How technology can help not-for-profits ‘do more good’: Part 2


In the second part of this blog, we continue to look at how technology can help NFPs to create more impact in the community, and the technology offerings that can modernise the way NFPs operate.  

In case you missed Part 1, you can find it here: Part 1 provided you with the first two ways in which technology can help not-for-profits do more good, including:

  1. Empower mobility and secure remote working, with the real-life example of ATSICHS Brisbane.
  2. Quickly automate business processes, with the real-life example of Diabetes Victoria.

Now we pay attention to the next three ways.

#3 Manage your financial spend.

NFPs are under constant pressure to manage their expenses as they operate with a limited budget. It becomes imperative that they closely control and manage their finances and so constant vigilance, up-to-date figures and flexible reporting are key. If you are using an accounting software that still needs you to process transactions manually, run reports outside of the system, or requires you to upgrade your hardware annually, then you should consider switching to a modern ERP.

A modern ERP will not only help you allocate funds, track expenses and salaries, and comply with mandatory reporting, but will also provide you with the required flexibility and control to manage costs across departments, regions, or programs.

A cloud-based ERP such as Dynamics 365 Business Central helps NFPs get access to a cost-effective system. It doesn’t require expensive hardware investment or annual software upgrades. Using ‘dimensions’ in its Chart of Accounts, it can accelerate reporting and analysis, even on the most complicated reporting processes, so you can manage your finances better. Watch this on-demand webinar to learn how Business Central can help you improve financial management and reporting. 


Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland Ltd (LDDSWQL) is part of Australia’s leading suicide prevention service. After experiencing rapid growth, they needed an ERP system that could keep up. They made the decision to implement Dynamics 365 Business Central, and subsequently experienced a 30% time saving, 70% reduction in printing, and 90% reduction in filed documents, to name but a few of the significant benefits. The project achieved beyond the initial objectives, and the solution is loved by the whole organisation. Their next move is to utilise Business Central and Power BI together to produce reports and dashboards.

Read LDDSWQL’s full success story here.

You can also read about the relationship between LDDSWQL and PA, and how their implementation happened during the height of COVID-19 in their Client Story here.

#4 Simplify complex reporting.

Being transparent with fund allocation, getting visibility on staff utilisation, or analysing donations spend is not always easy to report in a not-for-profit setting. This is because data can come from various sources and without a tool to combine them, reporting and analysis will have to be done manually. This can be simplified when NFPs have the right tools in place.

Power BI is already included in a Microsoft 365 Not-for-Profit SKU, which can help you with real-time reporting and analysis. It is a self-service business intelligence tool that can combine multiple data sources in a visual dashboard to help you gain the insight you need to make informed decisions. Watch this on-demand webinar to discover how Power BI can help NFPs improve their reporting outcomes in the areas of grants and funding management, procurement and spend analysis, as well as real-time reporting and data insights.

#5 Guard against cyber threats.

Any NFP processing personally identifiable information (PII) is a cyber criminal’s target, regardless of the organisation’s size. Criminal groups are evolving their techniques to make it harder for IT teams to keep up. Without modern security tools, it will be challenging to safeguard the data of the people and communities that NFPs serve. The September 2020 release of Microsoft’s Digital Defense Report stated that the most common reason behind its incident response engagement is Ransomware. Security tools available in Microsoft 365 and Azure can help you guard against it and other cyber threats.

Microsoft 365 for Not-for-Profit SKUs already has multi-factor authentication (MFA), data loss prevention (DLP), and malware protection. These are all basic security tools that come free with your subscription, which we highly recommend that you turn on. It also helps with your compliance obligations as described in this blog.

Our NFP clients choose to add multiple layers of protection to guard against advanced and persistent cyber threats. There are complimenting Microsoft security solutions that safeguard the four security domains—Identity, Device, Application, and Data—as you can see below.

What should I consider?


EWON is a not-for-profit, industry-based Ombudsman scheme and body that independently resolves electricity, gas, and some water complaints from its members. When the pandemic struck in Australia, the majority of their staff were mandated to work from home but were using their personal devices. Being aware of the many cybersecurity threats and incidents happening across the country, they wanted to ensure they had some form of control over the security of the devices that were accessing their data.

Professional Advantage deployed Microsoft Intune with Autopilot to enable mobile device management. This allowed EWON to:

  1. Set policies on how personal and company-owned devices can access data.
  2. Ensure that these devices are compliant with their security requirements.
  3. Have peace of mind knowing their data has an extra layer of protection if their staff’s devices get lost or stolen.

Read EWON’s success story here.

In closing…

A modern NFP organisation can do more good even with less resources when they have the right tools and technology in place. Microsoft and Professional Advantage can help you achieve your mission by saving on software and services costs so you can use the extra cash to carry out your advocacies. Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, and Azure all have not-for-profit SKUs where you can take advantage of a significant reduction in software costs if you are a qualified NFP. Professional Advantage, on the other hand, has special pricing on services for NFP organisations.

The technologies we discussed in this blog might be a lot to take in, but we can help you make sense of where and how to start digitalising your NFP operations. Comment below or get in touch with us at 1800 126 499 for a free consultation.

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