Nonprofit organizations today must do more with less. Caseloads have increased but the underlying processes and systems have stayed the same. This means having to rely on often outdated, inefficient tools to handle even more clients.
Some cases have become much more complex and more difficult to manage, given the pandemic and the need to work with new or changed government assistance programs. As a result, there is much more inefficiency and the potential for serious operational errors.
Because donations are the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization, such organizations need to demonstrate that funding is being utilized properly, yielding the most effective results. Donors have become more sophisticated regarding the tracking of the disbursement and spending of funds. In order to ensure that contributions do not get wasted through efficiency gaps, advanced tech solutions developed especially for human services organizations are in order.
Such technology solutions have done away with inefficient, paper-based processes like client service and billing and delivered simplicity and automation to case management practices, saving a great deal of time and energy and in doing so, amplify the organization’s funding efforts.
What Is A Case Management System?
A case management system is essentially software that enables organizations to track and store information in a centralized location and report on their data.
These systems help organizations to digitize and streamline their processes, automate repetitive and routine tasks, and reduce or even eliminate tedious data management tasks. The goal is to save organizations time and ultimately, costs, as fewer hours are needed to complete the same tasks.
A case management system can be a standalone product or a part of a larger enterprise solution. A case manager’s job at a nonprofit organization typically involves supervising and arranging social service programs for clients, helping individuals gain access to community resources, analyzing the efficacy of programs, managing outreach programs, compiling reports, and other tasks.
Legacy systems simply cannot handle increased caseloads given their often outdated, inefficient processes. With AI, machine learning, and automation, the solution can make decisions on a case manager’s part, all backed with analytics, insights, and reporting to increase the utilization of the system.
What Are The Benefits Of A Case Management Solution?
Case management solutions are becoming more and more popular among nonprofit organizations. The ability to inject efficiency into largely paper-based processes has provided benefits for several stakeholder groups:
Caseworkers and social workers
Case management software might seem to provide the opposite of the mission of social work, but this is not the case. Case management software solutions actually allow clients to receive more personalized attention from the case manager and other services providers due to smart collaboration tools, real-time progress tracking, and the efficient organization of documents and tasks. Some case management solutions even include self-service portals so that clients can resolve a number of queries and information requests on their own as we
Centralized data, remote access, and digitized record-keeping allow managers in the nonprofit organization to do their jobs better. Digitization and centralization can allow case workers to handle more cases without the hassle of needing to scramble to find far-flung files, increasing efficiency and service delivery. Further, security features allow only authorized users to access certain files, preventing misuse or compromise of sensitive information.
Case management solutions bring transparency to a nonprofit’s operations because every dollar can be tracked. While back-office finance and accounting systems might be in place, connecting them to client files used by caseworkers, in order to assess utilization, enables and improves audits, billing/invoicing, and performance tracking. Donors can have the transparency they need to ensure that their funds are being spent in the most efficient manner and that the mission of the nonprofit is being successfully carried out.
Things To Consider Before Purchasing And Implementing Case Management Software
Below is a list of considerations when purchasing the right case management software for your nonprofit organization.
No matter how intuitive the platform, case management software solutions can be tricky and might take some getting used to. Even for more digital-savvy caseworkers, a new solution might take some effort in order for them to get up and running. Even if documents are to be digitized by a third party, getting accustomed to new processes and workflows will most likely require support from your solution provider. As such, the ability to lean on the provider for critical and sometimes urgent requests is important.
Ability to Customize
No case management solution is a one-size-fits-all, and it must offer high levels of flexibility and scalability to easily adapt to an organization’s current and future needs. The solution must be flexible enough to accommodate the current workings but also be able to scale and be “future-proof” as the organization changes and grows.
While digitization and automation are key components of a digital case management solution, accessibility via multiple platforms is important. The solution should be available seamlessly anywhere anytime from any platform or device. This increases efficiency as caseworkers and managers are on the go, meeting with families, or working from the organization’s offices or their home offices.
Security and Privacy
All client information needs to remain confidential and secure and only accessed by authorized managers. When evaluating solutions, ensure that data security and privacy are built-in in order to minimize the risk of misuse or compromise of sensitive data.
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