Street children in Bucharest, underage prostitutes in Thailand and troubled youth in Burkina Faso are among those being helped by the Swedish charity organization Läkarmissionen. Thanks to the 40,000 contributions received by the organization each month, these critical projects can be carried out where the help is needed by local organizations. Läkarmissionen supervises these projects carefully.
Läkarmissionen—Medical Mission—is a foundation for relief work that operates in 44 countries on four continents. It is focused on four distinct areas: self-sufficiency, education, social care and education. The organization pledges to keep fundraising and administrative costs below 25% of expenditures, yet must quickly and accurately processes nearly 500,000 contributions per year.
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It is of the utmost importance for Läkarmissionen to be able to guarantee that all donations reach their recipients and that money is well spent. Many people contact the organization to check how their contributions will be used and that administrative costs are kept to an absolute minimum.
“As a state-certified charity organization, we have committed ourselves to keep costs for fundraising and administration below 25%, which means that at least 75% of each donation should always go directly to our aid projects,” says Monika Frieberg, IT Manager. “For us, the costs are well below that. We are currently at about 19%.”
So how is Läkarmissionen able to keep their costs down? Since 1999, one of the answers is the use of ReadSoft forms processing solution to automatically interpret information on their donation cards.
“Since we automatically register amount, name, and where the money is supposed to go, we are able to transfer the information from our donation cards to our business system very quickly,” Frieberg says. Previously, the cards were registered manually, and staff members found themselves continuously behind the processing timetable.
By using ReadSoft’s software FORMS, Läkarmissionen has been able to substantially improve the working environment while eliminating two full-time positions. “It is important for our staff to feel they are on top of things and not buried in paperwork,” Frieberg says. “Moreover, we spare their shoulders, hands and eyes by decreasing the manual registration.”
Some 8,000 donations cards arrive at Läkarmissionen every day. Only the ones that the software is not 100% sure of have to be manually verified. The numerous random checks that have been made show clearly that FORMS is accurate enough to run without human intervention when the software is certain of its interpretation.
For new donors, ReadSoft’s ADDRESSES product is used to validate the address and ensure that the donor’s address is valid. The history of each donor is saved in Läkarmissionen’s busi-ness system. Because FORMS is able to interpret and transfer the information so quickly, Läkarmissionen now has time to send a thank-you note to each donor--highly appreciated by donors. Previously, it was not possible to do this within a reasonable time.
Monika Frieberg IT Manager Läkarmissionen
It is crucial for us to be able to give a good answer to the people contacting us about what we do to keep administrative costs down.
“FORMS has been a great improvement to how we work with charity projects and fundraising,” says Frieberg. “It is crucial for us to be able to give a good answer to the people contacting us about what we do to keep administrative costs down. We are very satisfied with ReadSoft’s software.”