How can Charities benefit from the Power Platform?

You might be familiar with the Microsoft Power Platform, although you may not fully understand all the benefits it can bring to the Charity sector. In this blog, we will look at each of the tools and how they can help charities & non-profit organisations with their everyday processes.

The Power Platform is a collection of tools – Power BI, Power Apps and Power Automate (previously Microsoft Flow). Each of these tools is designed to support your business in different ways, however they all enable businesses to better analyse, automate, manipulate and gain crucial insights from data.

Historically, data connection or app development would have been achieved by IT or Development teams, but it was a lengthy and costly process. The great thing about the Power Platform is that it is specifically designed for non-technical users, so that organisations can leverage the technology without coding knowledge. This approach is less costly and offers faster solutions than ever before, providing Charities with the ability to create, automate and analyse data in new ways.

Now, let’s look at how Charities can use Power Apps, Power Automate and Power BI…

Microsoft Power Platform Icons

Power Apps

Ever found yourself thinking “Wouldn’t it be great if there was an app for that”, well, that’s where Microsoft Power Apps comes in. This tool enables organisations to build bespoke business and mobile apps which solve business problems or make processes more efficient. Apps can be created quickly and easily using the low-code approach, which are then accessible from mobile, tablet or desktop with a common user interface. As with all the tools within the Power Platform, there are hundreds of connectors available to Microsoft and other 3rd party applications, meaning that you can easily connect your data sources and leverage your organisations information in different ways.

The possibilities of apps that can be built for Charities are endless. One example is a donor sign-up app, which allows people to sign up to donate money. This then takes the user through the donation journey in a simple, easy-to-use experience.

For a lot of Charities, managing referrals coming into the business is a challenge. Another example of an app is to capture referral information out in the field or to be submitted directly from a website form.

For more information about Power Apps, click here.

cartoon hand holding a phone showing a Power App used to donate to a charity

Power Automate

Power Automate allows businesses to automate repetitive tasks by creating workflows (known as flows) across various applications. Processes such as approving requests, saving email attachments, or capturing new leads, are all examples of where Power Automate can assist a business.

For Charities, volunteer onboarding is a common process that often requires approval at different stages. A workflow can be automated for this process, which recognises a new volunteer application and the associated qualifications. The application can then be approved or declined by different levels of management. Alternatively, you could set the workflow up to trigger a notification for those that complete the application form and don’t meet the qualification criteria. You would then be able to follow that application up in due time, to advise on next steps/plan to ensure the applicant has the necessary qualifications for any subsequent applications.

To read more about Power Automate, click here.

Microsoft power automate ten step flow

Power BI

Power BI is Microsoft’s data and analytics reporting tool, which pulls together disparate data and presents it in visual, easy-to-read graphs and charts. Users are then able to drill down into the data even further, gaining valuable business insights. A few examples of where Charities can use Power BI 

  • Visualise what type of companies/individuals are donating 
  • Volunteer activity and engagement 
  • How many volunteer hours have been completed in a certain period 
  • Which channels are the most popular, in terms of the source of the donations 
  • Tracking inbound referrals and their status 
Microsoft Power BI Dashboard showing donor information for a charity

Quite often, this data is stored across multiple systems. This means that a significant amount of time each month is spent gathering this and generating reports. With Power BI, the tool centralises this information and generates custom reports. This then provides critical insights that can be used to make informed, data-driven decisions.

To read more about Power BI, click here.

Get in touch…

There are plenty more examples of how Charities and Non-Profit Organisations can leverage the Power Platform. If you’d like to understand how we can support you, please get in touch on 01908 038110. or email [email protected]. Or, if you’d prefer, please fill in the form below and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.