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How we began

Engaging Connections from NDP Studio began life after we met a series of charities with varying goals but a common starting point - an integration between Engaging Networks and MS Dynamics.

As a technology house NDP are familiar with complex bespoke integration but this is often too expensive for nonprofits. So we created a common tool that would deliver the greatest value as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Step one: take away the pain

The least we could reasonably offer was a tool that synchronises the two systems’ Supporter fields to establish the connection and ensure contact details with opt are up to date. This eliminates the big pain points of GDPR compliance, manual deduplication and ensuring a single version of the truth. Also as these fields are more likely to have standard mapping options we pushed down the onboarding costs. Not a bad first step.

Step two: for the campaigners

With a former community organiser onboard we knew that once the hygiene factors were all sorted we should expand out to all of the fields that leverage Engaging Networks advocacy and fundraising tools. These were more likely to be used in a range of ways and have different mapping schemas but that means higher onboarding and running costs. So by making this distinction we reduced costs for those not using them and increased efficiency for those who were. It was a judgement call that led to us revisiting what we decided to put into the Standard version and coming up with our Mission statement, too.

Step three: nice to haves

Finally, we had been compiling a list of nice to haves that we wanted to include. These are common areas of business logic that were required when charities began shifting larger volumes of data. At scale is where conflict handling and data cleansing become useful and things like multiple donation campaigns can cause issues for Finance teams. This area is one that we want to revisit in our Roadmap - to try and deliver these more widely by optimising onboarding and also create new features that make life easier for our already overworked clients.

With these options clearly distinguished we found a development partner who needed them all - the Royal National Institute for the Deaf. Our work with them has led to fleshing out a lot of the facets needed to make a product instead of providing an agency solution. These range from prospective client engagement, the terms and conditions we use and the way we train our people.

This has been a fun journey and one we hope to collaborate with more folk on - all in order to provide valuable services to awesome clients who make our world a better place.

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