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The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator:
Providing end-to-end mission delivery and impact tracking with Dynamics 365
Microsoft is on a mission to empower charities with the tools to drive greater social impact through innovation. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is widely used in the charity space for providing organisation-wide management of supporters, fundraising, grants and volunteers; but, until recently, charities have been very reliant on partners to transform the platform into a system that works seamlessly for a Nonprofit.
Microsoft’s Non-Profit Strategy
In November 2018, Microsoft’s dedicated Technology for Social Impact Team announced the release of their Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator: a set of pre-built capabilities and solutions to meet the specific needs of Not-for-Profit organisations. Their goal? To make it simpler for non-profits and their partners to design, embed and adopt these solutions, speeding up their time to value and delivering a consistent approach in line with industry standards.
The Nonprofit Accelerator: A Closer Look
The Nonprofit Accelerator has been specifically designed to drive non-profit processes, including program delivery, supporter and volunteer management, fundraising and impact measurement. It is powered by a Nonprofit specific version of Microsoft’s Common Data Model, the first common data standard built specifically for the sector.
Using this Nonprofit-specific data model and business processes, the Nonprofit Accelerator caters for scenarios the are unique to the sector: for example, recognising that a contact can have multiple roles simultaneously (supporter, volunteer and member etc.)
Entities and fields have been renamed, repurposed or created to achieve this, and the result is a relevant yet extensible starting point for a Nonprofit CRM system.
Why adopt the Nonprofit Accelerator?
It speeds things up
By starting with a more appropriate data model, Microsoft Partners like Pythagoras can speed up the delivery of a Nonprofit- specific system. Not only does this mean that charities can save time and money, but it enables Partners to focus their time on truly understanding the needs of their customer and tailoring the system to address these.
It provides the benefits of a Nonprofit product, without the cost or risk
The Nonprofit Accelerator is completely free to use for Nonprofit organisations with appropriate Dynamics 365 licences. It is backed by Microsoft, meaning it benefits from innovation, stays in line with the Microsoft roadmap and doesn’t lock organisations into working with a specific Partner.
It features industry best practice
The Nonprofit Accelerator has been built in partnership with charities and specialist Partners. It benefits from real-life experience and has both industry and technical best-practice built-in.
It’s built on a market-leading platform
The Accelerator extends the rich functionality of Dynamics 365, making use of existing functionality where possible. Volunteer Management, for example, adapts Dynamics 365 Project Services Automation to become a tool to manage preferences, skills, certifications, availability and scheduling.
It’s aligned with industry standards
The Nonprofit Common Data Model includes the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Organisation and Activity Standards as an optional add-on, helping Nonprofits that subscribe to IATI remain compliant with industry standards.
It’s built to track impact
Recognising that charities don’t work in isolation, the Nonprofit Accelerator is designed to work seamlessly across organisations by facilitating information sharing. Even if their work requires collaboration with multiple organisations, charities can track the exact impact of their funding from donation through to delivery.
The Future for the Dynamics 365 Accelerator
Since its original launch in November 2018, Microsoft has doubled the Common Data Model entity set from 35 to 75. Version 2, released in April 2019, features 1,400 attributes, from data elements to relationships to best practices. Microsoft is dedicated to further enhancing the Accelerator and Common Data Model to incorporate new capabilities and standards in line with industry requirements.
Pythagoras and the Nonprofit Accelerator
At Pythagoras, our mission is to give charities the tools they need to do more good. We’ve welcomed the introduction of the Nonprofit Accelerator, as it provides our expert Not-for-Profit consultants with a comprehensive framework with which to build innovative solutions for our customers. Wherever there is a close synergy between our customer’s requirements and the Nonprofit Accelerator, we incorporate it into our project approach. We are currently delivering multiple successful projects for charities and membership organisations using the framework.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the Nonprofit Accelerator or our approach to projects in this sector, you can get in touch with Pythagoras at email@example.com or on 01628 519 000.
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