Build your community of citizen developers with low code no code
- Posted on April 26, 2023
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
We can all agree that the world is in an increasingly complex place and these past few years have had an impact on all of us. In a constantly changing society challenged by social debates, economic upheaval, war, and natural disasters, nonprofits serve a crucial role in supplying aid and well-being to the communities where they operate and the beneficiaries they serve. Consequently, nonprofits are faced with difficult questions. How do you make sure you can react and adapt quickly to the challenges in society? How can you get stakeholders and volunteers involved? How can you raise funds and create a meaningful impact for your cause?
The technology challenge
One aspect of this equation is technology. With economic uncertainty being a concern for many nonprofit leaders today, nonprofit organizations must have the right technology to adapt and adjust quickly. Many solutions are probably already in place to support the daily operations like finance, HR, constituent & donation management, and marketing. All crucial elements, but these solutions can often be inflexible and can require complex redesign over long periods of time to adapt to everyday business challenges.
Now, imagine the impact you could have if your team members and volunteers can dynamically and quickly use or create applications when needed. Who better than them to rethink and act on what is needed? With no, or with limited IT support and overhead, they can pilot concepts that transform their own experiences and the experience of your constituents.
The Microsoft Power Platform offers just this through intuitive, user-friendly tools that help non-technical business users, or “citizen developers” as they are more commonly known, uncover new ways of doing things to improve the business. Offering an agility to the organization to respond and adapt to events quickly and with limited investment or costs.
The toolset within the Power Platform will allow your team members to build:
- Easy to use Apps, specifically designed for scenarios and user groups.
- Automated processes across solutions, utilizing a large set of default connectors.
- Reports from different data sources to get a full and clear insight into the organization and projects.
- Chatbots or virtual agents to support different constituent groups like (potential) donors and volunteers.
Some examples from our experience: how can these tools help non-profits specifically?
- To empower local volunteer groups, PowerApps can be created to support door-to-door initiatives. Offering simple methods to showcase content and inform people, registering donations as well as the volunteer’s activities. Volunteers work directly with volunteer managers to create content and apps.
- Using PowerApps and different automation flows, front-line and field workers can be supported to facilitate refugees or people that are looking to relocate between countries. Including for example the assignment of confidential cases, health checks, and assistance for international travel.
- Digital information, registration and donation kiosks can quickly and easily be customized and branded for specific events, creating compelling experiences to engage with constituents. Offering live conversations through virtual agents, automated processing of information (instead of importing Excel files) and showcasing results and behavior through easy to setup reporting insights.
Reusable IP for the benefit of the sector: The Housing Accelerator
Examples are endless. Not only can they benefit your organization, but ideas and solutions can be shared and easily adapted between country offices or even organizations.
One example of this is a Housing Accelerator we’ve just released on GitHub. This solution was created by Avanade with input from NetHope, and NetHope members. Working together with the shared goal that this solution will be publicly available as an accelerator in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator framework.
The accelerator components will allow you to match landlords and available housing stock with the needs of refugees and/or homeless people. As part of reusable components, the solution holds a workflow to process gathered housing applications from landlords, a configured set of attributes for Dataverse and the Nonprofit Accelerator, with intuitive reports to map housing locations. Furthermore, the solution leverages PowerApps to easily match housing needs to locations supporting team and volunteer actions.
How do you empower your team?
What other ideas do you have? How digitally empowered are your teams? At Avanade, our purpose is to make a genuine human impact. Maximizing the impact of donated funds through the power of digital solutions. The Power Platform offers the tools to do just that and empowers your end users to do more.
Check out the Avanade Housing App Accelerator on GitHub or get in touch if you want to learn more.