I am guessing that the answer is “No”. Most most ministry partners have never had to consider how Ethnos360 keeps track of donations. I doubt you have ever thought about how we keep in contact with candidates who wish to become members. You may have questioned if Ethnos360 spends it’s funds wisely, buy have you wondered how we track the funds to prove that to the auditors.
These issues all happen in the background until…
- …a donor calls in to ask how the donation for the school in Asia was used.
- …the Ethnos360 representative who spoke at a church finds out that the family who responded to an alter call just applied to be missionaries.
- …a new donor wishes to see the audited financial statements to determine if Ethnos360 is managing funds wisely.
How do we keep track of all of that?
We keep track of all of that using an Enterprise Information System (E.I.S). An E.I.S. is a computer software system that Ethnos360 uses to assist our members and volunteers, interact with donors, and manage finances for missionaries and projects. Ethnos360 has been using the same FoxPro accounting system for 20 years now, and it has served us well. We are able to process donations faster and with fewer people than many of the other mission boards. Sadly, computers are changing, and the program will soon not be able to run on the newer computer systems. In addition to that, with cyber security threats increasing and regulations constantly changing, our small programming team will be unable to write and maintain a new accounting system that will work in the modern environment. Thus we have embarked on a journey to find a new complete (E.I.S) software system.
Can’t we just buy a software program?
We can use a standard software systems for most of what we do, but there are some unique things that mission organizations must do which other organizations do not need to do. And since mission organizations don’t have tens of millions of dollars to spend for software, companies do not write software specifically for missions.
What do we do now?
We have assembled a team of from all of our departments who will use the new system. Our team will be working with software professionals to find various software products which can be modified to do our work. In the coming months we will be making many decisions as to which software we will use for the accounting and other program needs. Please pray as these will be HUGE decisions.
God’s Blessings so far:
- God has used this to cause us to be completely dependent on Him, because we do not have the talent or resources to do this ourselves.
- We have been greatly blessed through several software experts who have come to volunteer their time to help us through this process.
- This is a job that I feel uniquely gifted to help with, since my strengths are in the area of accounting and programming.