Helping Nonprofits Succeed with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator
At the forefront of social change are many nonprofit organizations, including those benefiting from the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator. These organizations face challenges in finding a software solution that effectively meets their needs. Many existing solutions may fall short of addressing the unique structural, reporting, and organizational requirements of nonprofits. Additionally, licensing and customizations can often be too cost-prohibitive for these organizations.
Thanks to Microsoft’s Tech for Social Impact division (in conjunction with industry experts and other contributors), the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator was created to serve the needs of such organizations and since its inception in 2018, it has matured into a fully-featured solution to help nonprofits engage and achieve greater impact. It provides out-of-the-box functionality to assist organizations with fundraising, constituent, and volunteer management, gauging the success of programs, grant administration, and much more. Through efficient management, the goal is to help nonprofits achieve greater success than previously possible.
The Common Data Model
At the core of this solution are the CDM, the Common Data Model for Nonprofits Microsoft and a host of other contributors have endeavored to capture a data schema of over 90 entities that embody the industry’s best practices and unique requirements, allowing users to hit the ground running and enabling interoperability with other applications and connectors, to achieve true data transparency.
Essential Features for Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator
The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator manages every facet of the operations of your organization. Here are some of the commonly used features:
Constituent Management. Tracking details of donors, volunteers, stakeholders, and other individuals and organizations of importance to your organization can easily get out of hand. The Nonprofit Accelerator allows you to record and track information on your constituents with ease, giving you a complete view of your relationships.
Grants, Donations, Fundraising. Investments, awards, and grants are easily and efficiently managed right from the start of the process. Reminders can be set and renewals processed at the proper time so funding opportunities are never missed. Receiving donations is also made easier, as transactional data can be synchronized with third-party gateways for donation processing. Fundraising campaigns can be organized, scheduled, and tracked through the solution. Contact segmentation allows granular marketing efforts to identify and contact previous donors that may be interested in the latest event. Funds can be traced from their source and aligned to their results, allowing donors and beneficiaries to see how those funds are being put to work and the benefit derived from them. The entire cycle is made more efficient and transparent.
Volunteer Management. Perhaps the nonprofit organization’s most valuable assets, volunteers require a great deal of coordination. Manage volunteer profiles by tracking availability, skills, and more, allowing you to efficiently assign individuals to fulfill the tasks at hand. You can assign permissions to volunteers according to their relationship to the project. Also, volunteers’ school credits can be tracked, and regulatory compliance can be assured.
Continued Development With Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator
As mentioned before, the Nonprofit Accelerator and the Common Data Model for Nonprofits are continually refined to better meet organizational needs. Over the last few years, standards support has been added, such as the global International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Increased focus has been given to assessment management, volunteer management, and frontline humanitarian logistics, as well as deeper fundraising functionality.
Visual relationship indicators are a recent addition to the solution, making it easy to identify a contact as a major donor, recurring donor, board member, beneficiary, volunteer, or influencer. This helps donor services staff quickly understand a constituent’s relationship to the organization using visual cues on contact and account records, allowing them to engage with donors.
Guided learning and support let your staff learn about the things they need the most so they can accomplish the tasks at hand. When difficulties are encountered, this readily-available resource makes it possible to quickly find solutions to common issues, reducing help searches and support requests, reducing downtime, and getting those issues resolved more quickly.
Accelerate your projects for greater impact
If you’d like to explore the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator and you can get it now – for free – from Microsoft AppSourc. You can also try the solution in a sandbox environment right there by clicking “Test Drive.” We’re sure as you evaluate the solution, you’ll see a myriad of ways it can streamline your organization’s processes.
Looking for advice on how technology can help advance your nonprofit’s mission? Contact our experts today for a free consultation and let us help you get to the next level.
By Chandra Subramanian, CogentNext Technologies