Updated: Dec 7, 2020
This post was created using speech-to-text AI.
FULL TRANSCRIPT (with timecode)
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All right. Hey, everybody, it's Dan Lammot from threshold.world. Excited to be back talking about different components of the Common Data Model for Nonprofits. And today we're going to focus on volunteer management, which is part of the 3.0 release of the Common Data Model for Nonprofits and Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator. So as you hopefully remember, if you want to access the accelerator and the Common Data Model for Nonprofits, you can go to this page on Microsoft Docs titled Dynamic's 365 Nonprofit Accelerator.
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And the content that we're going to review is also available open source on GitHub in the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator repos. So one of the key docs that's within that is the nonprofit reference document. And within that document, you're going to find all of the entity relationship diagrams that are available for the Common Data Model for Nonprofits and Nonprofit Accelerator. So you want to find that on the GitHub site. And when you get to the diagram for volunteer management, this is what you're going to see. And there's really three pieces of this, if you think about it in different groups.
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On the right hand side of the diagram, you have the constituent model because, of course, it's constituents that are involved in volunteering. In the left hand side, you have the the units of work or activities, the places and times with which a volunteer could actually volunteer. And then in the middle, you've got the connective tissue in the links that create the schedules, the qualifications and the points in time when those activities can actually occur. Now, one thing I want to point out, which may not jump off the page immediately, is that most of the entities in this that that are in that linking category are called engagement, opportunity or engagement, opportunities, schedule engagement, opportunity participant, qualification, as opposed to volunteer opportunity, volunteer opportunities schedule and so forth.
00:01:57:13 - 00:02:18:19
And that was a very deliberate choice on the part of the customer steering team and the participants that collaborated around this model. The reason why they called it engagement instead of volunteer is because volunteering is this very broad spectrum of activities and there's not a way to describe that in. Let me do that part over again.
00:02:20:07 - 00:02:58:02
So it was a very deliberate choice to call this engagement as opposed to volunteer. And that was really specifically because volunteering is a very broad spectrum. It can be from, you know, true kind of unpaid volunteering to hybrid volunteering to scheduled and unscheduled volunteering and so forth. And so the thought was that there's all these different ways for constituents to connect with and engage when they're not workers of a nonprofit. And that really is better encompassed in the concept of engagement. That term is also carried forward, as you might know, in the label for the product that Tech for Social Impact recently released, called Fundraising and Engagement.
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So you'll see that here in the labels of all the entities. And it's really intended to represent that broad spectrum of connectivity between activities that nonprofits do and the constituents that want to support and participate in those activities. So let's take a look at the right hand side where we see the constituent. You'll notice some different colored entities. The gray ones are, of course, the Common Data Service entities that everybody gets the blue represent those that have already been implemented and are available inside of the Common Data Model for Nonprofits and yellow ones represent all of these new sort of volunteer management or engagement management entities.
00:03:37:05 - 00:04:17:03
So when we take a look at the yellow ones, what we see first is the availability, which sets out the specific schedule when that individual identifies that they are available to engage with the nonprofit. And you'll see the fields there represent sort of effective from and effective to start date end date hours per day, so on and so forth. So you can really get very specific about an individual's availability if you need to. You also have this recursive capability around qualifications and qualification types that makes it really easy to administer different types of skills, certifications, training, languages.
00:04:17:17 - 00:04:50:21
And you can, of course, extend those qualification types to meet the volunteer and engagement needs of your organization and or the organizations that you're serving. The other thing that is key to point out is the preference entity, which has been part of the CDM since its first release. And the preference entity is where you're going to list the specific interests of volunteering that that individual has. So they might want to volunteer at an animal shelter. They might have an interest in activities with children. They may want to be focused on elder care or disaster response, et cetera, et cetera.
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So those preferences are the place where you list the things that they want to do. So all told, you get the individuals, you get what they're interested in, you get what they're capable of, and you also get what they're when they're available to do those activities. Which covers just about everything you might want to be able to do from the volunteer profiling perspective. If we shift over to the left hand side of the diagram, you'll see work item and delivery framework as two of the entities that have been part of the common data model for a couple of releases. now.
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Work items, you might remember, represent kind of that lightweight case management capability that comes with the CDM, and delivery frameworks represent those more robust delivery activities that are part of the results framework in the delivery framework. So together, those two entities give you the ability to essentially attach or create opportunities for engagement in effectively any activity that a nonprofit might be involved in. It could be a programmatic activity, from a program delivery perspective, which would be a delivery framework, or it might be an individual case or work item that the nonprofit is scheduled to do direct service delivery.
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The new entity that comes along with the assessment module and 3.0 is this concept of an operation. And the operation was imagined in that assessment module. Listen to the assessment session to get all the details on that. But the core of this is that organizations may be executing either individual or partner based operations in a number of different theaters, whether it's disaster response or preparedness. And that represents another key unit of work. So the left hand side gives you individual service delivery, general program management, and then site and location specific operations that are being planned and executed on the nonprofit's behalf. Which sets us up well to be able to connect those individuals with those items of work.
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And so the key linking entity here is the engagement opportunity. So if there's a need for service delivery, there would be an engagement opportunity that was associated with that. If there was a program that needed sourcing of staffing and support, then that would represent an engagement opportunity as well. And the key fields that you see on the engagement opportunity that represent those types of activities are the type, the status, the number, the min, the max, and then their associations to those activities.
00:07:14:24 - 00:08:12:11
So that gives you the ability to actually create that opportunity for engagement. That's the entity that if you were building an app on top of this would be sort of the list of volunteer opportunities or the schedule of things that someone might want to engage in. And then, as you can see underneath that, you have the schedule and the participant qualifications that represent, you know, if we have an opportunity to do something, when is that going to occur? And that can be on a scheduled basis, a recurring basis, etc.. And also, importantly, what kind of skills do we need to ensure that we can have the high quality of service that the nonprofit wants to deliver? You know, do we need people that have specific skills with, you know, heavy equipment or with chainsaws for that matter? Or do they need to have a medical certification or CPR or experience working with a particular population of people and so forth? And you can see that that qualification opportunity is then linked over to qualification time so you get to connect those two pieces together.
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Which leaves us with one really key part, and that's the participation in the participation type. This is where the constituents and those opportunities get linked together when there's actually a match taking place or when an engagement opportunity is fulfilled by its association directly with the contact record. So the participation type gives you the ability to classify the different types of participation. And you can do that administratively without anybody having to go in and code or add additional values to pick lists.
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So you've got that that easy admin capability on top and then that participation record itself is going to have all the keys about when it took place, what the hours were, who the contact was and what the individual activity was. So if I were building an app on top of this, I'd be able to see within a contact record all of the participations and engagement opportunities that an individual had, which is really key to being able to understand your overall constituent profile. So that's it for the entity relationship diagram.
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And if you want to be able to download the Nonprofit Accelerator version 3.0 to get a look at this volunteer management and engagement capability, go out to App Source over here to Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator, pull it down and you're off and running. Thanks for watching. We'll see you soon.