focus on fundraising

A Non-Profit’s Guide to FileMaker

We’ve covered what FileMaker can offer your organization in previous posts. If you aren’t yet familiar with the fundamentals of the FileMaker Platform, we recommend you start there. In this post, we focus on the unique challenges non-profits face and how a custom FileMaker Platform can tackle those problems.

Areas Where the FileMaker Platforms Excels

With a FileMaker solution developed around your unique goals and operations, you can address inefficiencies in these areas:


Whether you’re planning a fundraising event or you’re tracking an ongoing fundraising initiative, FileMaker makes it that much easier to ensure you achieve your goals. By integrating smaller milestones into larger projects and making them accessible via a comprehensive dashboard, FileMaker keeps your team motivated with a clear path toward success. No longer will your team have to guess whether their work is paying off; with FileMaker, they’ll be able to track and witness the fruits of their labor in real-time.

Content Management

Clarifying and expanding your organization’s messaging is critical to maximizing the amount of good you’re about to do. FileMaker has the capabilities to streamline and centralize your content management platforms. From uploading and tracking blogs to managing your next marketing campaign, the FileMaker Platform allows you to ensure your branding remains consistent at every level while sending powerful messages to potential donors, volunteers, and the world at large.

Event Management

Fundraising events are an essential part of expanding your organization’s reach in the community. With so many moving pieces, making sure your next event goes off without a hitch could quickly turn into a full-time job in itself. Let FileMaker track the assets, personnel, milestones, and vendors your next event will depend on for success. Because your FileMaker solution updates in real time, every member of your team has access to the latest information and you can see how planning comes together with just a few clicks or taps.

Expense Reporting

Running a successful non-profit is about more than just raising money; you need to know precisely how you’re spending it, too. FileMaker simplifies expense reporting for everyone in your organization so you can accurately break down expense reports. As a non-profit, transparency is critical to ensuring your organization’s integrity and reputation remain untarnished. With FileMaker, you’ll be able to prioritize transparency like never before, so you can hold your team accountable to donors, volunteers, and the communities you serve.

Personnel Records

As a non-profit, your people are your most valuable asset. With FileMaker, staying up to date on who’s backing your organization becomes an organic part of your day-to-day operations. From tracking volunteer applications and background checks to overseeing employee benefits, a FileMaker centralizes the resources your organization needs to grow.

Volunteer Scheduling

If your organization depends on volunteers to maximize how much good you’re able to do, you understand the importance of simplifying scheduling. After all, the easier you make it for employees to schedule when and where they want to volunteer, the more likely they are to follow through on their commitment. 

With the FileMaker Platform, you can make it simple for volunteers to plan and track their schedules. At the same time, your team will be able to see exactly how much help they can expect at any given time. Because your updates are in real-time, you can minimize the risk of any miscommunication about when and where volunteers are supposed to be.

Donor and Sponsor Engagement

While engaging donors and sponsors is essential to gaining access to resources today, it’s all the more important to inspire benefactors to continue supporting your cause in the future. With the intuitive FileMaker Platform, you can prioritize donor engagement and ensure everyone in your community understands your organization’s latest project, initiatives, events, and accomplishments. With a centralized platform for tracking and managing sponsor engagement, you can be confident that all your organization’s partners are prepared to support your goals.

Your FileMaker Partners

As a non-profit organization, you understand the importance of forming long-term relationships for ongoing success. If you’re interested in leveraging the power of the FileMaker Platform to help your organization achieve new levels of prosperity, contact the experts at Skeleton Key today. We’ll take the time to understand your organization’s unique mission and values so we can design and deploy a FileMaker solution that helps your organization maximize the amount of good you’re doing in the world.

operation food search

How We Streamlined Data Entry for a Non-Profit

At Skeleton Key, our overarching goal is to help people and organizations in all sectors, including non-profits, overcome operational inefficiencies and escape the work rut with the power of the FileMaker Platform. When Operation Food Search came to us with some specific challenges they were facing, our team readily accepted the task. In this post, we’ll explore the particular problems, solutions, and results related to that project so you can gain a deeper understanding of how Skeleton Key can help your organization next.

The Mission of Operation Food Search

operation food search

Operation Food Search is committed to connecting people with food. They work with partner agencies to close the food gap in rural and urban communities by coordinating and scheduling with those partners to collect donations from restaurants and grocery stores. Their partners then distribute those donations to food pantries across the region.

The Problem

When Skeleton Key and Operation Food Search met, Operation Food Search was drowning in triplicate forms generated during the cumbersome donation and pick-up process. Even disregarding this inefficiency and the sheer cost of the paper forms themselves, it took the organization weeks to account for a single day’s worth of donations. These extended turnaround times resulted in frustration, food waste, and miscounted donations—or even missing donations entirely—because of incomplete forms and a lack of real-time, actionable data. If ever there was a work rut that needed escaping, Operation Food Search was in it.

Operation Food Search realized they needed an easier way to orchestrate and manage donation information. Fortunately, a donation of iPads from one of their largest donors prompted an introduction to the business team at the local Apple Store and a subsequent referral to the problem solvers at Skeleton Key.

The Solution

Operation Food Search worked with Skeleton Key to build a custom FileMaker solution and replaced almost all the donation paperwork with iPads that were either purchased directly or provided by donors. Partner agencies now use the iPads and the user-friendly app created by Skeleton Key to collect real-time information at every step of the process, without the need for a consistent internet connection. 

This new approach enables Operation Food Search to quickly scale and adapt to meet their donors’ growing generosity. With the ability to handle increased donations as well as pick-up demands, Operation Food Search is now able to account for more contributions every day. By using FileMaker and having Skeleton Key as their development team, Operation Food Search is making it easier to get more food to the people who need it most.

The Result

As a direct result of their customized FileMaker Platform, Operation Food Search has been able to accept and deliver more food donations every day, thereby maximizing the amount of good they’re able to do in the community.

Skeleton Key Is Here to Help Your Organization Next

No matter what industry your organization operates in, the team at Skeleton Key is ready to help your team overcome specific challenges next. Contact us today, and we’ll work with you to clarify your unique struggles and show how the FileMaker Platform can help you overcome those inefficiencies.