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How the SKKG Foundation developed its grants projects with Optimy

Stiftung für Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte is a cultural institution characterized by its dual mission: on the one hand, they have a huge collection of arts of all kinds that they want to make accessible to everybody easily. They also support cultural institutions via grants activities since October 2020 to ensure the preservation of cultural heritage and offer museums the possibility to encourage more participation in cultural heritage with their projects. The SKKG team also recently put in place a great project that empowers everyone to get involved and participate in local culture. More about them in what follows.

Optimy is so flexible. You can always change the questions, the parts of the form.
Rahel Stauffiger
Support & Promotion

A few words about SKKG

SKKG was founded in 1980 by Bruno Stefanini, a Swiss property owner and art collector. At the core of SKKG’s values lies the promotion and preservation of culture among every layer of society. Culture is a democratic field, everyone should get access and participate in the promotion and preservation of cultural heritage. SKKG is always transparent and tries to find partners to whom they can relate. 

As far as SKKG sees it, culture is the cement of society. It encourages diversity and democracy. They deliver these values by providing opportunities for participation in cultural heritage. The Foundation is structured by a 9-member committee presided by Dr. Bettina Stefanini since 2018. Dr. Bettina Stefanini is the founder’s daughter and aims at pursuing her father’s values and ambitions for culture and preservation of cultural heritage. 

SKKG supports institutions, empowers programs and projects which themselves promote participation in cultural heritage. The Foundation needs to give its support to cultural institutions whose values and goals match SKKG’s.  The grant support allowed is meant for museums and cultural organizations that want to set up projects to strengthen people’s participation in the work of collection, preservation, and cultural mediation.

The Grants projects launched by SKKG are recent and ambitious. When they started to consider the grant management program, the SKKG’s team was pragmatic about the number of administrative tasks that such a program required. This is why they decided to look for an online tool, software that would help them to do it all.


The challenges: flexibility, autonomy and ease of use

SKKG’s ambition to create a grant program didn’t start in 1980. At the time, the founder was mostly focused on the collection of arts and the preservation of cultural heritage. Before his death, in 2018, they didn’t pay that much attention to building strategic support to culture. With the leadership of Bettina Stefanini, they all started to empower their common values of democracy, transparency, diversity, and tolerance regarding the cultural field. As soon as the strategy was defined, the SKKG team was convinced that it was important to have a tool to back them up for the management of all the grant management steps. As they want to pay attention to the projects submitted and to make sure that they fit with the Foundation’s values, it was also very important for SKKG to make their life easier by choosing a tool that could prevent them from multiplying the sources of information. As a grant manager, it is tough to manage all the applications and the whole process from the completion of the application and the reviewing. It is also very important to keep in touch with all parties involved in the project, from the institutions that applied to the committee that has to review the applications. There are specific elements that were expected from the all-in-one platform chosen, among which:

Flexibility: the Foundation wanted a tool that would fit their needs and that would adapt to their evolving needs rather than them adapting and being prevented from developing new projects. Optimy fills in this role with the modular add-ons offered.
Autonomy: managing projects is no easy job and it requires many different skills and tasks daily. It is always essential to have software that saves time instead of wasting it by being way too complex and not clear enough. The Optimy platform presents all the elements that the team needs to work within total autonomy. But of course, as always, the Foundation benefits from Optimy’s support if they need anything else.
Ease-of-use: a tool should be intuitive, the users shouldn’t spend hours figuring out how to send a message, or how to build a form, or how to collect data and information and share them with whoever needs to get access to them. The SKKG Foundation was looking for a tool easy to implement and easy to use daily.

A clear view of everything

Optimy is a flexible tool that answers SKKG’s needs quickly and easily. Since the project is rather new for SKKG, having a tool that can easily adapt to the evolving project is a great advantage from Optimy for the Foundation. 

Clear dashboard, easy reporting

Reporting is never an easy task. It’s time-consuming, it’s a lot of data to deal with. It is easily feasible in Optimy: in one click, the admin user gets an Excel sheet with all the information needed to report on the Foundation’s activities and status. Plus, the information added in the reporting is flexible: the user can just adapt which data needs to be exported in one click, by choosing the necessary elements. This way, she can easily build different reports for different committees.

Kultur Komitee: culture for everyone

The Kultur Komitee is a brand new project that aims at giving the opportunity to randomly people from Winterthur - where the Foundation is based -  to join a cultural committee. By launching this project, the Foundation aims at showing that they do what they preach: they want to give power to citizens and encourage them to make decisions in the cultural field. The people elected and appointed to join the Cultural Committee get to decide which cultural institutions  and projects deserve grant support for their cultural activities. The local community received random invitations to join the committee sent by the city of Winterthur. These people, if they agree to join the committee, will then be able to review the cultural institutions’ applications to receive grants. This project underlines the importance of culture as a democratic field, a domain opened to everyone, showing the values of diversity, transparency, and accessibility promoted by the SKKG Foundation. Cultural institutions and projects can then apply via a customized Optimy Form for a grant. The applications are then reviewed by the Kultur Komitee. 

This insightful and inspiring project comes at a troubling time for cultural institutions since they suffered a lot from the pandemic but it also shows that nothing is impossible and that the Cultural field still has a bright future when it is supported by people. Find out more about the Kultur Komitee on the official website of the project

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