Oleksiy Mark - Fotolia

NetSuite grant revolutionises workflow for Philippine non-profit organisations

Non-profit organisations in the Philippines are benefiting from cloud-based software following the award of software grants from NetSuite

Three non-profit organisations in the Philippines – Hapinoy, Virlanie Foundation and Cartwheel Foundation – are using cloud applications to streamline daily operations, enabling them to operate on lean IT budgets and small IT teams.

For non-profit organisations, the reliance on external funding has made donor management an important process that is greatly helped by cloud applications. Besides donor management, these three Filipino non-profit organisations have successfully used cloud apps for critical applications such as financial management.

The three organisations received a software grant from the NetSuite.org corporate citizenship programme, which offers free and discounted subscriptions to qualified non-profit organisations and social enterprises.

“Cloud software is well suited for non-profits as most of the work is in the field and the decision-makers are always out of the office, attending meetings or conferences. Using a cloud-based app makes it easy to approve transactions and check on the financial status of projects, having crucial decision-making data available as long as there's internet access,” said Jalu Go, director of operations at Hapinoy.

Hapinoy works to empower the 4,000 micro-entrepreneurs in the Philippines to manage and grow their businesses.

It had struggled with visibility into budgets across its many projects, specifically identifying expenses and reporting – both internally and to donors. Now, with the NetSuite financial management software, expense reporting and donor-tracking cloud applications, Hapinoy has a unified system and real-time data access that allows management to make better business decisions while providing donors with accurate, monthly reports tracking donations, costs and budget.

Next, Hapinoy plans to use NetSuite for data gathering and storage. This will efficiently eliminate the need for additional data gathering software for their community management and market research activities.

Read more about cloud services in the Asean region

"With NetSuite we are able to provide on-demand insights for decision making," said Hapinoy’s Go. "We can see if a project is working or not from a financial perspective and decide if we are going to move forward with the project. It's allowing us to serve our constituents much faster and more effectively." 

RJ Domingo, IT administrator at Virlanie Foundation, agreed that the mobility and remote access of cloud applications is especially important for non-profit organisations. The ability to share data 24 hours a day – regardless of where the recipients are – can greatly improve the organisation’s efficiency and productivity.

“A cloud-based system is highly flexible, with secure infrastructure design, reduced support and hardware needs. You only need internet for fast access via a web browser using your mobile, tablet and computer any time and anywhere. No traditional servers are needed, doing away with excessive manpower and time to launch data or software,” said Domingo.

Virlanie Foundation runs eight residential homes that shelter 200 children who need special protection. Previously, it had used a disparate system of QuickBooks for accounting and separate Excel or Access spreadsheets for each of its programmes. This resulted in inconsistent data and cumbersome manual processes that made timely reporting a challenge, taking up to a week to generate a report on a single child.

Today, Virlanie uses NetSuite to manage financial management and real-time reporting, and has a customised application that tracks the children in its care and their sponsors. It now can provide real-time key performance indicators (KPIs) to its employees through personalised dashboards, and provide detailed information to sponsors about the children they have made donations to support.

"NetSuite's unified system means we have a single source of information that provides us with real-time data on our finances and the children we serve," said Dominque Lemay, founder of the Virlanie Foundation.

"As a result our donors have more confidence in knowing where their money is going and we are able to serve more children, more quickly."

Cartwheel Foundation focuses on nurturing indigenous Filipino heritage through culturally relevant education. Its projects have reached 11,000 indigenous people in 40 communities.

When it scaled up its efforts, Cartwheel found it increasingly a challenge to deal with voluminous data and multiple transactions.

Since it started using NetSuite for financial and donor management, Cartwheel now accesses all its projects and budgets from a single location, gaining greater visibility into its data. So far, it has seen an estimated 50% reduction in administration, as duplicate tasks and manual reporting have been reduced.

"Because of the ease of access to the system, we can see the possibilities for future programmes," said Pia Ortiz-Luis, executive director at Cartwheel. "There's a sense of readiness among the staff that we can reach out to a wider audience and work with our partner indigenous communities. In a real sense NetSuite brings us closer to our goal of operational excellence."

Read more on Cloud applications