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Aid applications management

Diaconia fund is the church’s joint aid fund. It assists families and individuals in Finland who have encountered unexpected financial difficulties or emergency situations.

During 2021, a total of 612 applications were processed for a grant totaling 1,419,973 €. A positive decision was made on 525 applications and a total of 772,380 € in grants were paid through the parishes.

Modernization of the process using Dataverse for Teams

The new implementation had clear primary goals

  • To get rid of laborious manual work steps
  • Improved & automated monitoring and reporting of the whole grant applications process
  • Increased security and better auditing functionalities

After collecting and documenting the business requirements, Forward Forever suggested possible implementation approaches based on Microsoft Power Platform low-code tools.

Low-code based implementation would allow Church IT to maintain and further develop the solution based on new requirements which might appear over time.

Implementation was started with a rapid Proof-of-Concept (PoC) phase after which it was decided that the solution would be built using the recently introduced addition to the Power Platform family: Dataverse for Teams

Key factors supporting this decision

  • The whole process could be implemented within Teams enabling usage of standard Teams features as well including discussions and document management. End users did not need to learn a totally new system.
  • Amount of data handled in the process Too much data and too extensive data model for using e.g. SharePoint as data storage
  • Security & user permissions requirements Different stakeholders have different access rights. E.g. diaconal workers only see their own data.
  • Backup, auditing & data archiving requirements including GDPR policies
  • Reporting requirements Power BI reports can be updated even real time when using Dataverse as database
  • User interface functionality requirements We needed a highly optimized user experience which was achieved using Canvas Apps
  • Amount of users & licensing There are more than a thousand end users for the solution and because Dataverse for Teams is included in the basic Microsoft 365 licenses, all the end users were already licensed.

At Forward Forever, one of our core values is to aim for impact and prioritize meaningful applications which have an impact on society, customer’s business operations and/or workforce well-being. Therefore this implementation and collaboration with Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is very special for us and we were extremely happy to be able to succeed.

Related Finnish)


Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland




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