Back in October, Microsoft gave the not-for-profit (NFP) sector an early Christmas gift in the form of the Fundraising and Engagement solution.  

Fundraising and Engagement is Microsoft’s latest NFP CRM solution that helps grow and retain an organisation’s donor baseThis all-in-one CRM drives efficiency through improved transaction management, fundraising management, real-time dashboards and donor loyalty.  

Aside from its array of features and capabilities, it is a valuable tool for NFPs mainly for being a Microsoft first-party solution. While Microsoft has developed technologies dedicated to NFPs before such as the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator and the Common Data Model for Nonprofits, this is the first time that it has invested in a full-fledged first-party solution specifically for NFPs.  

Why is Fundraising and Engagement such a gamechanger, and what exactly does it mean for NFPs that it is a Microsoft first-party solution? Here are the four main benefits.   

It is a Microsoft native solution 

Being a native solution means that the solution was built using the programming language that is already being used by a specific platform. In Fundraising and Engagement’s case, that platform is Microsoft Dynamics 365. 

While NFP-dedicated solutions by Salesforce and Blackbaud can also integrate with Microsoft solutions, Fundraising and Engagement offers organisations a more seamless way to harness and utilise those solutions by eliminating the need for third-party intervention 

For organisations that are in need of Dynamics 365’s capabilities, Fundraising and Engagement offers a natural extension. Third-party connectors are no longer needed to leverage Dynamics 365 branches such as Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Marketing. This provides a lower cost of ownership because it lifts the burden to maintain two or more systems: their main system, and the integrated Dynamics 365 tools    

Organisations can also use familiar Microsoft 365 tools like Excel, Word and Teams with Fundraising and Engagement, resulting to more shallow learning curve compared to other NFP solutions.  

Backed by the Microsoft Digital Stack 

As a native Microsoft solution, users can take advantage of the power of the Microsoft Digital Stack while using Fundraising and Engagement.  

Organisations can make more data-driven decisions by leveraging native Microsoft capabilities such as advanced data analytics and the the visually rich dashboards of Power BI. Using Power Automate, organisations can leverage machine learning and prediction to streamline and increase the efficiency of processes. 

Microsoft also provides robust security, which is currently a major concern for organisations while the world is currently in the midst of a global pandemic. 

Users can also work with technologies that Microsoft’s Technology for Social Impact has developed. These include the Dynamics 365 Accelerator and the Common Data Model (CDM), which acts as a single source of truth by aggregating data across organisations instead of having to separate them in expensive silos.

Democratises digitalisation 

Fundraising and Engagement has given equal opportunity in terms of digitalisation for NFP organisations by being a free and open-sourced cloud-based solution 

In the past, NFP organisations had a standard and traditional approach to working with IT. A Fundraising team, for example, would work with Excel spreadsheets, while the organisation’s services would be handled by a CRM. Now with Fundraising and Engagement generally available, organisations can foster a more collaborative environment by operating on various levels through a single comprehensive system.  

Organisations can get Fundraising and Engagement now through AppSource and can also retrieve its source code through GitHub.  

It gives access to support from Microsoft partners 

There are plenty of Microsoft partners that are dedicated to helping NFPs accelerate digital transformation and build cloud-based solutions.  

Barhead, for instance, can customise and expand the solution to ensure that it address the needs of each organisation by bringing in the power of Microsoft’s ecosystem of solutions for the best possible outcome.  

Aside from winning the Partner of the Year Award for Social Impact, Barhead has also proven its expertise in the NFP sector through numerous successful projects for the likes of The Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF), YMCA Victoria and Mission Australia.  

Additionally, Barhead has built solutions for the NFP sector using Dynamics 365 and other Microsoft solutions. These NFP solutions include the NFP Donation Management Solution and the NFP Service Delivery and Client Management Solution. 

Ultimately, Fundraising and Engagement is an exciting new solution for NFPs. Utilising powerful tools within the Microsoft ecosystem, it will strengthen organisations for years to come. We at Barhead cannot wait to continue supporting organisations along their NFP journey with this solution.   

What’s next?

Visit our website to view additional resources about the Fundraising and Engagement solution, then subscribe to us to stay up-to-date with our services. Curious as to how we’ve worked with previous clients from the NFP sector? Read how we supported organisations such as Mission Australia and the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) by accelerating their digitalisation.   

About the Author: Amanda Stenson

Amanda Stenson is the NFP Industry Head at Barhead Solutions. She handles multiple accounts and has more than 20 years of experience in the NFP industry.