Your Document Management Knowledge Center

Top 8 Takeaways from the 2016 InsideNGO Annual Conference

1. Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is Critical for Compliance

Compliance is easy... Said no one, ever. All of your policies, procedures, and controls mean nothing if you don't have a record of your actions. What are you going to say to the auditor? “Trust us?” That won’t get you very far.

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No-Nonsense Document Management for Nonprofits/NGOs: What to Look For

Many of our clients assume that nonprofits and NGOs are outside the domain of business process improvement. This could not be further from the truth. On the contrary, it’s often the case that profitless processes – due to the countless stakeholders and key decision makers involved – require the most fine-tuning to their operational efficiency and document management.

We could go on, but we’ll let an actual NGO take it from here. They live and breathe the complexity of nonprofit/nongovernmental operations, so they naturally say it best.

This global NGO found their document management solution.

The following is an account from an actual NGO whose document management system needed a little boost of digital efficiency.

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5 Ways Nonprofit Document Management Software Helps Your NGO or NPO

For a successful NGO to flourish, staying compliant and reporting funds accurately for every transaction is crucial. This is especially true for those who receive funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US Department of State and other government agencies.

To successfully achieve your mission’s potential reach and scope, you must understand what to look for in nonprofit document management software. This software allows you to serve people in a more logical and organized manner, and makes managing your workflow and business processes much more efficient. 

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How NGOs and NPOs Use DMS to Secure Trust in Their Partnerships

With so many moving parts and collaborators, your non-governmental organization (NGO) or non-profit organization (NPO) has to keep a lot of people happy. Staff, volunteers, donors, etc. – each group has a range of contracts, invoices, and authorizations associated with them. They share a vision with you, but if they can’t trust you everyone loses sight of the vision and the partnership loses its foundation.

The best way to secure trust with the people who partner with you is to secure consistency. And the best way to secure consistency is through maintaining a system of automated business processes. More and more NGOs and NPOs have made this possible by adopting a document management system across their various departments.

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Environmental NGO Chooses DocuVantage to Manage Personnel Documents

Trying to keep track of and manage paper documents for over 100 employees and thousands of volunteers - across 12 locations - is difficult. But it was becoming exceptionally burdensome to this environmental NGO’s HR team. Sending files to their varied locations meant duplicating, copying, and faxing large amounts of paper that quickly became unmanageable. Needing a more efficient and greener solution, they began searching for a way to go digital.

This HR team knew they needed a solution that would allow them to easily access and share documents securely between locations without adding more applications and servers for their IT staff to maintain. After considering various solutions - such as Box and DropBox - they chose to use DocuVantage OnDemand for managing personnel files and gain control of the documents critical to their organization.

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Online Document Management and Workflow - June 2011 Newsletter Available Now!

Learn how Non-governmental organizations prosper from document management and workflow process optimization.

We've also got the top 3 business drivers for adoption of document management software, customer success stories, insightful whitepapers, and more!

Read it here!

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Latest Document Management News Now Available!

Our latest newsletter is now available!

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3 Reasons Nonprofits Should Be in the Cloud

Non-profit organizations (NPOs) are hurting.  With tightened budgets, reduced staff/volunteers and increasing needs in the community, every non-profit agency out there is looking for any advantage they can find in order to survive these difficult times.

One way to make a significant impact is to move document management processes online to Cloud Computing platforms, also known as Software as a Service (SaaS).  Here are 3 reasons why:


Every dollar spent is highly scrutinized in a non-profit.  In the current economic downturn this practice has never been truer.  With more people suffering from economic hardship due to high unemployment levels, the need for non-profits has never been greater.  The cruel irony is that with more Americans out of work, donations are down and non-profits are forced to do more with less.  It was reported just last week that 85% of NPOs believe demand for their services will increase in the remainder of 2011.  Of these slightly less than half believe they can meet the demands of their local communities.

Online document management can help bridge the financial gap.  Moving documents online to SaaS applications can significantly reduce IT infrastructure costs by allowing an NPO to stop purchasing costly hardware.  When hardware goes out the window, so too goes the expensive maintenance and labor costs associated with it.  One recent study estimated the cost savings can be 20% or more by moving documents and information to the Cloud.


No more lost documents.  No more redundant processes.  No more wasted time searching for critical information.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  With online document management your NPO can realize these benefits almost instantly.

Take for example approval processes, which tend to be a headache for non-profits.  This is especially true when it comes to cost and contract related documents.  Multiple people must review and approve invoices, purchase orders or other financially relevant data related to daily operations.  This approval process could take days or even weeks if someone in the approval chain were busy or absent.  The contract review process is another key area that can now be expedited with web-based electronic review and electronic signature.  No matter where your contract staff or vendors are they can access the contracts, provide supporting documents, review, edit and electronically approve.

Moving your document processes online allows an NPO to see exactly where in the approvals process their documents are, who has done their due diligence and where any potential roadblocks exist.  Documents are automatically routed along the workflow chain and alerts are sent when a delay occurs.  Set the documents to flow automatically to multiple people or go directly to others when someone is not available. Increased visibility across the entire organization allows everyone to know exactly where documents are and in what status, fostering a collaborative environment of productivity and teamwork.


Even NPOs need data security and backup.  If their infrastructure is impacted people around the world can suffer.

Most important to an NPO is the accountability factor.  Many charitable organizations receive government and private donations to their cause; therefore government agencies and donors mandate visibility to NPO accounting practices in order to prevent fraud or waste.  Here is where the benefit of SaaS applications comes into play.  With online document management tools, NPOs can maintain financial and other organizational records that meet retention schedule requirements as well as comply with audits or any other legal investigation.

All data is encrypted and stored on secure offsite servers which are accessible 24/7 by authorized users only.  Multi-level permissions control who has access to what records and for what purpose.   DocuVantage manages the infrastructure, updates and upgrades so you can focus on your mission.

Find out how other nonprofits have moved their organization to the Cloud!

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NGO Compliance – There Really is a Silver Lining

It’s always a privilege to work with non-governmental organizations (NGO).  What’s so striking about all of them is their people.  They have a calling; they are on a mission to improve some aspect of the world.  It doesn’t matter whether they are helping children, working to restore human rights or providing humanitarian aid to disaster victims, these people are committed to their causes.

Unfortunately pure belief in their cause is not enough.  Doing “good” in the world requires funding.  And funding always comes with strings attached.  There are always expectations to meet and expectations to manage.  How well an NGO manages these expectations directly relates to their success as an organization.

You would think that an NGO would be measured purely on their ability to carry out their mission.  Well in many ways they are.  However, when you consider the strings attached with funding, most funding sources want reports, not just on successful efforts, but also on how and where the money was spent.  Saving lives or improving living conditions for people, whether it’s for 1 person or 1 million people, seems like that should be sufficient.  But it’s not.

This is where compliance and reporting come in.  By keeping accurate records of every transaction, NGO’s can report on exactly how money was spent.  This reporting enables them to comply with the commitments usually associated with funding.  Sadly, this is the one area where most NGO’s fail.  They can report, and they can be in compliance, but they are missing a very big opportunity.

With the right reporting in place, NGO’s can become very, very efficient.  Why is this a big deal?  Every dollar not wasted can be used for the furtherance of their mission.

It’s not just a reporting problem.  Truly understanding how money is spent and how services are delivered enables NGO’s to improve their processes.  Improved processes translate directly into improved services and faster delivery times.  And when you are saving lives or caring for those less fortunate, this is a VERY BIG deal.

What happens in many NGO’s is that they are focused on their mission.  Everything they do is time critical and urgent.  This means they don’t have time to focus on something as boring sounding as process improvement.  Yet, when process improvement is focused on, less money is spent on non-essential activities which frees up capital for the truly important work.  

For example, many NGO’s send urgent documents using FedEx.  They use FedEx because they can track it and it’s fast.  Over time, the number of FedEx packages increases to the point where the FedEx delivery person is making multiple trips using a hand truck to cart off the packages.  The cost of this is staggering.  Yet, this is not an exaggeration.  We’ve seen the packages.

If instead, they spent the time to figure out how they could send these documents electronically, or better yet, use electronic signature, they would save much needed capital.  This is where the reporting comes in.  Yes, it’s used for compliance.  But its true benefits come when NGO’s analyze the reports with a goal towards improving their processes so they can serve more people.

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DocuVantage Newsletter Posted

Electronic Document Management September 2010 News

Recent News, Events and Articles related to Electronic Document and Content Management Solutions

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