2021 new features for the Charity Sector

The Not-for-profit/charity sector has been hard hit by the pandemic. Project planning and delivery all became ‘virtual’ overnight, with those who could not keep up, losing out.

A cloud-based platform gives you the advantage of being able to push and pull data to and from your CRM to wherever you are based, and you can work on any media device. 

Microsoft are also committed to helping the charity sector so a number of required Licenses you will need for your platform will be FREE. Dynamics 365 grant is (free for up to 5 users) and/or Power Apps grant is (free for up to 10 users), with most other Apps discounted by 80% too.

Charities often take advantage of Enterprise Licenses which will enable you to have world-class cloud technology that is accessible and affordable. 

Typical Not for profit issues: 

  • Not creating a joined-up experience when attracting and growing your Donors/Volunteers
  • Difficulties aligning your marketing and fundraising teams
  • Not having a single view 360-degree view of all interactions with Donors/Volunteers
  • Not capitalising on building a personalised experience for donors 
  • Lack of integration with payment platforms. E.g. Just Giving  
  • Being tied into a CRM platform that doesn’t flex or scale 


Using Dynamics 365 as a hub will mean all your legacy platforms can be integrated, and external web-based ones specific to the charity sector too. You will then benefit from a 360-degree view in a single location and insightful dashboards. D365 also scales as you grow, and you will benefit from ongoing bi-annual updates each year so your system will never gout of date. 

Microsoft Ignite 2021 

Here is what Microsoft is saying about their roll-out of Ignite, which will enhance their already substantial Not for Profit solution: (Either watch the video or read the transcript.)

‘The Tech for social impact team has renewed their commitment to support ‘best practices for charities so the charity can focus on their mission impact. By listening to feedback from existing customers Microsoft has collaborated on a host of new features: 

  • Successfully work with donors. 
  • Keep track of fundraising. 
  • Deliver programs. 
  • Carefully manage funds. 
  • Measure mission impact. 


The Common data model, which was launched in 2018 for Non-profits stewarded an effort to create a common language for Non-profits and their technology partners. Today it represents a platform-agnostic that has entities, attributes and relationships that describe many of the most common core scenarios. It has a repeatable set of best practices represented in a data architecture. 

In 2018, Microsoft also built the first version of the D365 Not-for-profit accelerator, which consists of sample applications built-in Power Platform and Azure that brings the Common data model to life. Today it represents 8 sample applications that partners have used to create new IP, for the sector. 

Last year Microsoft launched Fundraising and engagement for D365 Sales enterprise, this is a first-party Microsoft app designed to help non-profits manage their donors and fundraise for their missionit is a finished supported application that leverages the common data model and Not-for-profit accelerator. 

Fundraising and engagement sit at its core, and the common data model is the backbone that supports the new modular architecture, which lights up a bevvy of new features. 

Fundraising and Engagement 

  • Constituent management 
  • Opportunity management 
  • Donation management 
  • Recurring gift management 
  • Payment processing 
  • Event management 
  • Business intelligence powered by Azure 


Built using Microsoft’s core engineering principlesIt is a cross-cloud suite of applications that unlocks the power of dynamics, power platform, teams, azure, and LinkedIn. By leveraging dataverse and the common data model it is designed to break down phyllo’s between applications and data stores providing an integrated experience. Being modular it meets you where you are, you can adopt at your own pace, and grow into it as you go. Lastly it is specifically designed to extend frontline workers capability, helping staff and volunteers be more efficient with the right data at their fingertips. 

D365 Non-profit represents a connected cloud for constituent engagement with program delivery and accelerated outcomes. It begins with trapping and retaining constituents and then being able to handle all the diverse ways those supporters might give, which can be through:  

  • Individual donations 
  • Client gifting 
  • Gift in kind 
  • Recurring giving and more 


Manage volunteers. 

Working across all media platforms will mean that communication is simplified with all data being fed back to CRM in real-time. Colleagues and volunteers can collaborate and engage on causes where they can make the most impact. Also design programs, track, and review outcomes.

Back-office efficiency  

D365 will enable you to follow the flow of funding from the initial gift, through to program delivery, to impact measurement – helping you understand donor propensity so you can design personalised engagement to improve fundraising.  

New LinkedIn Sales navigator capabilities 

LinkedIn is often used by charities to reach-out to potential new stakeholders and donators. Having LinkedIn sitting within your D365 dashboard will mean you get a holistic view. Using the Icebreaker function will also allow you to see who interacts with who, and what they are interested in, so you can meet more of the correct people. You can also use ‘Get introduced’ which is much like getting introduced in real life, so friends of friends can become supporters. 

Integrating with LinkedIn will speed up productivity as all data is captured directly to CRM’. 

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