Nonprofits and Data

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This group is for those interested in learning and sharing about all things data-related for nonprofits. The Nonprofits and Data group is for people using data to serve a mission, either directly or by improving nonprofits and the nonprofit sector. That includes everything from collecting data and managing databases to analytics, data visualization and data mining. Here are some examples of topics we discuss: using data to improve organizational effectiveness, measuring impact, using data for storytelling, tools for data management and analysis, figuring out the “right” data to collect, and learning skills to help us use data better.

Is Sharepoint a viable case-management system?

  • 1.  Is Sharepoint a viable case-management system?

    Posted Nov 29, 2019 16:53

    Hello fellow data people,

    I've been helping social-service non-profits collect and store data for 3 years now. After a large initial search I decided to work with Microsoft tech, accessing Microsoft's CRM though PowerApps. I never considered other Microsoft tech because CRM/PowerApps did everything I needed.

    I have a client transitioning away from their current SaaS solution and are being advised to offload some data processes to SharePoint, perhaps shifting everything over eventually. They are large social service agency with thousands of clients and dozens of programs. Services can vary greatly between programs, with some overlapping data (ex. referrals). Their current SaaS is not a fully customizable CRM/relational database.

    I've never worked with the tool, but after some googling I get the impression that Sharepoint is not up to task to be a large non-profit's case management system, though being free is a big plus. The main limits I see are the lack of complex data relationships, and relatively inflexible user permissions.

    I know there's got to be some Sharepoint experts here. Am I being rightfully pessimistic, or can the right developer make Sharepoint sing?

    Thanks!



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    David Woodruff
    datapunks.ca
    Edmonton, AB
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  • 2.  RE: Is Sharepoint a viable case-management system?

    Posted Nov 30, 2019 07:47
    Hey David,

    Always great to hear when someone realizes that "free" does not always equal the "ideal solution". Sharepoint is really good as a collaboration tool and it is possible to multipurpose the solution (i.e. case management) but with heavy development and ongoing consulting fees for changes and customization.

    How many total users need access to case management tool within your client? Total users within their legal department?

    As a non-profit were they unhappy with SaaS subscription pricing structure? Open to a perpetual license aka "on-premise" solution which allows them to own the software outright?


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    K. Howard Enterprise Solutions LLC
    Kyle O'Donnell
    President
    973-866-7366
    kyle@khesolutions.com
    www.ademero.com
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  • 3.  RE: Is Sharepoint a viable case-management system?

    Posted Nov 30, 2019 23:26
    I'd largely confirm your intuition that Sharepoint isn't a great answer at scale for case management. You should be looking ti Dynamics, not Sharepoint, for this kind of functionality.

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    Isaac Shalev
    http://www.sage70.com
    Stamford CT
    @Sage70
    isaac@sage70.com
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  • 4.  RE: Is Sharepoint a viable case-management system?

    Posted Dec 01, 2019 19:00
    Edited by Medha Nanal Dec 01, 2019 19:00
    As others have noted, Sharepoint is a collaboration tool. In plain words, this means that its sweet spot is with teams who are trying to create documents and update reports collaboratively, i.e. simultaneously.

    Typical case management scenario lends itself well to workflow management. Although a case is worked on by various members of the team, typically a case ownership is changed among various people during the entire case lifetime. A CRM platform supporting case management and workflow/automation capabilities, such as MS Dynamics or Saleforce, is more appropriate for this purpose. Both support classic case management with some out-of-the-box functionality and both have the flexibility to customize to your own unique needs.

    Hope this helps!! Happy to chat more off line.

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    Medha Nanal
    Strategic Data/Database Consultant for Nonprofits (Fundraising, Operations, Programs)
    www.topcloudconsult.com
    medhananal@topcloudconsult.com
    650.600.9374
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