Veolia Environmental Trust

How they are making a bigger impact with Optimy



Doing more with fewer resources is the dream of every organisation. In 2016, the Veolia Trust found itself in that position. With 12 staff members to take care of 25 projects per quarter, the foundation had to find a solution that would allow them to do the same work with only five people. Good thing they met Optimy. 

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The Challenge

The Veolia Environmental Trust was created in 1997. Since then, the organisation has been supporting a variety of community and environmental projects in different locations in England. All the money that Veolia Trust uses for its projects is made available throughout the Landfill Communities Fund. Since its creation, Veolia has supported the Trust with over £85 million which has been used to award more than 2,400 projects. Thanks to Veolia Trust, communities across the country improved their buildings, parks and other open spaces.

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The Opportunity

The Veolia Trust receives up to 90 applications per quarter, which can be hard to review when the team is also busy managing 150 live projects.  

Before 2016, the organisation had already an online form in which grant seekers could submit their requests. Still, the data was analysed manually, and it took a lot of people to manage all the paperwork. Changes were also tricky and slow to implement due to the difficulty of engaging others to make changes on their behalf. 

Moreover, asking the exact information needed to make a data-driven decision was hard. “Previously, we had static questions, and we could not build the form in the way we needed”, explains Elizabeth Cooke, Head of Grants at the Veolia Trust. 

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The Outcome


Moving to Optimy meant automating processes that were done manually was possible. According to Elizabeth Cooke, being able to build forms with conditional questions has been a time-saver: “our projects are really wide-ranging. Now, we can build forms in ways that adapt to the needs of our applicants. We can ask all the information up front, so it saves both them and us time. We want to make it as simple and straightforward as possible, and with Optimy, we can do that.”

She also points out that being able to contact a large number of applicants from one click as well as each grant officer being able to manage their work within the project file has improved the outcomes and processes of the team. Now, they can focus on what really matters, helping communities across England. 

The core philosophy of Optimy is to empower mission-driven teams to give more to society. When it comes to that, Elizabeth Cooke believes we have been doing a good job: “if you are looking to make changes and improve your systems and processes to meet the needs of your applicants it’s definitely worth using Optimy to do that.”

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