Blog: Consider Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit
Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit

Three reasons you should consider exploring

Accelerating mission outcomes

Nonprofit organizations are on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues, and they provide vital services and support to communities around the world. Yet, nonprofits have often faced an unmet need for technology solutions to enable supporters and funders, volunteers and program staff to focus on the mission. During the global pandemic of 2020, nonprofits were one of the hardest hit sectors. According to the State of Nonprofits report, 58% of organizations reduced the programs or services while 49% needed to reduce overall operational costs which widened the technology gap that currently exists. However, new tools and technologies like Microsoft Tech for Social Impact and Cloud for Nonprofit provides the flexibility to adopt specific capabilities organizations need, when they need them, to ultimately close the technology gap and accelerate mission outcomes.

Microsoft Philanthropies manages Microsoft Tech for Social Impact, providing discounts and technology grants to nonprofit organizations globally. Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit links Microsoft technologies and programs to the most common nonprofit scenarios through the cloud, helping nonprofits to manage data, address their current needs, and plan. There are many reasons why Cloud for Nonprofit has been very effective for organizations since its 2021 launch as it provides a means for nonprofits to deliver effective programming, connect to donors and supporters, and successfully measure their impact on their local and global communities. It is designed to help support nonprofits in the current climate and lift them to reach new potential in the future.

Current Landscape

7% of US-based nonprofits have permanently closed since the pandemic started, and 1,000,000 people in the sector have lost their jobs. The nonprofit sector is struggling to maintain in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, where most nonprofits are only just beginning to recover, despite high demand for their services as more people struggle.

As donations reduced, the relationship between charities and donors became almost entirely virtual. Nonprofits began to realize how much it needed to nimbly adapt to sudden changes. Technology like Cloud for Nonprofit is designed to help organizations modernize and adapt by providing fresh, affordable cloud-based solutions for data management that are built on the foundations of nonprofit best practices.

Nonprofits are faced with an overwhelming wave of growing data, which lives on disparate systems that cannot connect and communicate, making it hard for organizations to run smoothly. Organizations could massively benefit from AI analysis and automation technology to help organize and prioritize data, which Cloud for Nonprofit is offering, allowing as many as possible to run efficiently and support as many people as possible as they can.

Built for Nonprofits

In developing Cloud for Nonprofit, Microsoft collaborated with more than 2,000 nonprofits to help build the current platform, using active listening from organizations throughout development, to ensure that the platform would service nonprofits in the way that benefited them most. It was built on the nonprofit open standards, best practices, and architecture that has been used in the market for years, using the 2017 NGO reference model and 2018 Common Data Model for Nonprofits in addition to first-party data.

Cloud for Nonprofit uses a cross-cloud suite of commonly used Microsoft applications, including Microsoft Dynamics, Azure, Teams, Office 365, Power Platform, and LinkedIn. Key nonprofit scenarios significantly influenced the data architecture of Cloud for Nonprofit, and the solution is designed to empower users to streamline internal processes.

Unified Platform & Integrated Experience

Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit offers an integrated system that unifies each department and creates user efficiency where workflows and data sources from across the organization are united on a single platform to drive evidence-based decision-making.

Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit empowers users through the following ecosystem components: Fundraising and Engagement, Program Delivery, Donor Funds Management, Volunteer Management, and Mission Impact Measurement. Fundraising and Engagement allows nonprofits to see all the data needed to manage donors and donations as they factor in marketing, fundraising events, and organizational growth.

While Donor Funds Management and Volunteer Management allows organizations to build trust with supporters, program participants, and employees by using integrated, best-in-class security tools. Program Delivery and Mission Impact Measurement are focused on ensuring that staff and volunteers are empowered to deliver measurable and responsive programs, relying on Cloud for Nonprofit tools such as the Program Impact Dashboard to understand the impact of their work.

Saves time, Resources, & Boosts Efficiency

Cloud for Nonprofit technology is promising for Nonprofit organizations. One of the notable examples of a nonprofit utilizing Cloud for Nonprofit to better their organization is United Way of Greater Los Angeles. They needed a way of streamlining and centralizing data to communicate with donors, stakeholders, and constituents effectively while helping 66,436 people living in Los Angeles County without consistent housing. United Way chose to use the Fundraising and Engagement solution from Cloud for Nonprofit, which employs Microsoft Dynamics 365 to manage relationships, donation processing, and marketing.

As a result, United Way grew deeper and more meaningful relationships with its donors and the community, enabling them to focus on local issues that need the most support. Cloud for Nonprofit has allowed them to consolidate their data and not only allows them to quantifiably measure the impact that they are having, but also save more than $50,000 per year in operational costs, which can now be recycled back into helping their constituents who need it most.

About FSi + Nonprofits

FSi Strategies has worked with many nonprofit organizations to establish technological ecosystems. Cloud for Nonprofit is paving the way for the future of nonprofit technology. According to a survey conducted by Nonprofit Technology Network, nearly 80% of respondents believe cloud-based services will support their organization’s success in a digital-focused future. Cloud for Nonprofit is easy to implement and use, gathering all the data organizations need to manage their operations so they can focus on their missions and helping others.

Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit is pivotal to nonprofit success in this post pandemic world, and as the world changes how it operates. Cloud for Nonprofit allows for streamlining collection and distribution of data in a way that is a positive step forward for nonprofits, their outreach, and their growth potential.

If you are interested in moving your nonprofit forward, we’d enjoy learning about your organization and scheduling a demonstration of the Cloud for Nonprofit ecosystem. Connect with us!

Start a conversation today.

Ask us about integrating your tools & platforms together – with architectural coherence and extensibility. Designing, implementing and supporting Modern Workplace technology is what FSi Strategies specializes in. We’ve helped hundreds of businesses implement modern security strategies in support of their missions. We invite you to discover how together, we can leverage the intelligent Cloud for the security and privacy needs of your business.