Who we Help

How Ascend Cares Foundation simplified its philanthropic processes and empowered its stakeholders with Optimy

‍Facing some administrative and reporting hurdles while frustrating stakeholders, the Ascend Cares Foundation sought for an alternative solution to streamline its grant management and volunteering processes. Optimy emerged as the answer, offering a comprehensive platform tailored to their unique needs.

“With Optimy's implementation, we witnessed a transformative shift in efficiency and transparency, empowering us to build strong workflows with ease. While challenges persisted during the rollout, we are confident our commitment to optimizing the platform will position us for success."
Krissy Osborne
Program Manager

‍About Ascend Cares Foundation

The Ascend Cares Foundation serves as the philanthropic branch of Ascend Performance Materials, a fully integrated material solutions provider with global manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. Founded approximately 12 years ago in response to a series of tornadoes that struck the Decatur, Alabama area, near Ascend's sites, the foundation initially aimed to provide financial support to employees affected by natural disasters. However, over the years, the Foundation has expanded its scope to include various programs under its umbrella, including scholarships for employees' children, community impact grants, hardship grants, and site projects. Under the leadership of Krissy Osborne, the Program Manager, the Ascend Cares Foundation continues to evolve and grow, making a positive impact on employees and communities alike worldwide.



The previous system for managing funds and projects at the Ascend Cares Foundation posed several significant challenges. Although in place for approximately five years, the system lacked user-friendliness and intuitive navigation, resulting in frustration among users. Additionally, the reporting capabilities were inadequate, making it difficult to extract accurate and comprehensive data necessary for tracking grants, events, and other activities. The inability to trust the data generated by the system hindered effective decision-making and reporting processes. Moreover, the escalating costs of the system, culminating in a nearly tripled price, strained the foundation's budget and prompted the search for an alternative solution.


Facing the urgent need to transition to a new system, the Ascend Cares Foundation explored various solutions to address its challenges. After thorough vetting and consideration of functionality and cost, the foundation selected Optimy as its solution. The seamless integration of grant management and volunteering platform features within Optimy streamlined administrative tasks, ensuring efficient oversight and management, even with limited personnel resources. Additionally, the responsive and supportive interactions with Optimy representatives during the evaluation process reinforced the foundation's confidence in its decision.

Notably, Optimy accommodated the foundation's preference for internal management of check disbursement by its accounts payable team, a critical factor that distinguished it from other vendors. This capability ensured a streamlined process, from grant approval to final disbursement, with notifications sent directly to the accounts payable team upon completion. This unique feature addressed the foundation's concerns about outsourcing check handling and further solidified Optimy as the preferred solution.


With Optimy, the foundation improved its grant review process, allowing committee leaders at each site to efficiently evaluate and approve requests. The system facilitates seamless communication between stakeholders, ensuring timely approvals and notifications to grant recipients.

Moreover, the platform enables the foundation to manage various types of grants, including community impact grants and hardship grants, with tailored workflows for each. The transition to Optimy has enhanced transparency and accountability, ensuring that funds are allocated effectively and in accordance with the foundation's mission.

Moving forward, Ascend Cares Foundation aims to further refine its processes and maximize the capabilities of Optimy. Key areas of focus include simplifying event creation, and enhancing reporting functionalities. By leveraging Optimy's robust features and responsive customer service, the foundation is poised to achieve its goals and drive positive impact in its communities.

Get started today!

Contact us or request a demo and start amplifying your social and business impact.

Join over 10,000 users worldwide