The Contingent's use of Microsoft for Nonprofit
May 23, 2023

The Contingent's use of Microsoft for Nonprofit

Peter Kim | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

Basic

Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft for Nonprofit

The Contingent has used Microsoft for Nonprofit to unlock capabilities in areas where we've felt completely stuck in the stone ages in. Fundraising and Engagement, supercharged by Mission CRM has allowed us to take our donor and grant management to the next level, where prior to a year ago, we were using a desktop platform that had no cloud-based equivalent that would meet our organization's needs. For Volunteer and Constituent management, we're still growing to solidify use cases, though we have initiatives such as Every Child (see https://everychildoregon.org, https://everychildarkansas.org) and Emerging Leaders (see https://emergingleaderspdx.org) that engage community members, yet we've been continuing to assess the right ways to unpack and utilize the capabilities that would best serve our stakeholders, volunteers, community members and our team.

Pros

  • Providing a basic framework for nonprofit organizations who've been limping along or have capped out with their current platforms to consider switching to amplify and multiply their capabilities, reach, and impact
  • Increasing the accessibility for both citizen developers and tech teams to extend a platform, so long as there are clear parameters (business use case) and thoughtful design and architecture planning
  • Sharing some core infrastructure that accelerates the use of important tools to further the mission of nonprofit organizations

Cons

  • Provide a concierge service to learn about use cases and shine a light on key features to begin unpacking
  • Interactive guide for new users to better understand how to kickstart their journey
  • Perhaps use AI to decipher and translate use cases to propose the technical solution or feature to utilize
  • We've been ramping up our collective efforts to increase our donor engagement, though we're also deploying strategies that we couldn't fully light up with Microsoft for Nonprofit alone, i.e. utilizing the Microsoft Dynamics Marketing app to reach lists of donors to make asks
  • Our use case for volunteer management seem to require deeper, more robust and sophisticated solutions than the Microsoft for Nonprofit package offers. We're torn between ramping up development to go beyond, or consider an off the shelf 3rd party product and integrate
We have both been utilizing certain components and not others since our development pre-dated the Microsoft for Nonprofit infrastructure. It left us with the reality that we could "lift and shift" to lock in with the Microsoft for Nonprofit schema and data model, though that would take considerable effort and with our limited resources, we're at the moment better off investing those resources in future development (net-new) vs. refactoring for little return. The use of the tools however have undoubtedly multiplied our ability to reach and serve community members.
We're still on the early end of this in our organization so we've got some growth to do to fully utilize the benefits here. We've primarily been using Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Pages (Power Apps Portals) along with other Azure and O365/M365 tools but are still working through some change management given our rapid speed of developing new solutions over the past few years without the right supports in place to sustain and scale our efforts, which we're actively investing in.
We've assessed platforms like Salesforce, Zendesk, Apricot and others to consider using them for our initiatives at The Contingent, though we decided that Microsoft's continued investment in Microsoft for Nonprofit and integration with other Microsoft products made a compelling case as we're continuing to expand nationally and scale beyond our former single state footprint. We need an enterprise solution and we've been able to co-develop with our small but mighty dev team to create impactful solutions that have touched the lives of thousands, that we may not have been able to do with other products out there at the same speed without investing in other consulting/implementation resources.

Do you think Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit's feature set?

Yes

Did Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit live up to sales and marketing promises?

Yes

Did implementation of Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit go as expected?

No

Would you buy Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit again?

Yes

It seems Microsoft for Nonprofit could be best utilized by organizations looking to make an investment and go all in, rather than those who may be still in their infancy and just need quick, inexpensive tools to start. I'm thinking for nonprofit organizations with fewer than 30 people, it seems unlikely that they would prioritize and invest enough energy and resources proportionately to effectively utilize the functions that would add the most value, as the tools could be perhaps best implemented via partnering with a consulting firm (i.e. Wipfli LLP or others).

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