Updated: Dec 7, 2020
CDM Solutions for Nonprofits
This post was created using speech-to-text AI.
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All right. Good day, everybody. This is Dan Lammot with threshold.world. And we're back to talk about the common data model for nonprofits with a special focus on awards or grants, as some people call them. The name awards was chosen deliberately because grants doesn't cover all the different scenarios where nonprofits make awards to operating partners, individuals, organizations or groups of people. And a simple example of that might be something like scholarships. So the name Awards was chosen to encompass the grants capabilities that are traditional for outbound grants, but also those other types of relationships that nonprofits have that represent other other awards of things or benefits to individuals as well.
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So we're going to refer to it as awards. But just know that I also mean grants. So as is always the case, the best resource for you to find all of the details about awards is on the GitHub site here with version two point three point three, the CDM for nonprofits or and or nonprofit accelerator. So let's take a look at the grants or awards model. There's quite a bit going on in this model and a lot more blue, which means CDM for Nonprofits than you've seen in some of the other models.
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And the reason for that is that this functionality is pretty specific to the nonprofit market. So you're going to see more customization with the CDM for nonprofits and then you might in the constituent model or the fundraising model for that matter. And there's really two sides to the awards model that are important to take a look at. On the left hand side, you really have this kind of almost linear process via which awards materialize. And we'll go through that in detail in a moment.
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And then on the right hand side, you have the organizations sort of reason for being that runs the spectrum from their overall objectives down to the way that funds or effort flow through these awards. So we're going to look at both of those sides and then we're going to focus on the way that the CDM connects the flow of funds in the model here today. So let's take a look at the left side first, which is about the flow of the process for awards from beginning to end. Now, often awards begin with recommendations that come from staff internal to the organization or perhaps a trusted third parties like consultants, affiliates, prior awardees and so on and so forth.
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So the recommendations capability in the model is really intended to be that kind of broad catcher's mitt or aggregation point or the wide end of the funnel, some people might refer to it as, for those recommendations to be made that the organization might want to consider for awards, if you're using Dynamics 365 sales, you can also incorporate the lead entity into that as well. But just as a special note that doesn't come as standard with the Common Data Service only instance. The docket entity is there to group together requests and or other entities within the system.
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So think of the docket entity as a way for you to have a logical grouping of a particular set of requests, awards, recommendations, leads, etc.. This could be based on program, based on geography, based on special interest or any combination of those things or any other that you might want to group these entities together for. And that provides you with a very easy way to be able to move things along. The efficient cycle of the award process itself, which leads us to requests. A request, is really the first major entity in the award model.
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Think of this as like the place where the application might be aggregated. It's the place where if it's an inbound grant or an inbound award, you're going to see that manifest as a request. And there's going to be a lifecycle that the request will move through from point A to point B, whereby it gets reviewed, evaluated, etc.. And so when we take a look and say request inside the application space, pay special attention to its association, to other records within the system, but also that state transition that it might follow.
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Now, requests are often reviewed by internal and or external parties, which is why the review entity exists, that's the place where you're going to track the end to end process of those reviews, including the invitations, as well as the results of those individual reviews, which ultimately will lead us to a singular award. So in the model, you have many requests to one award. Now at that relationship is too specific for what your purposes are,
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you can obviously extend that relationship, the key thing is to actually use the award entity to represent that record of an award being made to an individual, to an organization, group of individuals, groups, organizations and so on and so forth. But the award represents that final, that point of finality. However, it doesn't necessarily represent the change in or the flow of funds between the awarding organization and the entity itself. We're going to get to that and kind of part three of this talk. So let me shift over to the right hand side now to talk about how an organization establishes its reason for being its purpose for making these awards in the first place.
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So the objective entity is meant to represent the highest level things that your organization is focused on. It might be something like global health, education, safety. If you were to span all of the sustainable development goals out, each of them would be an individual objective, for example. So it's a very, very high level record. Now, you can also structure objectives to provide that next level as well. So you can see that you can have a parent objective with it within the application.
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The delivery framework entity is the activity. It's the thing that you do or the things that you do to achieve the objective. Think of it as the vehicle by which the organization is setting out to go and achieve those those those objectives themselves. The budget hopefully speaks for itself, but that's the bucket of funds that then feed into the delivery frameworks and feed into achieving the objectives and so forth. And all of that, as you can see on the right hand side, is also tied to the constituent model within the CDM as well.
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That allows you to track which part of your organization is providing for the funds, which part of the organization is related to those objective or objectives or delivery frameworks, whether it's an organizational entity or all the way down to the individual as well. So the thing that brings sort of the request to award an objective to to budget process together is this really key entity called disbursement distribution. So think about it this way.
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And award may have one or many disbursements of funds and then a budget can have one or many disbursement distributions. So when the award is put into a disbursement, that disbursement is then connected to the budget entity through that disbursement distribution, effectively showing you the flow of funds from the award over to a budget that helps achieve the objective by executing the delivery frameworks. So let's take a look at all of this inside the application.
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If we flip over and we look at this fictitious organization, you can see that one of their primary objectives is global health. And we can look at that objective and see the start and end dates of the objective may never have an end date, but we can also see all of the budgets that are associated and we can see the delivery frameworks or the activities by which the organization is going to go off and try to execute upon these objectives. And I'm going to leave this on the health education initiatives while I go look at the other side of the application as well.
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So if we follow a request like this one, you know, a health education request that's intended to fund new projects and it gives you the amount in the year and the dates and so on and so forth, it's associated to once it goes through that review process, it's going to show up with a particular award. And in this case, you can see that the award was made, the recipient was Cantoso Limited, the internal contact is our friend Jill, and the fiscal sponsor was the Galloway household. And if we flip into that even further, you can see the two disbursements of twenty five thousand that were made that are also then linked over to the delivery framework that we just saw on the flip side over there, that health education delivery framework.
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So I hope this gives you a good sense of how the common data model for nonprofits presents you with the ability to track requests all the way through to awards and then really importantly, link that through disbursement distributions over to the objectives and the activities that the organization intends to achieve.