Making a Difference: BPO in the NGO Sector

NGOs aim for positive global change but face hurdles with limited resources and tasks. BPO, proven cost-effective for-profit organizations, may bring similar benefits to NGOs, enhancing support and operations. How? Let's explore.
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Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) strive to bring positive change worldwide through social, humanitarian, and research efforts. However, their nonprofit status, limited resources, and tedious tasks block them from prioritizing critical initiatives.

Business process outsourcing (BPO) now comes into play. Many for-profit organizations benefit from this practice due to its cost-effectiveness. Service providers employ skilled professionals and advanced solutions to deliver affordable, high-quality support. 

Will BPO bring similar benefits to institutions in the NGO sector? Definitely. But in what way? 

Let us tackle how outsourcing helps boost an NGO’s overall operations.

Why Do Nonprofits Need Third-Party Support?

Although NGOs operate independently, they need help preparing tiresome paperwork quickly and cost-effectively. Their limited budget and reliance on grants, donations, and fundraising activities prevent them from hiring many skilled staff members to implement game-changing projects.

Thus, workers must juggle multiple roles and responsibilities to offset the limited workforce. For instance, an NGO’s operations director may also handle human resources (HR) management, payroll processing, and facility administration.

Other than funding and staffing issues, nonprofits also experience difficulties in achieving these objectives:

  • Achieving long-term sustainability due to project-based and short-term grants.
  • Mobilizing public support for social change, policy recommendations, and related efforts
  • Deploying and maintaining advanced systems and infrastructure 
  • Building and expanding partnerships.
  • Calculating and handling finances
  • Monitoring and mitigating data and security threats
  • Collecting, evaluating, and reporting project impacts.

So what is BPO’s role in the NGO segment? Simple: provide affordable access to specialized skills, modern solutions, and streamlined processes. Contractors allow nonprofit organizations to focus on their core missions by taking over the following tasks:

  • Financial management and accounting
  • Donor relationship management
  • Fundraising and grant administration
  • Data entry, collection, and analysis
  • General back-office support
  • Information technology (IT) support
  • Digital marketing and social media management
  • Program research, monitoring, and evaluation 
  • Event hosting and project management

How BPO Brings Change to NGOs

Service providers have helped transform small, mid-sized, and large businesses; they can do the same for NGOs. Vendors deliver the following BPO advantages to assist nonprofits in driving change and boosting their operations without spending extra dollars:

Save on Costs

Outsourcing helps NGOs save on labor, infrastructure, and real estate. BPO firms offer service packages with hourly or monthly fees, providing between 50% and 70% employment cost savings. They also handle the operating costs associated with staff hiring, training, compensation, and incentives.

For instance, an NGO must pay an average of $29 per hour when hiring an entry-level accountant in-house. But employing one from a Philippine-based financial services provider costs around $2 to $3 an hour. 

Furthermore, BPO eliminates the need to buy new equipment and expand office space. Many third-party professionals work remotely. Some work in dedicated facilities provided by their employers. They also use their own computers and related devices to efficiently complete their tasks.

Optimize Robust Technologies

BPO providers optimize and invest in robust technologies to help NGOs accelerate their daily operations. Partnering with a third party lets nonprofit institutions use the systems below, even though they would typically be inaccessible due to budget constraints or insufficient in-house expertise. 

  • Omnichannel platforms for seamless communication
  • Cloud-based project management tools for smooth collaboration
  • Robotic process automation (RPA) for faster task completion
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) for improved data collection and analysis
  • Cloud computing solutions for safe online information management
  • Cybersecurity systems for enhanced sensitive data protection
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software for donor partnership tracking 
  • Accounting and financial management tools for budget management and monitoring

Service providers do not charge NGOs a separate fee to optimize these technologies. The nonprofit institution can also rent the infrastructure by itself, such as on a contact center as a service (CaaS) platform. NGOs can benefit freely from those solutions without worrying about increased system maintenance expenses.

Leverage Specialized Skills

BPO organizations employ highly skilled and trained professionals with expertise in various domains, such as customer service, IT assistance, marketing, and financial management. These experts immerse themselves in the latest industry trends and best practices. 

Nonprofits can use these professionals’ insights and capabilities to quickly detect and address issues impacting their work. Their BPO expertise assists in identifying and addressing an NGO’s areas for improvement. 

Expand Donor Networks and Program Partners

Using automation and CRM tools, third-party workers help nonprofits speed up their donor research and sourcing efforts. For example, outsourced digital marketers help quickly produce engaging social media content to attract individual and corporate sponsors. 

Meanwhile, these experts use data analytics and CRM platforms to gather relevant details, study donor preferences, and create partner profiles. This data helps NGOs understand their target audience better and build exclusive partnerships for their core missions. 

Other benefits of working with a provider include:

  • Simplifying fundraising campaign planning and execution
  • Enhancing grant research and proposal writing
  • Improving logistics and financial management 
  • Initiating donor and partner engagement 
  • Building solid and cooperative program networks
  • Boosting communication and outreach activities
  • Broadening visibility through unified email-based newsletters, blog posts, and other posters

Boost Scalability During Hectic Periods

BPO is crucial to boosting an NGO’s scalability during busy seasons. Service providers employ flexible workers capable of handling increased demand quickly and effectively. These employees undergo regular BPO training to adapt to changing processes and requirements.

So if a nonprofit institution needs about five extra financial management workers to complete its Christmas donation drive, they can hire them from third-party vendors. BPO firms implement established processes to facilitate these professionals’ rapid onboarding and deployment. 

The Bottom Line

NGOs have always maintained an image of being independent social and global change advocates. But their reliance on donations, grants, and sponsorships causes them to operate with a tight budget and a small workforce. They even experience challenges that hinder them from smoothly executing their core missions. 

Luckily, BPO providers have up-to-date solutions and scalable workers to help NGOs make a difference. A vendor’s cost-effective services and innovative solutions assist nonprofits in expanding their partner networks and streamlining their primary projects. These capabilities are beneficial when NGOs operate during busy seasons.

Are you an organization that struggles to spread awareness and drive change? Let’s connect and discuss how to ease your heavy workloads without overspending. Our team at Unity Communications is proficient in using advanced systems for enhanced program management and execution. 

Joyce Ann Danieles
Joyce Ann Danieles is an SEO content writer from Manila, Philippines. She’s comfortable writing outsourcing-focused articles, helping you clarify the confusing concepts surrounding the BPO industry. With her experience in news writing and copywriting, she’s always ready to feed your brain with random facts and creative insights.   Outside work, Joyce explores the world of literature. She tries to write fiction she hopes to share with everyone someday.
Joyce Ann Danieles

Joyce Ann Danieles

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