Carlson Thought Leadership in Finance & Technology

Why Adaptive Insights is a Great Fit for Nonprofit Finance

November 15, 2018 / by Lauren Strohmeier

Ethan Carlson - Adaptive Insights for NonprofitsThere are nonprofit organizations around the world devoted to making a difference. As an advocate for worthy causes, you likely joined a nonprofit that aligns with your values. You’re devoted to your purpose – doing good in the broader community and being in service to others. You’re a part of an organization that creates a better future.

As you dedicate your professional life to the cause you believe in, Carlson Management Consulting and Adaptive Insights are here to join your journey.

Because you’re an agent of change, you deserve the best in business planning technology to help you make a true impact. An Adaptive Insights implementation by Carlson helps you support your cause with budgeting and planning capabilities and processes ideally suited to nonprofits.



Image: Founder and CEO, Ethan Carlson, provided an overview

and demo of Adaptive Insights to a full room of Nonprofit finance

leaders at Sage Intacct Advantage.


Here’s why Adaptive Insights is a great fit for your nonprofit:


Move to Active Planning

Move to Active Planning

Are you using spreadsheets? That can be a static process that slows progress. When using spreadsheets, most nonprofits face inefficiencies in reporting, scenario planning, forecasting, managing headcount, and collaborating across teams. Those inefficiencies can hinder momentum.

When you move to Adaptive Insights, you move to active planning. You fast-track your progress through increased efficiency.

In using Excel, there’s also the limitation of being unable to gain additional insights into programs or initiatives. Essentially, you’re working partially in the dark.

Adaptive Insights illuminates many areas of business with its drill-down capabilities, giving you better visibility into your organization’s finances and operations. Valuable information comes to light, so you can make informed decisions.

Plan and Forecast by Program

Plan and Forecast by Program

With Adaptive’s built-in features, you can plan and forecast by program, project, fund, grant, season, and location. You can also track expenses and donor contributions, perform allocations, manage financials across funds and projects, and perform balance sheet and cash flow planning.

By leveraging these configurable features, you accelerate your budgeting and planning cycles. You get more done faster, so you have time to focus on value-added analysis and strategy.

Report Across Funds and Projects

Report Across Funds and Projects

Want to measure how your funds are contributing to the progress of your projects? You likely have specific metrics you want to evaluate to get a clear picture of performance. Adaptive is highly intuitive to the insights you want to discover.

Adaptive’s easy-to-use functionality allows you to effectively generate balance sheets and financial statements. With drag-and-drop reporting across multiple dimensions, you can evaluate the performance of your funds, projects, programs, departments, and teams.

Additionally, showcasing your findings to key stakeholders is much easier with Adaptive’s automated reporting capabilities. By using its drag-and-drop features with several clicks of the mouse, you can create a variety of compelling and meaningful reports that gets everyone in sync with your initiatives.

Analyze Fundraising Initiatives

Analyze Fundraising Initiatives

As you know, fundraising is the life force of your nonprofit. With Adaptive, you can plan your fundraising efforts and analyze them across multiple channels. Develop plans based on average donor contributions and cost per program. Additionally, you can model personnel allocations for programs and projects, plan program overheads, and allocate shared costs.

Forecast the Future

Forecast the Future

Did you know many nonprofits using Excel face issues creating forecasts? That’s because of the static quality of spreadsheets.

With Adaptive, you can very quickly create a forecast and conduct a rolling forecast. Specifically, you can update your data, easily incorporate your actuals throughout the fiscal year, and generate highly-predictive forecasts that give you a powerful look into what’s on the horizon.

What-if Scenarios

It’s great to predict the future; it’s even better to shape it. Shaping the future begins with knowing what to do in the present. Adaptive offers Versions, where you can create ‘what-if’ scenarios. For example, what if you add a new program? What if you allocate more resources to a specific initiative? What effect will membership growth have? You can measure these findings, then display them in dashboards with easily-understood visualizations.

As you discover the impact of select scenarios, you can guide your nonprofit towards successful outcomes.

Make a Difference, Together

Make a Difference, Together

Adaptive is made for collaboration and teamwork. As a cloud-based solution, it allows key members throughout your nonprofit to access information. You can collaborate with program managers and country managers to project managers out in the field and more.

With Adaptive’s Notes feature, users can share thoughts with each other. Like a virtual roundtable, this information-sharing leads to new ideas, remedies and actions.

By serving as a unified place for collaboration, Adaptive fosters strong communication within and between teams. Everyone becomes in tune with the nonprofit’s goals, working in alignment to execute on the mission.   

Build a High-Performing Team

Build a High-Performing Team

Your nonprofit’s future depends on the performance of its team.

Adaptive helps you build a high-performing team through detailed personnel insights. You can plan how much you want to budget for each employee. Want to drill down into the specifics? You can explore each cell to get a more complete picture of each employee. If you’re considering making personnel changes, you can also see the effects of these changes.

With this knowledge, you know how to best allocate your resources to maximize the strengths and contributions of your employees.

Integrate with Microsoft Office via OfficeConnect

Integrate with Microsoft Office

You may want to integrate your data with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Excel.

That’s why Adaptive offers OfficeConnect, which connects Adaptive with the entire Office suite. With a simple drag-and-drop interface, you can bring model elements into your selected application and then distribute the information. You have more flexibility with how you format, share, and present your findings. OfficeConnect is particularly useful for Board reporting. Rather than spend days updating data and formatting reports, just update the Board report with a click of the mouse.

Report in Style

Report in Style

With Adaptive, you can report on your data better than ever before. Specifically, you can build out a wide variety of financial and operational reports.  These can be shared on a self-service basis via HTML reporting.

Adaptive gives you effective ways to collect data, budget and plan by program or project, plan grants, and then report on them. Ultimately, you gain a greater understanding of how programs are being funded, expenses, and other key metrics.

Make Data-Driven Decisions

How can you get the most value from your data? With Adaptive Discovery, you can decode the meaning behind the numbers. You transform data into actionable information.

Additionally, you can identify patterns and showcase them through attractive charts, graphs, and more. Because its dashboards have detailed analytics, you can track any KPIs or trends. You make discoveries about your nonprofit that can help you make data-driven decisions.

Making a difference begins with discovery (7)Adaptive Insights: The Perfect Companion to Your Cause

The difference you make with your nonprofit begins with discovery. Adaptive gives you the insights to advance your cause and create a community of shared purpose. It’s a single source of Truth that harnesses the collective strengths of your team for the greater good.

Want more information on why Adaptive is the perfect companion to your cause? Contact us to discover how we can create a better future together.


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