Well-Managed Purchasing in the Non-Profit Sector: It’s About More Than Just Saving Money
Purchasing is often considered to be a necessary evil in many organizations, and non-profits are no different. All non-profits require goods and services to keep their lights on and fulfill their mandates. However, with so many competing priorities, purchasing rarely gets the attention it deserves.
Non-profits know intuitively that there is benefit in closely managing their purchasing activities, and that cost savings are available if the necessary resources can be dedicated. Taking the time to check pricing, gather multiple quotes, or simply confirm that the right goods and services are being purchased, can all drive down costs.
Still, it’s sometimes difficult to justify spending precious time on a support function, especially for smaller non-profits with already stretched capacity.
It’s important to consider, though, especially in the non-profit world, that focusing solely on cost savings means that purchasing can easily be ignored as a potential lever to drive a number of important benefits to your organization.
Investing the time to manage your non-profit’s purchasing in a professional manner can have a profound effect on your organization, far beyond cost savings.
Well-managed purchasing can yield a bevy of benefits to your organization, including:
- Reducing the risk of organizational wastefulness or mismanagement;
- Demonstrating active and effective use of funds to potential donors;
- Maximizing cost savings (though it’s not the only benefit of managed spending, it’s fundamentally important and can’t be ignored);
- Improving the quality and suitability of the goods and services being purchased;
- Forcing critical thinking around demand management (what you really need, when you really need it, and how much of it you really need), and;
- Ensuring that contractual agreements protect your organization.
It can be a challenge to find ways to put more of a focus on your organization’s purchasing needs, but the benefits of doing so in a non-profit organization are real and substantial.
Whether you handle your needs individually, seek external support, or pool your resources to work with other non-profits, the return on well-managed purchasing activities will far exceed simple cost savings.
Written by Round Table Procurement Services
Something new is on the way!
ONPHA is partnering with Round Table Procurement Services on something exciting for the community housing sector. We’re working to increase your purchasing power significantly and support your bottom lines in new ways. We’ll also be bringing you more learning and best practices on how to manage your purchasing to save your organization valuable time and money. Stay tuned for more details in the New Year.