Microsoft Dynamics 365

Maximise your fundraising with Dynamics 365 for Charities

Amelie Streller,

February 21st, 2023

9 min read

Many charities rely heavily on fundraising to succeed, however, there are various factors that make this a challenge; economic factors such as increased costs of living, personal factors such as more selective donating, and organisational factors such as incorrect donor targeting, to give just a few examples. It is, therefore, essential that your charity has the right fundraising software in place to support this process.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have become increasingly popular within the charity sector, providing many features that support the operational side of an organisation, including fundraising. Microsoft Dynamics 365, in particular, has become the first choice for many charities due to its customisable nature and discounted charity licensing.

This blog explores the various features available within the system that will help solve these common fundraising challenges:

  • Traditional fundraising methods are no longer as effective
  • Working with legacy systems
  • Miscommunication across departments
  • Engaging and retaining supporters

Dynamics 365 features that support fundraising

Challenge: Traditional fundraising methods are no longer as effective

Many charities continue to rely solely on traditional fundraising methods, such as face-to-face events or print communications. However, the rise of technology has caused a significant shift in donor behaviour, and audiences are now more likely to engage with, and donate to, organisations online.

As a result, conventional fundraising approaches that once worked may now prove less effective.

Solution: Adapt to changing consumer needs with Dynamics 365 for Charities

Of course, traditional engagement methods are not completely extinct and depending on the audience, may prove to still be effective. However, it is important that organisations recognise that the shift in consumer behaviour means that other communication methods may also be required.

D365 for Charities can support your organisation with various elements when it comes to engaging your audience, covering both traditional and new methods. The features below cover how your charity could use Dynamics 365 to drive online engagement, through online events, digital marketing campaigns and much more.

Manage and host online events

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Teams, allowing charities to host large-scale online events that reach a wider audience
  • To ensure information related to a particular event is stored in the right place, Dynamics 365 will automatically record data such as registrations, attendance, audience engagement, etc. This makes it easier to identify potential donors and allows you to leverage this information in future campaigns
  • Make online events as engaging as possible by leveraging in-built features, such as live polls, interactive chats, Q&A forums, and more
  • Use in-depth analytics to understand event performance, measuring how many donations were made by event attendees, future improvement areas and more
  • Customise virtual events and campaign collateral with your charity branding, making sure that attendees remember you

Events records in dynamics 365 for charities

Digital Campaigns

Successfully plan, create, send and analyse marketing campaigns within Dynamics 365 for Charities. Feature highlights include:

  • Segment Designer: Easily create and keep track of different donor segments, with the Dynamics 365 Segment Designer. This ensures you are targeting the right people with your messaging, helping to improve engagement rates
  • Email Marketing: Create and send engaging emails directly from within Dynamics 365, then track key metrics such as open rates, clicks and donations. Understanding these metrics will give you a better of your audience and how you can follow-up with them in future
  • Social Media Planner: Connect your charity’s social media accounts to Dynamics 365, allowing you to plan, schedule and analyse content in one place

Email designer for charities

Reporting & Analytics

Dynamics 365 has powerful reporting capabilities, that make it easy for your charity to create detailed reports within the system. Dashboards can also be created to collate high-level information and provide actionable insights. Users can quickly view key metrics such as donations over a certain time period, effective marketing campaigns, most engaged donors, and more. Data that is shown on a dashboard is fully customisable, and can be tailored around what your charity needs to see.

Bar charts and pie charts displaying data in Dynamics 365 charity dashboard

Challenge: Working with legacy systems

Over the years, many charities have found themselves working across multiple systems or spreadsheets, and this might have worked to a certain extent. However, there are limitations with this approach and problems, such as the following, can arise:

  • The larger a charity grows the more people require access to information. However, if this is stored across multiple places, it can be difficult to access
  • Your charity might be heavily reliant on individual knowledge and expertise which is restrictive for business continuity
  • Little to no integration between systems can limit the potential of what you can do, making activities, such as fundraising, more complex

Solution: Access all information within a centralised solution

Dynamics 365 provides a complete, real-time view of your charity’s supporters, donors, volunteers, etc, meaning there is no need to search through various systems and spreadsheets. With this platform, you also have the tools to capture more than just the basic contact details, making it possible to gain deeper insights into supporter activity, interactions, donations, and more.

Additionally, users now no longer need to switch between applications to gather data and can focus their time on more value-adding activities.

From a fundraising perspective, having all data in one place allows you to better target potential donors. For fundraising communications, you can use information within the system to increase personalisation and leverage previous donor history that may help to drive donation rates.

Challenge: Miscommunication across departments

Those who work within charities will be familiar with the pressures of trying to achieve more, with little funding and limited resources. Everyone is busy, and this often means that communication between departments goes untracked, causing potential problems further down the line.

For example, if staff members are not recording the latest interactions with donors or other key stakeholders within a system, other people might spend longer than needed searching for information. Additionally, if they are reaching out to a donor/stakeholder, and the latest information is not accessible to them, they may go through things that have already been communicated and are unable to personalise the conversation effectively.

As a result, this interaction might not lead to a desired donation or could lead to a negative impression by a key stakeholder.

Solution: Track communications within a cloud-based solution; Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based solution, that is customised to how your organisation works. This means that you can capture all the information you need, and the necessary users have access to up-to-date information, at any time, from anywhere.

This not only reduces the amount of time employees need to find information, but also ensures departments are on the same page. Users can then use this information effectively to target potential donors and stakeholders, and can be confident they are up to date on the previous communications.

Challenge: Engaging and retaining supporters

In a recent study, it was found that recurring donors give 42% more per year than one-time givers, demonstrating the importance of building long-term relationships and re-engaging one-off givers.

However, planning, implementing and managing re-targeting campaigns can be a time-consuming process. Additionally, some of the challenges that charities face when trying to re-engage are:

  • Getting the timing right: Targeting donors at the right time can make a significant difference to whether someone contributes or not. However, understanding best engagement times can be challenging without the right software
  • Manual processes: Sending individual, targeted communications can be extremely time-consuming, particularly with a large volume of people to target
  • Keeping organised: Without a system in place, it can be difficult to stay on top of contacts that have been re-targeted, and those who have not

Solution: Establish a re-targeting process

There are a variety of features within Dynamics 365 that can help your charity stay on top of re-targeting:

Customer Journeys

A customer journey is a defined process of steps that a customer may take before completing a specific action, such as making a donation. Depending on the process, there are a variety of actions that can be taken.

For example, a donor has made a contribution and has been added to the CRM system as a result. This triggers a welcome email to be sent, which could then lead to different pathways, depending on if it’s opened or not; if the email is opened, they will receive an invite to the next upcoming event and be added to a marketing campaign for this. If the donor does not engage with the welcome email, a follow-up email is sent two weeks later, then one week later if still no engagement.

The customer journey will then continue depending on the specific steps your organisation has set. This removes the manual element of the process and ensures that your organisation has effective, automated re-targeting campaigns that aim to increase donations.Customer journey in dynamics 365

Automate activities

It is easy to integrate Dynamics 365 with Power Automate, making it easy to automate certain fundraising activities:

  • Emails: Automate the sending of emails and reduce the manual tasks that your employees do. This also ensures that emails are sent in a timely manner, engaging donors at crucial touchpoints
  • Customer journeys: Automate activities that are mapped on a customer journey, making the overall re-engagement process a much smoother process. Once the system identifies that a manual step is needed from a user, such as a phone call follow-up, an activity is automatically created to do so
  • Add donors to marketing segments: Automatically add donors to different segments depending on their actions. This makes it easier to target donors at a more personalised level

Overall, automating tasks across your organisation ensures that steps are taken at the right times, and employees have more time to spend on other value-adding activities, that can help to increase donations.

Interested in implementing the right solution for your organisation, then get in touch with us to discuss how we can implement a bespoke charity solution for your organisation. Please contact us by sending an email to us at  or calling us on 01908 038110. Alternatively, fill out our contact form or subscribe to our newsletter.


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