In the United States, there are over 1.5 million nonprofits. Spanning multiple fields and with vastly different missions, nonprofit organizations not only work to advance important causes around the world, but also offer people the opportunity to give back to their communities and to bring out the best in themselves.
Charitable giving has increased steadily over the last few years in the United States, with over $373.25 billion contributed to charitable organizations in 2015. In spite of this growth, many charitable groups struggle to accomplish as much as they aspire to, due to a lack of resources.
According to a study conducted by the Center for Effective Philanthropy, nonprofit leaders indicated that they are looking for more help in three key areas: meeting the demand for services, fostering leadership abilities, and finding new technology to increase organizational effectiveness. Using DocuSign’s Digital Transaction Management platform, nonprofit groups can progress toward these goals in the following ways.
Easier onboarding processes for volunteers
Volunteers and donors drive nonprofits, but the percentage of Americans who volunteer is in decline. The numbers are down to 25.4 percent, from a high of almost 30 percent in 2005. On average, about one-third of volunteers who donate time to charitable causes in a given year do not return to support the cause the next year. This can be a drain on nonprofits, which must spend time and resources training and recruiting new volunteers to replace those that were lost.
One way to improve volunteer retention is to make the onboarding process an efficient, positive experience. The faster that a volunteer can work through the administrative aspects of the onboarding process, the more time that he or she has to train in the skills needed to contribute meaningfully to a cause. DocuSign’s Digital Transaction Management platform makes it easy for volunteers to review and sign documents online, and nonprofits can use this feature to allow volunteers to complete all necessary paperwork before they begin their first day of service. The platform’s user-friendly interface and mobile-enabled technology can help make nonprofit onboarding processes simple, setting the tone for a positive nonprofit-volunteer relationship.
Reduced operational costs through streamlined workflows and fewer office supplies
It should come as no surprise that the majority of charities in America indicate that the two biggest challenges they face annually are finding adequate funding and securing operating support. Nonprofit organizations often work within the confines of tight budgets and limited staff in order to maximize their resources and stretch every dollar. These restrictions can be especially difficult for smaller charitable groups that lack the reach and notoriety of big-name nonprofits, which typically attract more donations and volunteers.
Nonprofit organizations that choose DocuSign are able to eliminate many paper-based processes from their operations, which streamlines workflows to save valuable time and funds. The DocuSign platform can be used to complete gift agreements, corporate sponsorship contracts, grant applications and reports, membership renewals, and much more.
The hours that employees no longer have to spend printing, scanning, faxing, or filing documents can be redirected to more important tasks. Additionally, money can be saved on office supplies such as printer ink, paper, and postage, freeing up more funds for the nonprofit’s core functions.
Multiple language options for international partnerships
Many nonprofit organizations based in the United States work to support causes in countries where English is not the primary spoken language. To have the greatest impact, these charitable groups must be able to communicate effectively with local partner organizations, the communities and individuals they work with, and foreign government agencies.
Nonprofits can bridge language divides by using DocuSign to conduct agreements and obtain signatures in 43 languages. Nonprofits can send documents for signing in 13 major languages, while those who receive the documents can sign in these plus 30 additional languages. These languages include the world’s most spoken dialects, such as Chinese, Spanish, Hindi, and Arabic, as well as languages with comparatively fewer speakers, such as Romanian, Slovakian, and Lithuanian.
Additionally, DocuSign’s high security standards meet legal requirements in countries and jurisdictions around the world, including the European Union.
Reduced price for qualifying nonprofit organizations
Qualifying nonprofit organizations can benefit from DocuSign’s nonprofit discount, which amounts to 30 percent off the annual cost of DocuSign Standard. In order to qualify, a charitable organization must be based in the United States, currently be designated as a nonprofit under the 501(c)(3) status, and cannot be a hospital, health care organization, government entity, or higher education institute.
Nonprofits that choose DocuSign to conduct transactions also benefit from tools to help new users learn the basics of the Digital Transaction Management platform. These resources include online training at DocuSign University, videos, white papers, and the DocuSign Dev Center, all located on the company’s website.