Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Charities & Non-Profits – Everything you need to know.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a popular choice of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software for charities and non-profit organisations. The solution is fully customisable, scalable, has flexible and discounted licensing, aswell as benefiting from regular updates.
Over the last year, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the charity sector. It has affected organisations in various ways, however, we have seen some charities have an additional demand on their services, and the majority face difficulty in fundraising, alongside experiencing more challenges than ever to retain existing volunteers and find new supporters.
A CRM Solution, such as Dynamics 365 can help organisations overcome these challenges and provide a platform for future growth. Within this blog, we will provide an overview of Dynamics 365 for Charities & Non-Profit Organisations, discuss the barriers to change you may be facing, highlight the benefits of the solution, what integrations there are, and more…
Click on one of the below headings to skip to that section:
What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Charities & Non-Profits?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a leading CRM platform in the Charity and Not for Profit sector. The cloud-based solution centralises all information and provides a 360-degree view of supporters, volunteers and other areas of the organisation. Additionally, the functionality enables users to manage information such as donation history, training documents, and recent communications. Event management and reporting functionality mean your organisation is supported from one solution, so there is no need for disparate systems and manual, time-consuming processes.
What are the benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Charities & Non-Profits?
There are a wide range of benefits for Charities and Non-Profit organisations when implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365, such as:
- All your data is centralised which enable you to gain a complete, real-time view of your organisation, rather than searching through various systems or spreadsheets
- Dynamics 365 can be tailored to suit your organisation and individual requirements or processes. Additionally, the solution can be scaled to suit if your needs change
- Capture all interactions and communications with your donors, sponsors, and members in one place for a coherent view of each supporter
- You can use Dynamics 365 to identify content to suit the needs and wants of each donor or supporter and ensure you provide a personal experience
- Dynamics 365 keeps everything organised and in one place when managing events, everything from bookings, donations or reminders
- Organise and optimise your volunteer or supporter workforce
- Track and analyse supporter behaviour, to understand what people have engaged with in the past, donation history, marketing preferences, etc
- Built-in dashboards present key information at a glance to enable you to make informed decisions and identify next steps
Barriers to change
Historically, charities and non-profit organisations have been slow to embrace technology, but the need to digitally transform and adopt cloud-based solutions is more pressing, which was highlighted during the pandemic. Technology is advancing quickly and if your organisations is still operating with paper-based processes or legacy systems, you could be at risk of falling behind.
We understand that change often comes with concerns and resistance, and for smaller organisations, lack of resources or internal technical expertise can also be a concern.
Let’s take a look at top reasons why organisations resist implementing Dynamics 365:
Cost – Revenue generation has always been a constant challenge for charities and non-profit organisations, now more than ever. Budgets are squeezed and yet the need for your services has never been greater.
Microsoft provide discounted licensing and pricing for charities and non-profit organisations. This gives you access to the same subscription at a heavily reduced rate (often 75% less).
Fear of change – The ‘human touch’ has always played a huge part in the success of a charity or non-profit organisation and technology can be seen as a threat in replacing or being detrimental to human interaction.
Dynamics 365 allows you to understand your stakeholders on a deep level because you have all their contact, communications, donation and engagement information at your fingertips. This enables you to deliver personalised and exceptional service more effectively.
Lack of knowledge or skill – Lack of skill is named as the second largest reason why charities or non-profits push back against implementation; concerns like the software being too complicated, not enough training being provided or changes in day-to-day processes.
Most people will have used one or more of the Microsoft products before (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc), therefore the Microsoft Dynamics 365 technology will not feel completely alien. Click here to read more about our implementation process and how we can support you through the adoption process.
Customer Success Story...
Arthur Ellis: Mental Health Support is an organisation, providing support to both children & adults to help recover, manage and maintain their mental health.
Since being founded in 2017, Arthur Ellis has grown to support people across the country and reached out to PragmatiQ Solutions to implement a Custom Business Solution to assist their growth.
Features & capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Charities and Non-Profits
Single Supporter View
Dynamics 365 provides a centralised, complete, real-time view of your donors, sponsors, members, and beneficiaries. Details such as donation history, recent communications, communication preferences, and notes, can be recorded within the system. As a result, your organisation can help deliver a better, more personalised experience.
Avoid duplication of effort and enable your staff and volunteers to access records on the go. They can update case notes, view records and see live data on any device, wherever they are.
Scalable and Flexible
As a cloud-based solution, it is simple to scale Dynamics 365 to suit your evolving requirements, this could be adding more users or onboarding another department.
Effectively manage your volunteers within Dynamics 365 by providing a full view of hours volunteered, skills, training, communications, etc. As a result, your volunteers will be more supported and motivated.
Fundraising events are a crucial part of any charity or non-profit organisation, but managing a busy calendar and maximising the opportunities these events present, can be difficult. Dynamics 365 is tailored to handle event management activities, such as bookings, donations, reminders, etc. Additionally, D365 integrates with Eventbrite as well as other ticketing platforms.
Real-time, interactive reports and dashboards, allow you to gain key insights into your organisation. Accurately report on supporter engagement trends and see the impact of your work; a task that can be time-consuming without a centralised database. Additionally, Dynamics 365 seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Power BI for more in-depth drill-down capabilities.
Empower staff and volunteers to deliver the best possible experience and customer service with case management tools. Manage enquiries, applications, complaints, DBS checks and other processes to make each journey as smooth as possible.
Continous Technology Updates
Microsoft continually invests heavily into Dynamics 365 to create new features, updates, or even whole applications. They have a clear roadmap and take user feedback into account to shape the solution.
Dynamics 365 ensures that all your important data is stored safely within a centralised database, which also has a 99.9% uptime guarantee. To access your Dynamics 365 solution secure credentials are required to sign in to the system, additionally, administrators have the ability to grant specific security permissions around certain files or information, meaning only those who require access are able to. When a team member leaves the organisation, you can simply deactivate their account, ensuring your data is safe.
Customer Success Story...
Lagan’s Foundation is a charity that supports families who have babies and children up to 5 years old, diagnosed with heart defects or feeding difficulties. Their purpose is to provide unique at-home and in-hospital care to support parents in their caring role.
The charity has grown quickly since it was established in 2013, supporting a large number of families across the North-West. In order to support them, we deisgned and implemented a Bespoke CRM Solution, built on Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Will Dynamics 365 integrate with our other software?
The short answer is yes! As part of the Microsoft eco-system, Dynamics 365 integrates seamlessly with the other Microsoft 365 products (Word, Excel, Teams, etc), the Power Platform (Power BI, Power Apps and Power Automate) as well as the other Dynamics 365 applications (Business Central, Finance and Operations, Retail, etc).
Other integrations can be made with third-party systems such as Xero, Mailchimp, Eventbrite and many more.
Pricing & licensing
As mentioned earlier in this blog post, charities and non-profit organisations can benefit from heavily discounted licensing (often 75% less), giving you access to the same subscriptions at a reduced price – find out more here.
What else can Microsoft offer?
Power Apps Portals
Power Apps Portals enable users (both internal and external) to interact with selective Dynamics 365 data and capabilities within a low-code, responsive, personalised website. Below are some examples of how an organisation could use Portals:
Booking Pages – Allow supporters, volunteers or staff to book events, services or resources. This reduces resource conflicts and enables self-service that streamlines booking systems.
Employee Self-Service Portal – Enable staff/volunteers (with or without a Dynamics 365 license) to browse through handbooks, knowledge-based articles, ask questions and provide comments or feedback.
Dynamics 365 Customer Voice
Dynamics 365 Customer Voice is a feedback management tool to create surveys and track responses. It is designed to provide a more complete view of relationships, enhance insights that will lead to better experiences, and allow you to make more informed business decisions.
Find out more about Customer Voice here.
Please find below links to other resources we think will help you on your Microsoft Dynamics 365 journey:
Customer Success Story...
MacIntyre is a national charity, providing learning, support and care for children, young people and adults with learning disabilities. The charities’ services range from employment, supported living, registered care and more.
We designed and implemented a Bespoke CRM solution, built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 to optimise their processes, increase efficiency and enhance their insights across the organisation.