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The 4 key steps to buying Impact Management software

May 09, 2024
Here's a guide to analyzing your role as a nonprofit board member.

Modern and comprehensive case management solutions are more important than ever for nonprofits and public sector agencies facing higher demands for efficiency and outcomes reporting. Having the right tools in place can help simplify daily tasks such as case management, participant engagement, and data tracking. Plus, solutions with built-in reporting features can make demonstrating impact to funders and donors a breeze.  

So how do you determine which features your organization needs, find the right solution, and ultimately implement new impact management technology? In this blog, we outline four key steps your organization should take when buying new software – so you can be sure you’re purchasing the best solution to meet your needs.  

Four key steps to make the software procurement process smoother

1. Evaluate your organization’s unique software needs 

Before you begin looking at potential new tools, it's important to make sure you have a solid understanding of your organization's unique needs and requirements. Take the time to reflect on your current technology and needs, so you can determine your must-haves when exploring new software options. For example: 

  • Reporting: Do you need to be able to create custom reports and interactive dashboards so your team can monitor program performance, track outcomes, and make evidence-based decisions?  
  • Security: Do you need a secure platform that meets specific security requirements such as SOC 2 Type II, HIPAA, WCAG2, etc.?  
  • Permissions: Do you need to control who has access to which information in your system?  

These are just some of the questions you may want to ask yourself as you kick off the procurement process. Download our buyer’s guide for a full list.  

2. Evaluate potential solutions with the right questions

Once you have reflected on your organization’s unique needs, it’s time to assess solutions to see which one is the best fit. When evaluating vendors, verify those key features that will be essential to your work such as what kind of program and participant data you can collect, if reporting features are built in, and how simple it will be to onboard new users. Make sure their answers align well with the list of must-haves you outlined in the previous step. It’s better to take the time to find the right solution than to quickly choose one with just some of your key requirements.  

3. Identify a champion and a sponsor for your procurement process

It’s important to identify a champion and a sponsor to support your procurement journey. The champion is responsible for understanding the challenges you’re facing and vetting potential solutions. The sponsor is the leader who not only has budget authority but can also support the implementation and adoption of the solution after purchase. Identifying these two stakeholders is key to ensuring that you find the right Impact Management solution for your organization, and you’re set up to use it successfully.

4. Determine when an RFP is not required

For public sector agencies, the software procurement process can be a bit more challenging because a Request for Proposal (RFP) might be required. However, while there are some instances when an RFP is a concrete requirement, in many cases it depends on the cost or type of solution you’re purchasing. Additionally, there are many alternative procurement paths such as state-negotiated or state-approved software contract vehicles to simplify and expedite the process.    

Bonterra can help you simplify the RFP process, either by avoiding it all together, or helping you to navigate it more easily. We have multiple state-approved alternative procurement paths and can also help your team to determine if an RFP is necessary or not. Work with Bonterra to simplify the RFP process: Request a demo to schedule a consultation.   

Download our guide to learn more about the Impact Management procurement process

Interested in learning more about how to simplify the Impact Management software procurement process? Download the buyer's guide that best suits your organization to help you better determine your software needs, evaluate potential vendors, and understand available RFP alternatives. 

Nonprofit impact management buyer’s guide 

Public Sector impact management buyer’s guide 

    Case Management
  • Human services
  • Nonprofits
  • Public agencies
  • Coordinating social services