Non Profit Organisations

Donor journey, donor and relationship management with Microsoft Dynamics 365

Why NPOs should rely on Microsoft

In the past, many NPOs relied on a specific industry solution when it came to introducing CRM. These industry solutions are mostly run on-premise (in their own data center) and are now technologically outdated. With the industry solutions, fundraising can be well organized, but other areas such as marketing automation, project management, finance HRM or even cooperation among each other are only possible with complex interfaces to other tools. This option no longer fulfills the requirements of modern NPOs.

The needs of NPOs for a CRM system differ from those of organizations operating in other areas. A transparent presentation of the donor journey, relationship management, fundraising and project monitoring are topics that must be solved by a CRM system to ensure seamless processes.


Most important requirements

Target group-oriented marketing with Donor Journey

The support of donors and the target-group-specific approach is an important success factor in non-profit organisations. The focus is on the term "Donor Journey". The Donor Journey contains the administrative and communicative processes after the acquisition of a donor and enables a real action-response cycle. These processes are intended to bind, reactivate or upgrade donors to the NPO. The processes must therefore be adapted to the donor's behavior and individualized. It is important to convey the right message to the right recipient at the right time via the right channel. The channels include homepage, social media, newsletter and contact forms. But also offline activities such as mailings, events, telephone calls, personal conversations, street advertising etc. are elements of a Donor Journey. They enable many personal touchpoints which increase donor loyalty.

Donor & Relationship Management

The donation market has become much more competitive and donor acquisition is becoming more and more complex. The focus of the NPO is therefore on a long-term relationship with the donor. The 360° view of all information about the donors means that the relationships with the donors (including the entire communication) can be maintained individually.

Transparent cash flow

Every donation can be assigned to a donation project as well as to a donation event. With CRM, the entire cash flow from the receipt of the donation to its correct use is to be mapped. This transparency promotes the trust of the donors in the organization and thus their willingness to donate.

Significant evaluations

Evaluations, analyses and reports are an important part of strategic fundraising. Using internal dashboards or integrated Power BI, the data should be mapped in such a way that strategic fundraising can be optimised. This determines where there is potential for cost savings and where promising investments can be made.

Campaign management

Maintaining the various touch points with the donors is an important part of campaign management. This allows the target group-specific planning, administration and evaluation of activities aligned to the touch-point. This ensures a complete overview of the development of all target groups within donors, partners, members and potential new donors at all times.

If fundraising, PR and other marketing activities are conducted separately, this can lead to false analysis of the data and conflicting information for the donor. Only news and information relevant for the donor strengthens loyalty to the NPO and leads to long-term donor retention. In order to successfully handle the digital support of the donors, automation of the processes is necessary. Complex IT landscapes, different data bases and "silo thinking" hinder the development of a donor journey.

These challenges have to be solved in the best possible way and a comprehensive end-to-end solution has to be implemented for the NPO.

Ambit Group's solution approach

The Ambit Group knows the requirements of NPOs and is the ideal partner for your digitization project with Microsoft Dynamics 365. Change projects and the introduction of a dedicated Microsoft technology strategy focus on the following elements:

Use of one platform, reduction of interfaces and complexity

A clear goal of the project should be to reduce the complexity of the system landscape. This can be achieved by reducing the number of interfaces. Wherever possible, an integrative solution should be used (e.g. ClickDimensions or Dynamics 365 for Marketing).

Build a DWH

Development of a comprehensive DWH (Data Warehouse) as "Single Point of Fact". The various business applications deliver high-quality data to the DWH, which enables a high level of significance in the sense of analytical CRM / BI.


Different processes and applications can be combined and processes can be completely redesigned. It is important for NPOs to know their donors. Only with this knowledge it is possible to motivate them to donate and strengthen their relationship with the organization. Microsoft Dynamics 365 supports this by providing a 360 degree view of all personal and legal persons who are in contact with the NPO. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is integrated as a central database for all relevant contacts and companies. The software optimizes business processes and networks customer data to build relationships, increase productivity and improve customer interaction. In addition, ERP and fundraising systems can be connected and Office 365 can be integrated. Other Microsoft applications such as Social Engagement, Business Intelligence, Marketing Automation, Event Management, Donor Surveys, Document Management and Financial Management contribute to an integrated organizational solution.

Cloud Strategy

Use of Microsoft's "Best in Class" infrastructure and integration of new Azure-based services. With the cloud, you always have up-to-date software and no longer have to worry about storage and computing capacities.

Cloud advantages

The Ambit Group already has customers who have made a conscious decision to move from an industry solution to a platform solution. These organizations rely fully on Microsoft Dynamics 365 in conjunction with the entire Microsoft Business Application Platform.

Special pricing on Microsoft licenses for NPOs

With the Microsoft Nonprofit Licensing Program, NPO is receiving significant discounts on solutions such as Microsoft 365 and cloud services such as Azure. The prerequisite for the special conditions is an authorization certificate issued by Microsoft.

Depending on the size of the organization, different licensing plans are suitable. If you are interested, we will be happy to advise you!

Own data model for NPOs

The Microsoft Common Data Model for Nonprofits emerged from observing and learning from 100 NPOs about their unsolved technology challenges and the frustration of managing data across multiple systems. Microsoft's Common Data Model (CDM) was extended to include the concepts and specific needs of NPOs. These nonprofit accelerators complement the rich functionality of Dynamics 365 with units designed specifically for NPOs:

  • Administration of donations
  • Subsidies and third-party funding
  • Management of members and volunteers
  • Support of special methods for public and individual fundraising
  • Impact tracking based on the IATI standard.

By leveraging the power of Microsoft technology such as Azure, Office 365, Power Platform, Dynamics 365 and Power BI, the non-profit CDM enables NPOs to save time and money. The Microsoft Common Data Model for Nonprofits is the first of its kind to provide a model that reflects industry best practices.

Are you interested in this topic? I would be pleased to answer any queries you have.

Christian Schipp, Business Development CRM & Group CMO

+41 79 954 17 09