28 Apr Dynamics 365 for Charities
How Charities and Advocacy providers can use Dynamics 365 to streamline their operations?
For charities, advocacy providers, carers and residential homes, data and the safe and easy management of it is critically important. If information and contact data is not managed properly, and, for instance, spread across multiple spreadsheets and documents and stored in multiple places, then it can have a serious negative effect on workflow, efficiency and most importantly data security.
Having a well-designed and simple CRM system can solve these issues and help these organisations focus on the important work they do, rather than constantly wrestling with their data.
That’s where Dynamics 365 comes in.
A lot of organisations will use Microsoft products in their day-to-day operations already – Outlook, Word, Excel – and may even have an Office 365 subscription in place too. Microsoft Dynamics is just another product in that family and works hand-in-hand with the programs you may already be familiar with.
Contacts and external organisations can be stored within the Dynamics 365 database and customised to store all the relevant data you need. Emails and appointments from Outlook can be ‘tracked in’ to Dynamics to appear alongside the records. Sharepoint can be set up to store important documents that can be accessed remotely, and records can be exported straight from Dynamics into Excel for further analysis if needed.
Setting it up is remarkably easy, especially if you are already inside the Office 365 environment, but even if not, licensing is simple and good value (especially for charities) and you can get started with Microsoft Dynamics straight away.
How It Can Help You
No matter the sector that a business might be in, Microsoft Dynamics is an incredibly flexible tool and can be moulded to fit any organisation and their needs – the clue is in the name, really!
You might wonder how a Customer Relationship Management system might help you if you are not a conventional or customer focussed organisation. As an example, let’s take a nationwide charity that provides a network of care and advocacy services for young and at-risk people.
In this example, the charity uses a network of employed, part-time, and volunteer advocates across the country, has contracts in place with a large number of local authorities and councils as well as care homes or hospital groups. They provide different types of advocacy services to people and need to record details, visits, and expenses, along with a host of other data.Not only do they need somewhere to store all the data they need, but they also need to use it record and update records and link them all together with complex relationships that allow for further reporting and analysis.
This is where Dynamics comes in.
Using Microsoft Dynamics, they could store all the data they need across different entities and set up relationships between them. Not only does Dynamics have this functionality out-of-the-box with Accounts and Contacts for instance, but custom entities can be used as well – Service Users are the vulnerable people that will be using the charity’s services, Services are the context-specific records against the Service Users, and then another custom entity can be used to store all the internal staff that work as advocates for the organisation; leaving the external contacts that work with the organisation in the local authorities and care homes to be kept in the Contacts entity.
The flexibility of Microsoft Dynamics allows the CRM system to be set up and used in exactly the way that suits you. Contracts that are held with different organisations can be stored in their own entity and linked to Accounts, Expense Claims can be logged by the Internal Staff against Services or Visits, pulling financial data from the linked Contract.
Do More With Data
Organising the data and using the system for day-to-day operations is one thing, but Dynamics also allows a lot more to be done with that data – from reporting and analysis to automated processes and everything in between, you’ll be amazed at how much it can help streamline complex tasks and reduce workload!
As an example, incoming referrals from a website form can be captured into Dynamics and workflows can then sort the data and send it to the corresponding entities so that they appear in the correct places within the system. Data can be displayed in pre-filtered Views, charts and dashboards, along with the ability to export to Excel – plus, coupled with a PowerBI license, even more is possible.