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Efficient Digital Document Management: A Must-Have for Charities

Storing physical documents, like financial and medical records, is necessary for charities, often mandated by regulations like HMRC’s six-year retention policy. However, the shift towards digital document storage is gaining momentum for its cost-effectiveness, enhanced security, and environmental benefits.

As highlighted by the CharityComms 2020 survey, the move to remote work underscores the need for collaborative digital tools.

Charities increasingly adopt digital document management systems (DMS) to streamline operations.

Key Features of an Ideal Digital Document Management System

  1. Document Management Capabilities: Look for features like scanning, optical character recognition (OCR) for digitizing paper documents, e-signature options, and tools for collaborative editing and version control.
  2. Software Integration: Your DMS should seamlessly integrate with tools like MS Office or CRM systems.
  3. Organized File Storage: Easy navigation and adequate storage space are essential for document archives.
  4. GDPR Compliance Support: Systems should aid in compliance with GDPR by providing access to timestamping data and possibly featuring automatic document deletion after a set period.
  5. Robust Security: Encryption for sensitive files and secure storage are critical for protecting your data.
  6. User Familiarity: Choosing systems familiar to your staff can reduce training needs and increase compliance.

Comparing Popular Digital Document Management Options

  • Microsoft Sharepoint: Ideal for larger charities, offering features like ‘document libraries’ for collaborative work, offline syncing, and metadata tagging. It supports GDPR compliance but requires training for new users due to its complexity.
  • Dropbox: A budget-friendly option for smaller charities, it offers ease of use and competitive pricing but lacks advanced document management features compared to Google Drive.
  • eFileCabinet: Suitable for charities needing to digitize large paper volumes, featuring OCR technology for efficient document organization.
  • MasterControl: Best for handling sensitive political material, offering high-level security features like dual password systems and encryption.

Embracing digital document management systems enables charities to operate more efficiently and securely, adapting to the evolving digital landscape.


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