit has is the trust of your stakeholders — your volunteers, your funding sources, your partner organizations, and the people you serve. If that trust were to be eroded, your work would come to a standstill.
- Funding would dry up.
- Volunteers and partners would find other organizations to work with.
- Your beneficiaries would rather go somewhere else for help.
Compliance builds confidence in your organization. By maintaining and proving that you’re in compliance with various regulations, you show that your organization can be trusted.
Your proof of compliance is a visible representation of your commitment to those you serve and partner with. It proves that you care about doing things the right way, that you care about ethical practices, and that you’re responsible with the trust you’ve been given.
Compliance Protects the People You Care About
Your organization has an inherent responsibility to protect the people who count on you. By adhering to compliance standards, you’re showing those people that you take that responsibility seriously.
- Cybersecurity compliance keeps personal information safe from cyber attacks and data breaches.
- FLSA compliance protects your employees’ compensation rights and their wellbeing.
- Safety compliance protects your volunteers’ physical safety.
- Grant reporting and government compliance protects your funding sources’ investments.
When you think of it, this aspect of compliance actually helps you fulfill your organization’s mission: to serve those who count on you.
Compliance Keeps Your Organization On-Mission
Your organization is built on a mission, and your compliance requirements help you to realize that mission. Your mission statement likely says something about your responsibility to the community, your ethical commitments, or your stated values as an organization. Compliance requirements keep you accountable to those values.
By staying in compliance with regulations, you prove that your mission statement is more than lip service, but that you take your commitments seriously, in every facet of your organization.
Compliance Keeps Your Spending On-Target
You can think of funding compliance as shackles that bind, or you can think of it as a tool to keep your spending on target. Organizations that don’t have boundaries on their budgets eventually tend to misuse their finances — sometimes in small ways, but too often in newsworthy ways.
While your nonprofit organization probably isn’t in danger of scandalous misspending, we all make poor money decisions here and there. Grant allocation requirements are designed to help you make the best use of your funding.
Compliance Encourages More Funding
One of the most practical aspects of compliance is that it keeps your nonprofit’s funding flowing. Government and funding agencies don’t give their money away flippantly. They need assurance that the organizations they support are trustworthy and fiscally responsible.
When you demonstrate that you have systematic controls and automated systems for tracking employee time and grants, you boost their confidence and make it easier for them to provide valuable funding. Those assurances remove a significant barrier to getting funding, and they make it easier for you to receive grant renewals as well.
Related: How One Nonprofit Cultivates Relationships for Funding Success
Make Compliance Easier for Your Nonprofit Organization
Seeing compliance through a different lens can help your people appreciate its value to your organization. You can begin to create a culture that incorporates compliance activities as a vital part of your nonprofit’s mission. But that alone doesn’t make compliance easy, or enjoyable.
Every year, nonprofits waste countless hours on grant budgeting, reporting, and tracking instead of focusing on their mission. It’s a mess of data across a sea of spreadsheets and other programs that don’t work together. Their reporting relies on manual data entry, which is subject to human error — and therefore they aren’t painting an accurate picture of grant performance.
Thankfully, many of your compliance activities can be streamlined and automated, so that you don’t even have to think about them anymore. IDI’s salary allocation solution can make it easier to stay in compliance with grant allocation requirements and government regulations.
IDI’s salary allocation solution removes error-prone spreadsheets and the manual reporting associated with tracking worked and non-worked time to grants or contracts. FLSA overtime calculations are also handled for you.
Using IDI gives you:
- Error-free data reporting based on actual data, not estimates
- Higher visibility into your grant performance
- Seamless integration with your existing time and payroll systems
- Higher team productivity
- Proof of performance and detailed reports to back it up
- Better preparation for audits
- More time to focus on your mission
Related: Spend More Time On Your Mission and Less Time on Grant Reporting
IDI boosts your own confidence, and your stakeholders’ confidence, by ensuring reporting accuracy. Remove dual maintenance, human error in calculations, and endless time spent on manual data entry.
IDI’s salary allocation solution makes it easier to embrace the benefits of compliance for your nonprofit organization.
Compliance is something you have to do, but it also holds great value for your organization — and the people you serve. Build a culture of compliance among your employees and volunteers, and make it easier to embrace compliance by using IDI to automate your most onerous allocation tasks.