Do nonprofits need a CRM?

The simple answer is: YES!

Because 82% of the nonprofits that use CRM have reported seeing its benefits according to a recent study.

Typically, these benefits include, increase in the numbers of new volunteers and donors, heightened engagement with and retention of current constituents, efficient and highly integrated organisational procedures, cloud-based data centralisation, and data-driven decision making when it comes to allocation of funds.

The answer is a YES also because not having a proper CRM solution in place means limiting the organisation to a narrower view of constituents, encouraging communication gap and making poor use of scarce resources. That, inevitably, hinders the scalability and long-term sustainability of nonprofits.

Since charities have never been under so much pressure to discover what’s happening within and outside their organisations, and also to display their efficacy, a powerful CRM solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365 is gravely essential.

It allows nonprofits to maximise their social impact by eliminating a range of challenges that they have to encounter because of outgrown systems.

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Challenges for the Nonprofits

As organisations across the world become increasingly reliant on enterprise enablement technologies, nonprofits also have to adapt and make optimal use of technological solutions, else they are destined to face these common challenges as they grow.

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1. Inefficiency in managing grants

Managing funds and grants is a crucial part of charity organisations. Keeping track of incoming and outgoing resources with spreadsheets and small productivity apps only means multiplying the probability of miscalculations and misallocations.

2. Limited scalability and growth

With old systems, it is impossible for nonprofits to scale their operations as the organisation grows in scope and membership, thereby, limiting their ability to deliver a lot with finite resources.

3. Trouble collaborating seamlessly

Outdated platforms force departments and teams within nonprofits to work in silos leading to a distorted view of their constituents and decline in collaboration.

4. Inconsistent and insecure data

Departmental silos also lead to decentralised and inconsistent data. That means delayed information sharing, inaccurate insights, and also security risks that creates – whether it is a cyberattack or human errors.

5. Poorly integrated systems

Poor integration among various operational, marketing and finance software breaks processes that ought to be seamless for higher organisational efficiencies.

6. Difficulty in tracking constituents

Nonprofits also have to track human resources – members, volunteers and donors. Without a CRM solution in place, nonprofits will have to depend on manual processes to engage with and add value for each member, donor, volunteer and potential lead, which is not very efficient.

How Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Nonprofits can help charity organisations?

These challenges can create havoc within charity organisations. Internal processes become too chaotic and compartmentalised. Poor grant management and misaligned communication lead to ruined constituent relationships, and, thus, limited donations.

That’s where Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Nonprofits comes in. It’s a CRM – Constituent Relationship Management – solution from Microsoft for charities of all sizes. Used by the likes of UNICEF Netherlands and Team Rubicon, and liked by many, there are several key benefits of using Dynamics 365 for all kinds of nonprofits.

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Benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for nonprofits

1. Properly manage and allocate funds

Receiving and managing monetary donations also become more seamless through cards and direct debit. Managing various price lists, subscriptions and associated member benefits gets a lot easier as does processing gifts and pledges.

Not only that, the Dynamics 365 CRM helps nonprofits manage incoming and outgoing funds more effectively than its counterparts, thus, allowing for more transparency and honesty, which ultimately builds trust and good PR.

Moreover, with the advanced reporting capabilities of Power BI create deeper and more meaningful insights from organisational data, simplified even for non-data savvy people, who are likely to be donors and grantors. This can help nonprofits to ensure their goals and interests are better aligned with those of their donors, thus, increasing the inflow of donations and grants.

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2. Engage and retain existing members

Dynamics 365 allows members to self-serve through online portals, and communicate and gain information using web chats and thoughtful articles. Nonprofits can efficiently deliver highly personalised messages with aptly tailored marketing content to the right people at the right time. That comes in handy whenever there is a fundraising campaign or a similar event. Even more interestingly, this CRM solution allows charity officers to create new cases from different channels and resolve them using the AI.

3. Attract and onboard new members

With the social engagement and listening tools in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for nonprofits, charities can target and engage with prospective members and volunteers. Likewise, a fully integrated marketing automation tool makes it much easier to reach out to new members. Also, accurate insights from hot leads allows nonprofits to dynamically serve web content relevant to web visitors’ stage of the buyer journey. Additionally, they can use Dynamic 365 to intelligently route hot leads to the right team for higher conversion rate.

4. Training and fundraiser events

The D365 CRM platform also allows nonprofits to run training and workshops smoothly whether they’re physical or online. From registration and attendance to live streaming and making resources available afterwards, all processes and tasks get less cumbersome. That frees up a lot of time to focus on fostering collaboration and achieving organisational goals. Moreover, charities can support their members with in-built tools to help them gain efficiency and assist volunteers to understand internal processes.

5. Seamless integration

While Microsoft Office suite is the legacy software base for many charity organisations, applications, like Teams, have become the preferred choice of communication and collaboration between multitude of social workers. As such, Dynamics for Nonprofits can seamlessly integrate with other finance and operation apps within Microsoft Ecosystem as well as many third-party tools, thereby, creating meaningful information and streamlining several key procedures for added productivity.

6. Fully customisable and highly useful

One of the key reasons why Dynamic 365 is popular with top nonprofits is the flexible app-based structure it comes with. This CRM system has an underlying Common Data Model that has been designed for the most accurate customisation for all the unique processes that charities might have. Common Data Model offers standardised, extendable data schemas from Microsoft and its partners. These make charity workers’ lives much easier when it comes to fundraising, constituent management, grants and awards, delivery of programs and tracking their impact. In addition to that, Microsoft’s Nonprofit Accelerator allows charities to extend the Common Data Model and has samples and templates for apps, data and dashboard and office documentation. What’s more, with the D365 system in place, charities can ensure the best and fullest level of integrated functionality.

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7. Modernise and automate key processes with ‘Power Platform’

With Dynamics 365, charities can develop no-code or low-code apps for their constituents to allow the automation of routine organisational processes. Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Power Automate are there to help nonprofits provide a solid structure to their apps. Moreover, they can embed virtual bots in Teams to answer FAQs and search for relevant documents. Power BI report is another very useful tool to embed within Teams workplace. Additionally, other organisational processes within finance and operations can also benefit from this. Strategic processes like monitoring organisation performance and tracking constituent engagement in real-time become a lot easier, as do preparing future projections, analysing the overall impact, and making data-driven decisions.

8. Cloud-based data centralisation and security

Having Microsoft CRM means charities can centralise all their data in the cloud so that information about how donations and grants have been used can be seen in a holistic way. That’s because centralisation of data provides a single source of truth. Not only will this aid in getting even more funds for nonprofits but they can also secure the data against cyber-attacks, natural disasters or human errors.

9. Apply for Microsoft Tech for Social Impact grant

All charities and nonprofits using the Dynamics solution are eligible to apply for generous support as part of the Microsoft Tech for Social Impact (TSI) initiative. It is one of many philanthropic programs of Microsoft that can be of great assistance for many social organisations trying to create greater impacts with limited resources.

10. The lowest barrier to entry

All these reasons and factors definitely allow Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Nonprofits to have a considerably low barrier for all nonprofits to enter. Not only is it easier to adopt than other CRM platforms, it is advanced, highly customisable and configurable, fully integrated and totally cloud-based.

Ready to take Action?

With more than a decade of experience in CRM technology implementations and as Gold CRM partners of one of the leading CRM providers, Microsoft Dynamics 365, we can offer the best advice and assistance to help make your nonprofit CRM project a success. You can call us at 01296 328 689 or email us at info@dogmagroup.co.uk.

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