How the Swiss Re foundation easily keeps track of their entire grant activities

"No more guesswork! We now have a complete overview of the funds we allocate per year and whether we are dealing appropriately with the money that we are receiving by tracking our KPIs."

Overview

“Spending money the best possible way and managing a close relationship with our grantees. Those are our biggest challenges that Optimy helps us to solve.”

Curious to know how the Swiss RE foundation operates?

Discover in this exclusive interview, how the foundation is able to easily keep track of their entire grant activities with Optimy!

  1. A few facts about the foundation
  2. What does your job consist of?
  3. What is your biggest challenge at the foundation?
  4. What outcomes did Optimy help you meet?
  5. Why would you recommend Optimy?

A few facts about the foundation

The Swiss Re Foundation is a Swiss foundation focused on sustainable development goals such as access to health and income opportunities, innovation for societal resilience, as well as natural hazard and climate risk management.

The Swiss RE Foundation is working with:

  • 1769 volunteers
  • A commitment of CHF 6.95 million
  • And 18 new projects, just in 2019

What does your job consist of?

I am a senior portfolio manager in charge of our Strategic Commitments. We are a team of seven people, with a director and two groups.

One arm of the Foundation runs the corporate volunteering activities, as well as programs that are across the whole company, like sharing business skills with charities and NGOs. And then we have the other arm, which I am part of, our strategy commitments where we provide funding for impactful, evidence-based, and sustainable projects and partners.

What is your biggest challenge at the foundation?

“In our roles, essentially, we have the luxury of having money and we have to spend it – and spend it the best possible way.”

1. Spending money the best possible way

In our roles, essentially, we have the luxury of having money and we have to spend it – and spend it the best possible way. So we’re looking for new partners and new ideas on how to engage. We do that by engaging both out of Optimy through meetings and also with Optimy when we run calls for proposals.

2. Managing a close relationship with our grantees

We run yearly 3 calls for proposals and are envisaging to grow that. The focus of our calls changes from one call to the next. From that perspective, the flexibility that one can have through a tool is important, and it is great if there’s an expansion of that flexibility somehow. 

Everything happens mostly on Optimy and it starts from the initial application, through:

  • Contract signing
  • Progress reports
  • Updates on key performance indicators including outcome indicators
  • Keeping track of milestones and agreed on report dates, as well as invoices

Until finally the moment of closing a contract relation!

What outcomes did Optimy help you meet?

We used another tool from a Swiss company that had some standard features as well as some that were tailored for us. One thing that was annoying us was to have to always go back to the partner to do every single step of our activities on the tool.”

Keep track of all the projects

Optimy helps us keep track of all the projects we are supporting and the information that is related to this project in an organized manner. It also helps us keep relations with our grantees when they apply and when they report back. And then there’s the aspect of the financial grant management.

Clear overview of our budget

Optimy helps us to have a view and an overview of:

  • The money we have per year
  • Where the money’s going
  • And whether we are dealing appropriately with the amount of money that we are receiving.

Why would you recommend Optimy?

At some point, our previous tool provider needed to upgrade the tool and migrate to their new solution. We took the opportunity to evaluate if there were solutions better suited to our needs. We looked at the: price, flexibility and the capacity.

1. Independence: We wanted a tool where we could do a big part on our own, which Optimy does.

2. Insightful reporting dashboards: And we were very excited about the dashboard features in the tool

3. A reliable customer support: Lastly, another aspect that’s great with Optimy is the support we receive from our Customer Success executive. We receive great support from her in a very friendly way, she is very interactive, very responsive at all stages, and fully committed to us.

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