In early 2019, DonorsChoose.org was named to Fast Company’s 2019 Most Innovative Companies list for the nonprofit sector — a remarkable honor that recognizes nearly two decades of innovation and impact in U.S. public education.

That innovation is seen in DonorsChoose.org's unique model that gives individual citizens the opportunity to support public education with contributions to classroom projects. Since 2000, the nonprofit has raised more than $824 million that’s funded books, art supplies, field trips, technology, and more, impacting nearly 34 million students.

And with revenue rising to $140 million in donations to classrooms in 2018, the nonprofit’s success hinges in part on another innovation — its move to the Sage Intacct cloud financial management platform.

As outlined in our DonorsChoose.org success story, the switch from an aging Blackbaud accounting system to Sage Intacct has paid off with new insights that support informed decisions and helps maximize program impact. And it’s made the small finance team more efficient and productive. With Sage Intacct, DonorsChoose.org has:

  • Cut out 50 hours a month in manual reporting, bill payments and revenue recognition
  • Improved overall finance team efficiency by 20%
  • Cut month-end close by 60%

“Sage Intacct delivers major productivity improvements for our team, but more importantly, it gives us access to trusted financial data on a real-time basis, which is a major benefit across our organization,” said Alliah Mohamed, director of accounting at DonorsChoose.org.

A 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator

Tellingly, the finance team over the past six years has grown from five to just six staffers even amid rapid revenue growth, and as the overall workforce expanded from 60 to 170 full- and part-time individuals.

“Making the switch from Blackbaud to Sage Intacct has saved us tremendous amounts of time by minimizing data entry and providing intuitive, powerful reporting that we just didn’t have before,” Mohamed said.

Financial management efficiency and transparency are reflected in DonorsChoose.org’s high marks on the Charity Navigator website — a maximum four-star rating and score of 96.66 out of 100. That’s a positive impression for prospective donors that evaluate a nonprofit’s worthiness of funding.

“Sage Intacct has helped us achieve and maintain a really high charity score,” Mohamed said.

A Move to Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning

In one improvement, DonorsChoose.org has cut out a full day of manual work each month by integrating Sage Intacct and Salesforce to streamline revenue recognition for corporate grants. That eliminated duplicate data entry needed with unintegrated Blackbaud and Salesforce systems.

In addition, the nonprofit has modernized its accounts payable (AP) process by connecting Sage Intacct with the DonorsChoose.org portal through which teachers submit receipts for reimbursement. The integration lets teachers view payment status, after 8 months resulted in a 73% reduction in teacher inquiries and saving 30 hours a year.

With those and other time savings, the finance team can focus on initiatives such as using Sage Intacct dashboards to track metrics like program expenses, cash balances, and accounts receivable. Reporting on operational metrics such as spending per unit for classroom projects or cost per customer service ticket provides further insights for more informed decision making.

“The benefits we’ve seen with Sage Intacct have been extremely valuable in supporting our mission of supplying donor-funded materials and equipment to schools in need,” Mohamed said.

Read the full DonorsChoose.org success story to learn more about how the nonprofit has transformed financial operations with Sage Intacct.