By Mohona Dutta | Reading time 5 mins
Nonprofits play an unbelievably significant role in dealing with the world’s harshest challenges — whether providing education opportunities to people in certain communities, offering food and shelter to destitute, or providing healthcare and medicine to remote locations.
They work hard to achieve their mission and usually and unfortunately, they are underfunded.
Now, Microsoft has a long-lasting commitment to philanthropy and with the introduction of Tech for Impact team in 2017, they have made their technical solutions available to the nonprofits helping them expand their mission.
They have offered new services to nonprofits, restructured how they are engaged and continued to make improvements along the way.
That’s why there’s a lot of excitement about Microsoft’s Nonprofit Accelerator. The platform was launched in November 2018 and has made immense progress since, almost doubling its Common Data Model (CDM) entity and nearly trebling the network of partners from 14 to 40.
Nonprofits can heave a sigh of relief as managing data became much easier.
CDM-what does it do?
The Common Data Model (CDM) is fundamental to Microsoft’s vision for Nonprofit Accelerator. The CDM schema helps build a single shared data language, with standardized, extensible data schemas helping to guarantee uniformity of data across applications and business processes.
It has been building mapping templates to help third parties map CDM to their native schemas and has a fully open data model posted on GitHub. The Common Data Model for Nonprofits offers a basis for Microsoft, partners, and nonprofit tech staff to build upon and integrate with.
Microsoft has built the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator, which is a group of sample apps, templates, and connectors pre-mapped to the Common Data Model.
Microsoft has taken the abrupt learning curve for users, integration intricacy and hostile complications for third party software, resulting from the complication of models’ lesson to heart and is beginning with a more standardized foundation.
The nonprofits adapting to the Nonprofit Accelerator will have a clear and steady starting point, which should render into solutions that are easier for users to comprehend and easy on the pockets to administer.
How does an open data model matter?
- Users of cloud software, including nonprofits, want transparency and flexibility. They want to own their data and have easy accessibility.
- Nonprofits expect a cloud software vendor to retain them as a client by providing continued value, not by binding them with contracts or curtailing their access to their own data under the guise of propriety.
- Microsoft’s new method is that its techs provide pro bono services to certify that Dynamics 365 is implemented in a way that influences the Common Data Model for Nonprofits. The program is called the Early Adopter Credit.
- Third-party solutions custom-made to nonprofits have been evolving on the Dynamics platform and they are aligned with v2 of the Accelerator.
Better features in the Nonprofit Accelerator v2
The Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Acceleratorv2 comprises new and enhanced apps, improved CDM and plans for additional solutions originating either with Microsoft or its partners.
- Refining the flow of funds through the Common Data Model by linking Fundraising to Program Delivery
- Creating a common data model for Beneficiary management by connecting Program Delivery and Constituent components of the model
- Allowing membership management by encompassing the CDM with Membership entities
- Enhancing constituent engagement by extending the CDM with Volunteer preferences, skills, and availability
- Better-quality documentation, how-to guides, sample data and mapping templates to industry-leading solutions
- Making interoperability of ecosystem solutions better by helping partners who are aligning their solutions with the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator and Common Data Model for Nonprofits
- It also takes care of the institute’s alignment towards International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Organization and Activity standards
CDM at the center of it
Microsoft believes that CDM is at the heart of its strategy. Few of the additional features draw directly on existing Dynamics 365 tools. Such as volunteer coordination, which augments activities and tracks favorites, skills, certifications, and availability, using the D365 Project Service Automation.
The other enhancements are more aligned to the nonprofit space, like membership management, which looks at a constituent as a single contact record that can have numerous roles over time, from being a member or volunteer to beneficiary to an employee even.
The Nonprofit Accelerator V2 also takes an all-inclusive slant to donor management as it relates to tracking the effect and results of funding, even between multiple aid establishments. That prominence is also where the CDM’s inclusion of the IATI standard becomes vital.
For some associations, compliance with IATI is obligatory by governments or large aid groups.
The Nonprofit Accelerator V2 has transcended beyond building new solutions. It emphasizes on taking experiences in account, expertise, and requirements of several of nonprofits around the globe and optimize best practices and implementation methodologies, and help them reveal the richness of their data as quickly as possible, moving ahead on their mission.
At AhaApps, we strive to help our clients get the best out of their data. Connect with us today to know more.
Mohona is a Content Writer for the Marketing team in AhaApps since 2019. When she is not busy attending to her creative, technical side, she likes to binge on sitcoms on Netflix. She loves writing poems and reading short stories when she wants to break away from the humdrum of life.