Public | Utilities
The National Fund for Peace, Freedom and Veteran Care, or vfonds, is a foundation that annually supports more than three hundred projects that contribute to a strong democratic constitutional state and peaceful society within the Netherlands. With this support, those projects seek to inspire and encourage new generations to actively contribute to this ideal.
Every year at the beginning of May, hundreds of events are organized in the Netherlands to celebrate and commemorate. The foundation plays an important role in financially supporting many of these events, alongside providing networking and education opportunities throughout the year.
The Need for Accessible Information
The foundation vfonds needed a new way of working with its grants. Because the application process was inefficient, allocation decisions were being based too much on financial figures and too little on content.
The approval process was largely done without a shared formal record, which entailed a continuity risk. In addition, the recording of data was fragmented across various systems; for example, while the existing email client was good at archiving, it did not provide clear insight into the status of the more than three hundred ongoing annual grant applications.
A Flexible and Scalable Solution
The organization’s leadership toured a number of lotteries and charities to assess how others dealt with these challenges. After drawing up a shortlist of three possible solutions – creating a customized system, expanding the old system or integrating Salesforce – the organization decided on Salesforce after consultation with Xebia.
Michiel Van Hattem, chief executive at vfonds explained, "With customization or developing on a legacy system, you run the risk of constantly battling limitations. Salesforce was the clear choice for the future because of its flexibility and scalability. The ten free licenses we received as a non-profit made it the obvious choice for our foundation."
Information Where It’s Needed
Using Salesforce transformed the efficiency of vfonds’ application process considerably – the main processes within the software now cover 80-90% of all incoming requests. Individual administrations have disappeared or are being phased out, meaning that application information is now shared across the grant team as required. Requests for approval can be processed quickly and easily in a mobile app, allowing applicants’ content to be judged as much as their financial information.
The vfonds management team now has more information on hand, including real-time data on the status of current applications and statistics regarding how many people the foundation has helped, enabling more effective evaluation and planning.