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WHITEPAPER: How to Build Efficiency in the Back Office

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Introduction I used to work for a nonprofit that supported scientific research from Antarctica to Alaska. Colorful images of scientists were richly displayed in reception areas and hallways highlighting them garbed in their bright red parkas climbing on white snow-capped mountains, emerging from fire-engine red helicopters and beaming with the warm glow of scientific discovery. The vibrant images also adorned web pages and scientific magazines engaging visitors, volunteers, and funders in the research mission of the organization. Perhaps you've lived vicariously through similar images in magazines like National Geographic or Scientific American, dreaming of a life of discovery and adventure, working on grant funded programs from the jagged edges of ice-blue glaciers with your own red parka hood pulled tight against the blowing snow. There is no doubt the latest research projects are an area that funders and volunteers alike can get excited about! Now picture a sponsored program helping disadvantaged youth or at-risk elderly people improve their lives. The images change from ones of rugged adventurism to a more emotional pull at the heartstrings. Now the views may show the frailty of an elder combined with the anticipation and thankfulness of experiencing heathy foods provided by nutrition grants. The colors may fade, and a stark black and white image showing the years of suffering and wisdom emerge. Or perhaps the colors remain but shift from images depicting nature's raw fury to the simple joys of children at play without fear, or the guarded hope of a teenager exploring the chance of a future brighter than they ever imagined. Contents 2 Introduction 4 The Future of Back Office Efficiency 6 Nine Best Practices for Building Efficiency 10 How Leaders Can Support Back Office Efficiency 12 How Software Can Support Back Office Efficiency 14 Conclusion 14 About the Author 800.443.9441 solutions@blackbaud.com www.blackbaud.com | August 2017 2 |

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