Nonprofits work to improve individual people’s lives, often with minimal resources. Those who dedicate themselves to the effort focus more on doing something fulfilling versus business growth and high profits. The need to achieve maximum efficiency on a smaller budget is a big reason to choose Microsoft Dynamics for nonprofits. It’s ideal for small and medium-sized organizations looking to optimize their work processes to help them achieve their goal of helping as many as possible.
Biggest Nonprofit Pain Points
With more people in need than ever, nonprofits deal with many issues related to donors, funds, and day-to-day functions. Delivering quality services often conflicts with having limited financial and personnel resources. Some of the most critical elements of nonprofit organizations include:
- Gaining access to funding
- Sourcing grants
- Fulfilling encumbrances, which are commitments to pay for expenditures
Let’s look at some of the biggest challenges nonprofits face when trying to fulfill their commitment to bringing positive change.
1. Manual Processes
Handling tasks manually takes up a lot of volunteer and staff time, taking them away from other essential functions. For example, if a volunteer has to spend all day keying data from an Excel spreadsheet into another source system, that’s another pair of hands not available to help someone coming to the organization for help. Manual data entry can also lead to errors that cause data inaccuracies.
Doing everything by hand also makes it harder for nonprofits to provide quick access to information. A staff member could draw up reports with incomplete information, impacting their ability to apply for a grant or other financial resources. Inefficient workflows make tracking work assigned to staff and volunteers harder, leading to duplicated work or delays in getting things done.
2. Non-Centralized Data
Many non-profits have data captured in different systems. That means you could have the same information captured in two different databases and no way to reconcile the two. It’s also harder to check the accuracy of reported information, which leads to compliance issues. Analysts have a harder time reviewing, sorting, and searching data, limiting a nonprofit’s ability to make data-driven decisions.
3. Multiple Applications With No Integrations
Like many other organizations, nonprofits often use multiple applications to perform essential tasks. However, because there are no integrations between the platforms, it is harder for leaders to maintain visibility over the work done by staff and volunteers.
4. Need to Fulfill Compliance Requirements
Nonprofits typically must meet compliance standards, like tax regulations. Keeping track of related issues is often complex and time-consuming. The staff has to deal with an increased workload that leads to staffing inefficiency. If nonprofits miss a critical element, they could end up with fines and penalties that impact their ability to continue functioning.
5 Reasons to Use Microsoft Dynamics for Nonprofits
Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps nonprofits address the challenges they face. The customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) features give nonprofits access to technology that helps transform workflows and optimize available resources.
1. Improved Donor Management
Donors are essential to any nonprofit organization. Without them, nonprofits wouldn’t be able to continue operating. Dynamics 365 gives nonprofits a centralized location for tracking donors and ensuring fund collection. Organizations can create a single source of truth that protects donor information. Users can integrate with other Microsoft products like Power BI and set up dashboards and reports to facilitate donor management.
Dynamics 365 integrates seamlessly with other online donation platforms to make it easier for donors to contribute funds. As a result, it becomes easier to track donors and improve fundraising efficiency. You can also use the information collected within the platform to analyze donor engagement and determine the effectiveness of current campaign efforts.
2. Grant Management Support
Dynamics 365 helps with grant management by assisting organizations in organizing and prioritizing applications from when they start the process until the nonprofit receives approval. Organizations can ensure they comply with grant eligibility requirements and have the information necessary to complete an application.
Once submitted, users can set up dashboards for tracking application status. Centralizing grant management functions helps organizations avoid compliance issues and track how they use approved grant funding.
3. Better Financial Tracking
The ERP capabilities of Dynamics 365 provide nonprofits with capabilities like budgeting, cash flow management, and account management. Organizations can reduce errors by setting up automated workflows that eliminate manual keying, freeing up staff and volunteers for other efforts. Nonprofits also have an easier time tracking funding sources. Organizations have better oversight of any money brought in, helping them ensure it gets allocated correctly and preventing compliance issues.
Dynamics 365 integrates with popular accounting software like QuickBooks. Organizations can streamline financial processes to ensure better accuracy. That way, nonprofits avoid errors that impact their economic efficiency.
4. Easier Collaboration
Volunteers and staff can use Dynamics 365 to collaborate on documents. In addition, the platform comes with communication tools that let users communicate about nonprofit issues. Staff working at home can contribute to conversations just as much as their in-office colleagues. Dynamics 365’s project management features help manage donor communications and keep everyone aligned with the nonprofit’s goals.
5. Improved Volunteer Management
Dynamics 365’s time tracking features help nonprofits keep up with hours from volunteers. Organizations can set up forms for logging hours and customize them to capture data like volunteer activity type and the exact dates worked. In addition, organizations can assign tasks and track progress made by staff.
Nonprofits can use Dynamics 365 reporting and analytics capabilities to analyze the distribution of volunteer hours to different areas. As a result, leaders can quickly spot areas for improvement and optimize the use of personnel resources.
Make Your Nonprofit More Efficient
Organizations seeking fulfillment over profit are essential to society. Internet eBusiness Solutions is always happy to help nonprofits find solutions that help them become more efficient, allowing them to help more people. Reach out to one of our technology experts to learn more about how we can help your nonprofit accomplish its mission.