How Non-Profits Can Advance Their Mission: With ONLY the Technology You Need…When You Need It

Petra Eimiller
19 Aug, 2021

As a non-profit, you might serve different purposes or advocate for different populations than other non-profits, but you have one thing in common with one another: You all want to do good.

However, there are many challenges that threaten your ability to advance your mission, including tight budgets and more competition for donor dollars, limited resources, supply chain interruptions, and even growing pressure to deliver and provide services in new ways. Where do you start? There’s the option of putting supporting technology in place, but that can present even more challenges. Technology costs money, and if you manage to clear that hurdle, it is often complex and time-consuming to plan, implement, deploy, and handle training around a big technology solution. And even if you can get past all that, the unfortunate reality is that even the most full-featured software solutions fall short. No one solution can provide everything you need to address all your challenges and goals.

The panacea: Pick and choose only the technology you need

The ideal solution would be an “ala carte” approach: You have the ability to pick and choose only the technology required to meet your specific needs … no more, no less … when you need it, while making it easy to add more functionality when you’re ready. This would allow you to:

  • Address the most critical challenges first
  • Add new functionality as budget, circumstances, and priorities dictate and allow for
  • Manage your budget by paying only for what you need, with the ability to spread out expenditures
  • Break up planning, implementing, and training into smaller chunks, focused on one area at a time

Traditional software is not structured like that. You either buy a stand-alone solution for one specific area, like case management, or you have to buy a giant package that, even if you could afford it, might force you to pay for something you don’t need or will ever need–supply chain functionality, for example, is something not every non-profit requires, so why should you have to pay for it?

If you think that’s just a pipe dream, think again.

Microsoft and implementation partners that work with non-profit organizations understand this issue. At HSO, we’ve addressed it with our Advancing Your Mission approach to solutions for non-profits, powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365, the Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit, and the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Nonprofit accelerator. You get a connected, flexible platform that provides the freedom and flexibility to decide what functionality you want based on your requirements, time frame, and budget, while giving you a foundation to easily add more when the time is right for you.

Empower a client-first focus with Case Management

You and your front-line workers depend on processes and systems to manage cases, participants, outcomes, and other requirements. Manual, paper-based processes OR the wrong case management technology can exacerbate the complications that are already inherent in a network of care, resulting in duplication of effort and errors–and hurt your peoples’ ability to provide the right level of care. Moreover, it can negatively impact your level of care and outcomes. An integrated client and case management framework supports the complete client lifecycle, from request to receipt and on through follow-up of services, including:

  • Streamlining and automating intake and other critical processes
  • Connecting clients with the right services for them
  • Enabling your people to spend more time with clients and less on processes and paperwork
  • Connecting clients to the right services
  • Delivering a holistic client experience by breaking down data silos
  • Improving reporting on spending and outcomes to secure funding & support

Keep everyone connected with Constituent Management

You depend on the generosity of those who support you, from volunteers and partners to donors and sponsors. It’s imperative to attract and keep them engaged and involved; otherwise, you could lose valuable support and badly needed funds. HSO’s solutions for Constituent Management help you stay connected, allowing you can align your people, processes, and technology to all work as one toward a common goal. including:

  • Ensuring those who benefit from or help you achieve your mission stay informed
  • Maintaining complete profiles of individuals and organizations
  • Identifying and tracking issues and the programs that target them
  • Improving communication with donors, partners, funders, volunteers, and communities to gain and retain support
  • Mobilizing volunteers with calls to action through various mediums to reach a diverse set of people, targeted for specific initiatives or events

Handle your finances responsibly with Finance & Accounting

When you’re dealing with tight budgets and dependent on funding from other sources, you must have the ability to properly manage funds, grants, and donations, set and monitor goals, and connect spending to outcomes. With funds coming from multiple sources, your financial management must be secure and capable. Your board of directors has a duty to ensure the organization’s assets are used in accordance with donors’ intent and in support of your mission—which requires transparent reporting. HSO’s solutions for finance and accounting enable you to be more efficient while ensuring compliance.  You get the tools you need to:

  • Responsibly and effectively manage funds, grants, and donations
  • Generate reports in multiple formats
  • Set and monitor budgets
  • Establish security rules and use role-based permissions
  • Monitor audit trails to document every important detail of every transaction

Secure and grow financial support with Fundraising and Engagement

There’s no other way to put it: You’re competing with other non-profits for donor dollars. Today’s donors are being hit hard by other non-profits, and as a result, they are doing their homework and being very selective about who they support. You also realized after COVID struck that you cannot count on in-person events or activities and need other ways to engage as well as technology and processes to keep donations coming in.

The key is to see through the eyes of the donor you want to attract as well as the donors, volunteers, and other constituents who are already supporting you so you can understand what compels them to choose one cause over another. Armed with that knowledge, you can better target messages to communicate your mission in a way that will resonate. Another added complication exists around changing donor expectations. Donors today demand more professional and personalized experiences when making donations, especially those who are donating large dollar amounts.

HSO’s solutions for Fundraising and Engagement provide a single, unified system to track donations and the impact donations have on your programs, organization, and donors. It tracks and organizes communications to help you determine the best channel to engage with each donor and how to engage. The ability to analyze and gauge the health of each relationship helps drive  personalization, especially for major gift donors, and can help you target the right people at the right time. It addresses the most common fundraising scenarios, enabling you to:

  • Attract, retain, and strengthen donor relationships
  • Increase your credibility with donors
  • Modernize communications to improve your engagement with donors
  • Streamline your processes

Get supplies where they need to be with Supply Chain Management

Non-profits that depend on goods being where they need to be when they’re needed must stay on top of their supply chain, just like any other business. Now more than ever, supply chains are being challenged by a number of factors, and you need to optimize yours—and HSO can help. HSO’s solutions for Supply Chain Management enable you to increase efficiency while maintaining quality. You can automate and transform processes, enabling you to:

  • Get supplies where they need to be quickly & efficiently
  • Make cost-effective procurement decisions
  • Manage fluctuating costs
  • Ensure ethical conduct in global supply chains
  • Keep processes moving, even with erratic funding
  • Utilize resources to make the best use of tight budgets
Case Study Video

Advance Your Mission at Your Pace with HSO and Microsoft

Watch this video to learn more about LifeWorks, an Austin, Texas-based non-profit that works with more than 4,000 youth and families to provide a pathway to self-sufficiency.

Explore Additional Resources for Non-Profits

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