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Nonprofit Asset Management Software: Keep Track of Your Assets with Ease

Do you know where every fixed asset in your organization is right now? Do you know what is in which location, which volunteer has brought what home, and when the asset is coming back? 

Asset management can be a huge hassle for nonprofit organizations with limited staff and resources. We get it.

That’s why it’s crucial to get a more efficient system in place that gives you better visibility and control over your assets, as well as making maintenance, repurchasing, and accounting a lot easier.

That’s what the right nonprofit asset management software can do for your organization.

In this article, we’ll break down why nonprofits need asset management software and how it can help you, and we’ll share real case studies of how we’ve helped nonprofit organizations in the past. Plus, we’ll share our recommended best practices for asset management.

Why nonprofit organizations need asset management software

Asset management software can help nonprofit organizations keep track of their assets across locations, make accounting easier, manage maintenance, and more. (This is also known as an equipment tracking system.)

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Track your assets to prevent confusion, loss, and theft

If you have multiple offices or often lend assets like laptops or other equipment out to employees or volunteer staff, you need a robust tracking system in place.

If you don’t have one set up, you risk losing track of assets and complicating processes, slowing down your workflow. It also increases the risk of displacing or losing assets and employee theft.

In 2022, 9% of surveyed nonprofit organizations were victims of “occupational fraud” — theft of assets or funds by employees. In many cases, employees take advantage of poor documentation to misappropriate funds. For example, they might “replace old assets” that are perfectly serviceable and then sell the new or old ones for personal gain.

A robust asset tracking system stops this by not just tracking an item’s location and checkout status but also its maintenance and replacement schedule.

Make asset maintenance easy

With an asset maintenance schedule for each asset, it’s a lot easier to keep your equipment well-maintained. 

It can help you avoid unnecessary project delays, failed promises, or even injuries. Working equipment is a must to keep a healthy reputation in your community.

The last thing you want is for something mission-critical — like a walk-in cooler for a food bank — to fail. The best way to avoid this is to schedule routine maintenance in advance and ensure it’s a part of your budget.

Pain-free accounting and tax returns

With total assets, their depreciation values, and your maintenance costs readily available, accounting and tax returns are much easier.

You don’t need to spend hours searching through spreadsheets to find the right information. It’s right there in the system. You can just export the data you need and input it into the forms you need to fill out.

These are just some benefits an asset management solution can offer your organization. But to get these benefits, you need the right asset management software. In the section below, we explore what features to look for.

Must-have asset management features for nonprofit organizations 

The key features outlined here will help you streamline how your organization manages its assets. Make sure that any solution you invest in has these features.

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Speed up asset inventories with barcode tagging and scanning

Instead of doing asset inventories manually, speed up the process by tagging and scanning the items. You can make this process a lot easier with an enterprise-level handheld device with a barcode scanner.

If you have to rely on QR codes and your employees’ mobile phones, there’s much more room for things to go wrong. If you’ve ever tried to scan a QR code at a restaurant, you know how annoying it can be.

With more reliable asset tags and an actual barcode scanner, your employees can quickly scan assets and move on with their day. No adjusting the camera angle or zooming in is required.

Stress-free maintenance planning with detailed history

With a detailed history of each asset (including when it was last serviced and its current state), it becomes a lot easier to schedule maintenance in the future.

For example, if a laptop has drastically reduced battery capacity from 5 hours to 1.5, a replacement battery may be in order. Learn more about managing IT devices here.

You can make pragmatic decisions like this based on the true state of each asset whenever the money for maintenance comes in.

Never lose track of an asset thanks to location tracking

Tracking assets between offices is a breeze, thanks to location categories and location tracking logs.

If you have three offices, you can categorize the scanning devices to automatically index assets into locations A, B, or C. This approach easily scales with more locations.

Know who’s using what with checkout logging

A checkout log is crucial if you want control over which employee or volunteer is using an asset at any time. 

It keeps track of which employee or volunteer checked out which item, when they did it, and how long they plan to keep it. To return it officially in the system, all they need to do is scan it.

How RedBeam helped these nonprofit organizations transform their asset management

Pickaway Family & Job Services is a nonprofit organization in Pickaway, Ohio. It focuses on helping local families become self-sufficient, stable, and safe. To achieve this goal, the organization offers a wide range of services, including job-seeking support. 

The Pickaway team came to RedBeam with a problem. With limited staff, they were struggling to keep track of their fixed assets across their two main office locations. They simply spent too much time and energy tracking the whereabouts, quantities, conditions, maintenance schedules, and depreciation status of their assets.

Luckily, our team was able to develop a tailored solution.

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Our comprehensive asset tracking system helped Pickaway track and monitor every aspect of its fixed assets. It gave them full control over the location, quantity, condition, maintenance, and depreciation status of every piece of equipment.

With a single mobile device, Pickaway streamlined its asset management process. They no longer had to spend hours doing manual tracking and time-consuming physical inventories. 

With RedBeam’s cost-effective solution, they got all the features they needed to manage their fixed assets better. The new system helped Pickaway’s team effectively manage their assets and allocate the organization’s limited resources more efficiently.

Want to achieve similar results for your organization? Sign up for the free trial of RedBeam today.

5 Crucial asset management best practices for nonprofits

Want to focus on making an impact rather than on keeping track of assets? Follow the five best practices outlined below to create an efficient system and avoid future headaches.

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Use effective asset management software and devices

Don’t sabotage yourself (and your organization) by trying to do things manually with spreadsheets. Over the long term, you will save both time and money by getting a more efficient system in place. 

Make sure you pick an asset management solution with features tailored to nonprofits. And don’t compromise on the implementation of the software. Staff smartphones and QR codes are a recipe for disaster. A robust handheld device with built-in barcode scanning means more reliable asset inventories. For example, RedBeam supports and recommends the Zebra TC52.

But unfortunately, picking the right asset management software isn’t enough — even if it’s ours. You also need to implement it in the right way. After all, there’s some truth in the old saying, “It’s not the tool; it’s how you use it.” In this case, it’s not just the tool. Acquiring the tool is just the first step.

Have a robust asset checkout policy

Make it clear how long a volunteer or staff member can check out an asset. This will help reduce issues with poor asset utilization and make it easier to keep track of where your assets are.

It’s not enough to only account for the equipment staff need for their day-to-day responsibilities. You should also have clear checkout logs for any assets or charitable gifts staff take home or out in the field.

A policy that requires everyone to fill out a quick checkout form and a timeline is key. It will give managers (and the board) a clear overview of where everything is at any given time.

Do asset inventories often (and on a set schedule)

Don’t just assume that your assets are still where they were. Do inventories often, like once a month. And schedule them in the calendar so they don’t get skipped. 

Remember, asset inventories take a lot less time with efficient asset management software in place. So this shouldn’t be a chaotic time-consuming process. For smaller offices, it shouldn’t even take an hour.

Plan your assets’ lifecycle, including maintenance and repurchasing

Don’t let your organization get slowed down by assets that break down. Instead, plan the entire lifecycle of every critical asset, including maintenance, depreciation, and repurchasing.

Plus, it’s much easier to ask for donations for this kind of administrative overhead when you have a concrete plan for your assets. A specific machine that needs replacing is a much stronger argument to a potential donor than a theoretical “maintenance budget.”

This can also help you expand the average asset lifespan, letting you do more with less.

Use data to identify waste or misuse of assets

Take advantage of the readily available data to figure out if there’s anything you lack or cases where assets are not used efficiently.

For example, within the dashboard in RedBeam, you can quickly see key stats like the number of assets by building and unfound assets. 

You can further analyze assets with custom asset reports. They let you quickly list assets that, for example, have recently been assigned a new location, a new serial number, or a new asset.

Accurate reporting is the key to better utilizing your assets across your organization.

You can also create a report on newly acquired assets to see how often they’re used and where. If your analysts prefer to break down data in Excel, you can even export the data to an Excel spreadsheet. 

This is especially useful when you want to create reports of asset value for your tax returns or other accounting purposes.

Optimize your organization’s asset management with RedBeam

There’s nothing more repetitive than manually tagging assets and listing them in a spreadsheet. By modernizing this process, you free your staff and volunteers to focus on making a difference.

Plus, a better handle on where your assets are and what state they’re in will help your organization work better. Having to call around to find a tablet isn’t exactly a recipe for productivity.

If you want a budget-friendly asset management solution with robust features (supported by enterprise-level devices), look no further than RedBeam. If you’re ready to take back control of your assets, sign up for a free trial today.