Dynamics 365 Wave 1 Release

What Nonprofits should know about Dynamics 365 Wave 1 Release

Learn about the new Microsoft upgrades, and find out what you need to do to prepare.

In this article: Find out about five different changes to the CRM system that could be relevant to you as a nonprofit organisation. Some of these changes will be rolled out automatically, so you must be prepared, so your system can keep running as usual. 

Do you use Dynamics 365 CRM at your nonprofit? Well, if you do, buckle up, because Microsoft has released their plan for the 2024 Wave 1 release – and it’s almost a tsunami. There are a lot of changes and upgrades within the release – and they are happening right across the Dynamics 365 suite.  

The original Wave 1 release plan document by Microsoft is 776 pages long, and we know you don’t have time for that. It’s made for all businesses - so we have summed up the most important parts, specifically for nonprofits - so you can get the most out of the upgrades and have the information that would be useful for YOU. 

What’s new right now? We are going to highlight some of the latest features that could be rolled out in your nonprofits CRM in the next few months, with the earliest updates being implemented in April 2024.  We’ll also explain what you need to do, to prepare. 


Change 1: Dynamics 365 Sales (Engagement Unit) 

Why sales? It’s important for you as a nonprofit leader to be able to sell the idea of donating to your cause. Dynamics 365 Sales allows you to get more donations by understanding your donors and the way they want to give – powered by data and the experiences they love.  

Dynamics 365 sales can connect with your favourite productivity tools like Office 365 and Teams, and you can quickly reach your donors in the moment.  

The fundraising landscape is constantly changing. Donors expect a blend of digital and personalised experiences throughout their journey. This is why Microsoft is using data and AI to help nonprofits make the most of their donor interactions. They do this by providing recommendations, summarising data, retrieving information, and performing actions in context and within the flow of work. This is particularly helpful if you nurture relationships with “high value” donors. 

So what capabilities are planned for the 2024 release wave 1? 

  • Engage a bot for the initial customer outreach so that you only work with good-quality leads. 

  • While on a call with a customer, get insights and tips based on past interactions with the customer and communicate effectively based on the suggestions. 

  • Prepopulate emails based on the content you frequently use while drafting emails, such as self-introduction and donation details, reducing the time spent preparing emails. 

  • A whole host of enhancements around sequences, including sequence step visibility, sequence performance, custom templates, step loops, multiple sequences assignment, personalisation, automated replies, and more. 

  • Send and receive customer communication through SMS and get real-time notifications for incoming SMS. 


Change 2: Dynamics 365 Customer Service – Also known as Case Management   

If you think Customer Service isn’t needed in a nonprofit organisation, think again. Excellent customer service is the lifeblood of any organisation, and whether you are working with internal customers (colleagues who need information or resources) or external customers (donors, stakeholders, and volunteers), how you treat your customers really impacts your ability to achieve you goals and maintain success. Customer service is about asking – how can I help? And authentically acting on it. 

But what is Dynamics 365 Customer Service? 

It’s a cloud-based solution that uses generative AI across the service journey to help you deliver fast, personalized, and consistent service across multiple channels.  

These capabilities enable you to provide an omnichannel experience to your customers with chat, voice, social, and messaging channels.  

In 2024 release wave 1, here’s what’s coming:  

  • Infusing generative AI into customer, agent, and supervisor experiences.  

  • Enhancing voice, messaging, and email channels.  

  • Extending Copilot capabilities and get relevant results with filters for Copilot. 

  • Forecast volume, agent demand for customer interactions.  

  • Compose emails using improved attachment experience. 


In Omnichannel Specifically: 

  • See enhancements in call transfers to external numbers.  

  • Explore enhancements to outbound dialling. 

  • Access voice channel features in GCC Moderate  

  • Mask sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access. 

  • Transfer calls to Teams users through VOIP.  


Change 3: Dynamics 365 Finance 

You would know that financial management is non-negotiable in your non-profit. It is important for achieving your mission, decision making, maintain financial stability, and increasing transparency and accountability.  

This release of Dynamics 365 Finance focuses on continuing to add enhancements and AI-powered experiences to nonprofit organisations: 

  • Manage tasks and create reports with generative AI. 
  • Set up security for multiple users at once in planning. 
  • Set up data flows in business application planning app. 
  • Copilot: Speed results with collections coordinator summary. 
  • Choose from more exchange rate types to revalue bank currency. 
  • Automatically clear bridged transactions. 
  • Manage petty cash. 


Change 4: Business Central 

Business Central isn’t just for for-profit organisations and traditional businesses. Because it is so adaptable, it is also a great solution for nonprofits.  

It has supply-chain management capabilities, so you can easily manage procurement processes, optimize inventory levels, and track donations. 

The platform is also great for project management, and whether it's a community outreach initiative or a fundraising campaign, nonprofits can use Business Central to allocate resources, track expenses, and measure outcomes.  

Business Central also integrates well with other Microsoft apps and systems. If you rely on a variety of software solutions to manage different aspects of your operations from donor management to volunteer coordination, you can integrate them to Business Central, allowing you to consolidate data and improve data visibility.  

Here are some of the new capabilities, available from April 2024:  

  • Archive projects. 
  • Integrate Field Service and Business Central 
  • Define a service invoice posting policy for various users. 
  • Connect Business Central with Shopify B2B 
  • Be more productive when approving time sheets. 


Change 5: Customer Insights – Journeys   

Dynamics 365 Customer Insights - Journeys brings together the worlds of customer experience, generative AI, and marketing automation, empowering you to orchestrate end-to-end, personalised journeys across all touchpoints to strengthen relationships and earn donor loyalty. 

As mentioned earlier, donors and customers demand digital and in-person experiences throughout the donation journey. They expect seamless, exceptional, and personalized experiences at every touchpoint. This means analysing a large amount of data to gain a deep understanding of your donors, robust alignment between sales and marketing, and the ability to create personalised journeys across the customer lifecycle. In this release, Microsoft’s focus is on three key areas: 

  1. Generative AI and Copilot: 
  2. Engaging customers in moments that matter: 
  3. Unifying sales and marketing 


Here are some things you will be able to do after the upgrades in April 2024:   

  • Take campaigns from concept to launch using Copilot. 
  • Easily reference copies of sent emails in the timeline. 
  • Capture responses from external, third-party forms. 
  • Engage customers with personalised messages based on website interactions. 


What you need to do 

1. Wave 1 release happens automatically from the 1st of April. Sometimes with releases, other functions are interrupted or “break”. You need to ensure you are updating your systems proactively in the development stage, as well as checking there are no bugs. Otherwise, the updates will automatically take place, and you may be dealing with fires - if your functions have been interrupted. You can avoid this potential interruption in your systems by getting support from an expert. 

2. If you depend on your CRM for daily tasks and information, you will need an expert to implement these behind-the-scenes changes to make sure your system continues to run smoothly.  

3. Remember, these changes will only apply to the units you have access to currently. New features which belong to different units will not suddenly appear on your system. But if something interests you, we can help you change your licensing to access this. 


And voilà, that’s the end of the summary. You should now be aware of the many Dynamics 365 CRM upgrades that are on their way and understand how beneficial they can be for your nonprofit. Just imagine all the things that you can do and the time you can save with these new functions! 

You’ll also now realise that because of the number of changes, it may cause some implementation challenges, due to time, resources, and new learning. But it’s okay! Bear in mind, Microsoft has stated that a lot of these features must be enabled or configured by the administrators, makers, or business analysts to be available for your users on your Dynamics 365. Some changes will be made automatically, but others will need to be facilitated in a controlled manner.  

To keep your nonprofit running smoothly and not get hit by the wave, but instead surf it… you may find that you need extra support. XP is here to help you navigate the updates and implement the changes that will work for your nonprofit. We are the guys behind the scenes that will ensure that everything stays running smoothly.  

How can XP help?  

In short terms, we’ll perform a backup of your data first. Then, we will update your systems, in line with the wave 1 release. Lastly, we will do functionality tests to make sure that everything in the update will work properly before it goes live on your system.  

If you’re ready to get ahead of wave 1, talk to your account manager, or drop us a line! 


Interested in implementing some of the changes you have read about?

Get in touch

13 September 2023
The guide for senior leaders to Microsoft Azure

A must-read for CEOs and Senior Leaders. Explore the potential of Microsoft Azure for Not-for-Profit organisations. Dive into its offerings, understand its challenges and benefits, and discover how Azure can amplify impact and efficiency.

Read The Story
18 July 2023
The Capabilities of Office 365 for Not For Profits

Guide for NFP leaders on Office 365: Dive into its key features, understand its benefits for not-for-profit operations, tackle potential challenges, and strategise for effective digital transformation. Unlock organisational efficiency with Microsoft's suite

Read The Story
07 August 2023
D365 Implementations, the benefits & challenges

Uncover the transformative advantages of Dynamics 365 CRM for NFPs. This guide delves into its implementation, costs, and the strategic edge it offers. Plus, discover how Xtreme Productivity can be your trusted partner in this digital journey.

Read The Story