Charity turns to the power of PDF to deliver excellent results (case study)

Why free PDF software wasn’t the answer for one charity

Austin Clark | 5th Jan 18

Productivity, efficiency and financial expedience are terms often associated with large scale public and private sector organisations, especially in an economic climate that has created an environment where many businesses have to do more with less. But precisely the same discipline applies to not-for-profit organisations. With their survival dependent on the donations and generosity of others, their need for financial caution is often as great – if not greater – than the corporate ‘beasts’.

Charities’ financial proficiency is driven by the need to help as best they can the communities or groups that they have chosen to serve or represent. In the case of the Starfish Christian Trust – established six years ago – it aims to change lives by providing medical assistance, relieving hardship, aiding communities and rescuing slave families.

Its endeavours have seen it succeed in building schools in Pakistan and Ethiopia and supporting widows and orphans in India, while providing emotional support and guidance by preaching and teaching around the world.


Free PDF solutions that come at a price

Given the scale of its activities globally, it is important that the progress being made by the charity’s projects globally are reported back to its headquarters. The reports it receives can comprise multiple sources – from Word documents to photographs – so it is key that they are compiled in an effective and efficient way.

Stan Gain, Chairman, Starfish Christian Trust, explained the scenario: “Often, I would receive the reports as PDFs. At first the freeware PDF solutions proved attractive. However, they were very restricted in their capabilities. While I had no problem reading the documents with the freeware solutions, they never really did what I needed them to do and they were of little use. For instance, it was impossible for me to search for specific pieces of information from them, or to extract content and images to combine into one report.”

What Starfish Christian Trust needed instead, was a powerful, feature-rich PDF solution that, unlike freeware solutions, provided enterprise-grade PDF capabilities but at a fraction of the price of other PDF solutions available.


The solution

Today, Starfish Christian Trust is using Nuance Power PDF, which enables users to create, edit, annotate and share PDF documents.

Developed to be exceptionally easy to use, Power PDF is a fraction of the price of other solutions, with a perpetual license approach that better suits the needs of many organisations, across all sectors.

Power PDF 2 features the richest set of capabilities for collaborating and securely sharing PDF files with colleagues and customers, and the software provides all the tools needed to annotate, mark up, sign, secure, redact and compress PDFs and create and work with PDF forms, making it easy to edit and publish PDF files. Users can quickly convert files from Word to PDF and from PDF to Word with extraordinary compatibility, accuracy and reliability. Thanks to its versatility, Power PDF is winning over a growing number of users – in the legal sector and beyond – for its ease of use, enterprise-grade accuracy, feature set and value for money.

Stan is adamant that the move to Power PDF has been the right one for the Starfish Christian Trust. He stated: “There is no doubt that Power PDF has transformed my work and I no longer struggle as I did with many of the freeware PDF tools.”

Stan explains more about how Power PDF has helped boost his productivity. “Before I started using Power PDF, I would often have to retype content from reports which is both time consuming and runs the risk of introducing a retyping error. Power PDF’s conversion function means I can convert and edit documents really easily now. Without it, this exercise would have taken a whole morning. Now I can easily complete several pages in a morning. Additionally, Power PDF’s conversion accuracy is excellent. In thousands of words of text, I’ve yet to spot a mistake. I now spend less time on time-consuming but essential administration, and more time on activities that actually benefit the people that the charity was founded to aid.”

Stan continued: “Another benefit of Power PDF’s capabilities is that when updates come in from around the world, they often include pictures that show either the conditions or challenges faced by the local area. Power PDF makes it easy to lift these pictures and add them to compile one overview document. This was not possible with the freeware offerings.”

Even though Stan admits he hasn’t yet explored all of Power PDF’s many features, he stated that he is “…delighted with the product,” and he highlighted its best features as the ease with which information can be searched for and extracted, the simplicity of converting one document into another file format, and the simplicity with which it enables him to work with images and pictures.