A Microsoft Packed Toolbox for Fundraising Organizations

By - February 25, 2022

Part 2: Dynamics Marketing

In part one of this blog series an overview was provided of RSM’s engagement with a charitable organization and their replacement of Blackbaud with Dynamics 365. To view that blog, click here.

The purpose of this blog is to explore the Dynamics 365 Marketing (Dynamics Marketing, D365 Marketing) facet of that engagement.


As part of project implementation, D365 Marketing was put in place to replace Blackbaud’s Luminate.

What is Dynamics 365 Marketing?

D365 Marketing is a powerful module that can take a constituent relationship and turn it into donations. More information about this specific module can be found here. D365 Marketing features include:

  • Templated content design
  • Event and segment-based constituent lists
  • Automated campaigns using customer journeys
  • Granular customer Insights for nurturing donor relationships

Templated content design

Unlike the organization’s legacy system, which required outside consultants to configure branded templates and make modifications, D365 Marketing is designed for flexibility and customization with little technical knowledge required. The capability to leverage templatized emails and components gives staff the ability to configure their own email campaigns.

The designer feature of Dynamics Marketing uses a drag and drop interface and reusable content blocks to build out templates with branded design elements. This feature adds a layer of consistency across email outreach for the organization and independence for staff.

Event and segment-based constituent lists

Data is ever evolving, and these segments are not always set in stone. A constituent that has little to no donor history, may become a high-level donor overnight. D365 Marketing adapts to this using dynamics segments.

A critical role for fundraising organizations is targeting the right audience with tailored messaging. With Dynamics Marketing this is now possible. Prior to D365, staff would spend copious amounts of effort pulling data from their systems and pushing it into Luminate. With the power of Dynamics 365 behind Marketing, staff can use a single data source as a basis for segments. Staff can quickly create a segment based on attributes like donation history or demographics data and incorporate that into their fundraising campaign. 

Automated campaigns using interactive customer journeys

Staff no longer manually modifies campaigns to make adjustments to the audience and release of emails. Dynamics Marketing allows for these configurations up front. The limitation of the legacy system to set up drip campaigns ahead of time was a huge determent to staff. Now the campaign can be configured to run in intervals. The customer journey leverages the dynamics segments, mentioned above, to aid in filtering out constituents that have already donated towards the appeal and follow up with those who have not. As a bonus, after these emails are sent, staff can track the email and donation history directly from the donor’s profile. Staff can let the journey run while efforts are focused on the mission of their organization.

Granular customer insights for nurturing donor relationships

It is important for charitable organizations to track revenue not only by fund, but down to the source campaign and email. This was accomplished during our implementation by leveraging out-of-the-box configurations and constructing workflows in both Dynamics Fundraising and Engagement and Marketing. By tying together packages, funds, and customer journeys tightly to donation history, the ability to track revenue down to the email became a reality. The understanding of this data is critical to the fundraising efforts of charitable organizations to help refine their campaigns and efforts.

Additionally, out of the box, Insights are provided on various entities in the marketing module. Customer Journeys, constituents and emails provide feedback on various data points such as delivery results, interactions, click maps, open times by email and contact, etc.

A comprehensive understanding of a constituent provides staff the ability to understand what a donor is most interested in, what the best time to send outreach is, and how to best market to the donor. The nurturing of relationships is what plays a key role in the organization’s success and Dynamic marketing provides the support to do so.

Why RSM?

RSM is a recommended Microsoft Partner with experience successfully implementing Microsoft Fundraising & Engagement and Dynamics 365 Marketing. 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 Power BI and how this organization was able to leverage the tool in their fundraising efforts.

Jacque is a manager with 8+ years of experience in the nonprofit industry. She is well-versed in large and small associations, and charitable and grantmaking organizations, and understands how to advise differently based on size, constituent count, and budget while keeping the organization’s mission at the forefront. She specializes in finding the best solutions to support grant, fundraising, membership, and association-focused organizations. She maintains that the focus remains on the people and works to formulate processes by leveraging technology.

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