Part 1: Dynamics Fundraising and Engagement
Microsoft dynamics is a powerful tool used across all industries. The focus of this blog is to outline how the application can be leveraged by fundraising organizations.
RSM recently engaged with a charitable organization seeking to replace their Blackbaud donor management solution. This new system would need to facilitate the full scale of their operations including:
- Managing donor data
- Processing donations online using multiple forms of payment
- Fund Management
- Tracking scholarships and loans provided to their constituency
- Dynamic email campaigns driven by fundraising activity
- Accounting system integration
- Executive Dashboarding
After assessing several different solutions, the organization selected RSM and their proposed Dynamics 365 fundraising platform. Dynamics 365 contains diverse and powerful arsenal of tools and their new system leverages the following D365 applications:
- Fundraising and Engagement for Dynamics 365 (F&E)
- RSM Grants Management for Dynamics 365 (RSM GMS)
- Dynamics 365 Marketing
- Power Apps portals
- Microsoft Power BI
What is F&E?
Fundraising and Engagement is an exciting new offering from Microsoft. A glimpse of this offering was explored in a blog series posted during its release here:
- Part 1 (Microsoft Dynamics Fundraising and Engagement is released!)
- Part 2 (Microsoft Dynamics Fundraising and Engagement – Part 2)
The F&E platform is tailored to support the everyday needs of charitable organizations. The solution centers around a robust donation engine which features:
- Secure automated payment processing via several forms of payment (more on this below)
- Automated processing of recurring donations
- Automation of thank you letters and receipts
- Ability to track donations against source campaigns and target designations
Use F&E to Streamline Operations
Lack of automation and the need for staff to manually process many activities was a key shortcoming of the organization’s legacy system. By leveraging automation tools native to D365 staff have reduced gift processing time and can now spend more energy working on the core mission of their organization. Newly automated tasks include:
- Tribute notifications
- A tool to import check payments in bulk
- Dynamic thank you notifications
- Automated accounting integration
Power and Flexibility
This organization understands that households are critical in gaining support from next of kin and that a strong understanding of donor giving history is crucial for continued support. Unlike the organization’s legacy system, D365 is designed for flexibility and customization. Now, instead of jumping through hoops to retrieve reports, staff have the information they need at their fingertips:
- Robust donor profiles and donor householding are customized to show information the organization cares about
- Aggregate tiles display recurring gift totals, last gift amount, and lifetime giving data.
- The organization was able to bring along all of their legacy donor data due to the flexibility of the new system
Microsoft built D365 F&E understanding that one size does not fit all, and that a donation system must be flexible and extendible. F&E provided the ability to customize labels and forms in a way that made sense to the staff of this organization, unlike their inflexible legacy system. Providing a layout that staff understood cut down on training time while increasing adoption of the system and overall productivity.
D365 F&E supports the following payment gateways for credit card processing:
ACH payments must currently be processed via bank run, a limitation which RSM is working to overcome by developing a solution for automated ACH processing.
RSM is a recommended Microsoft Partner with experience successfully implementing Microsoft F&E. RSM also distinguishes itself from the competition by providing additional features on top of Microsoft’s solution, including:
- A pre-built donor portal accepting payments through various methods including CC and PayPal
- Integrated marketing with automated tracking of donations to source campaigns
- Accounting enhancements and automated integration to accounting systems
- Expert data architects to map data from legacy systems into F&E
In the next post we will dive into the implementation of Dynamics Marketing and how this organization was able to leverage the tool in their fundraising efforts.