Microsoft hopes it can help nonprofits increase productivity and better serve communities with its new update for the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator program.
The update doubles the size of the common data model (CDM), allows the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) modeling to be used as an add-on, aligns funds to the results framework, connects beneficiaries and program delivery, improves volunteer coordination, allows for membership management, and provides best practices and resources to users.
The original version of Accelerator was released in November 2018, and it was designed to "drive deeper programmatic engagement and help nonprofits achieve greater impact," according to Microsoft.
Accelerator v2 doubles the size of the CDM from 35 entities and 700 attributes to 75 entities and 1,400 attributes. These include data elements, relationships and best practices. The CDM also now includes the IATI organization and activity standards, as nonprofits working with institutional donors or government agencies are required to subscribe to IATA.
With the new Accelerator, organizations can connect their operations and tie funds from donations and awards directly to program activities. Users can also track the outcomes and impact of programs through a newly created link between the delivery framework, indicator value and constituent modules.
A new function in version 2 also allows for volunteer management, such as tracking preferences, skills, certifications, availability and scheduling. Nonprofits can also now use Accelerator to create membership programs that use a single contact record across multiple roles.
Microsoft also expanded the platform's resources for best practices, how-to guides, templates and data plans. To do so, Microsoft said it has been working with partners such as Blackbaud, Classy, Fluxx and Jackson River -- all companies that use the product.
Additionally, users are promised more updates to the platform in coming months. According to Microsoft, there are plans to continue building out the Dynamics functionality and the underlying CDM with quarterly updates.
Nonprofits have seen the benefits of using CRM programs over the past year. Wolverine Human Services adopted the Salesforce.org Nonprofit Cloud and cut its licensing time in half by managing all aspects on a single platform and storing all data in the same place. Salesforce.org Nonprofit Cloud was launched in June 2018, and Microsoft's Nonprofit Accelerator followed six months later, with the two dominating the current nonprofit CRM market.