Relationship Management and Fundraising with Technology in the Non-Profit Sector

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Microsoft offers software to qualifying 501C3 corporations at significant discounts through their Open Charity licensing program, and through Tech Soup, a non-profit distributor of technology from many vendors. In addition, flexible products like Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SharePoint may be applied to a wide range of business applications. Even more savings accrue to these 501C3 Corps when a single application will satisfy requirements previously met by multiple applications from multiple vendors.

CRM is an acronym for Customer Relationship Management, but in practice the application provides advanced functionality for Marketing, Case Management, Project Tracking and Activity Tracking. The term xRM replaces the “customer” with “x,” meaning organizations can utilize xRM to track any data that is pertinent to their organization.

Because it is highly configurable, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is readily adapted to Fund Raising and various types of Sociological Support activities, such as Handicap, Disadvantaged and Aging Services. Because it can track relationships, activities, and case histories not only on people, but also on places & things, it has value in facilities management applications like low income housing.

People Serving People (PSP) is a non-profit organization in Minneapolis which provides shelter to homeless families with children. Years ago PSP purchased an industry leading Fund Raising application (Raiser’s Edge), but never became skilled enough with the product to use its full potential. PSP had been working with OTT, Inc. for years for their accounting software and IT needs, so PSP and OTT, Inc. discussed how Microsoft Dynamics CRM could be used to assist PSP with their fund raising and tracking needs. In 2009, PSP made the decision to implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM not only for the development staff in Fund Raising, but also to replace the existing Guest Management system which used a custom Access database to track the movement of resident families in and out of the PSP facility.

The transition to the two new systems took about a year, and so far the results have exceeded expectations. There are now 35 Microsoft Dynamics CRM users at PSP that have access to a centralized data base of donor and guest data. Access to this data is provided to development people for fund raising purposes, to the front desk for intake & reporting back to Hennepin County, and to Guest Advocates who provide the day to day social services to residents. Since much of this data is sensitive in nature, and protected by privacy statutes, security in the system guarantees that users with certain “roles” are only able to access the data that is appropriate to them.

Since Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a web based system, it is readily accessible both on premise and remotely to those who need off site access, making the system easily accessible when and where needed. Another benefit to implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM that PSP realized was that the training and hardware expenses were minimized since Microsoft Dynamics CRM is based on the same look and feel of the Microsoft Office products they were already using, such as Outlook, which reduced training time while increasing user adoption.

Additionally, since all software support agreements are though a single partnership with OTT, Inc. and Microsoft, PSP has one contact for virtually all of their technology needs, such as office, accounting, fund raising, guest tracking, and infrastructure.

Now that the transition work to the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM system has been completed, PSP feels that given the size and stature of Microsoft, the solutions they have invested in will be viable and productive for decades into the future. Additionally, PSP and OTT, Inc. have a close working relationship and partnership, giving PSP the confidence that their needs and requirements, as they change with time, will be addressed by an organization that truly understands not only their unique needs, but also the technology platforms that will help their organization strive both now and in to the future.

For more information on how OTT, Inc. can help with your organization’s needs, contact our team any time at or call 651.262.2600.

By OTT, Inc., Minnesota Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner

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