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Impact Makers: Xcel Energy Foundation

By CyberGrants
Xcel Energy

The Xcel Energy Foundation oversees all charitable activities and sponsors the volunteer programs of Xcel Energy and its subsidiaries. Xcel Energy is a utility holding company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, serving more than 3.3 million electric customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico. 

The majority of Xcel Energy Foundation funding comes from Xcel Energy shareholder dollars. In 2019, the Foundation granted more than $3.5 million to nonprofit organizations for programs that aligned with its four focus areas of education, economic sustainability, environmental stewardship and access to arts and culture. Additionally, the Foundation distributed nearly $3 million to match the donations and volunteer hours that employees contributed to qualified nonprofit organizations.

The mission of the Xcel Energy Foundation is to use the collective knowledge, resources, and skills of our staff and colleagues to make a positive impact. Through their Focus Area Grants, they support nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations that perform in one or more of our four focus areas. This ensures their local communities are highly desirable places for everyone to live, work, and learn. Xcel Energy Foundation grant applications are accepted by invitation only. Unsolicited proposals or letters of intent will not be considered.  Funding is open to programs within Xcel Energy’s service area in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico.

One of the ways the Xcel Energy Foundation supports the community is through investing in nonprofit organizations by offering grants to support their work. Previously, the grant-approval process began with an online application and was a manual, paper driven process that required signed agreements and payment information before funds were disbursed. The process was inefficient and time consuming for both grant recipients and Foundation representatives. 

The Xcel Energy Human Resources team worked to develop a more efficient process for grant approvals with CyberGrants and their dedicated account management team, focusing on pre-qualification, time savings and expediting approvals. Pre-qualification questionnaires help grantseekers self-select out of the process before they even begin, so no time is wasted finding funds for their organization. In addition, the highly configurable CyberGrants approval engine was a quick win to speed up the approval process. Now, approvals can happen faster and online through our rules-based system.

With the new workflow, nonprofits receive a system-generated email with instructions to login to the CyberGrants portal. Once in the portal, they can view all documentation, including all needed documents and agreements. They also are able to electronically sign and submit their grant agreement and provide their payment information, limiting delays to receive funding. Most importantly, all of the data is stored and tracked in a single location. As a result of the new process, the company’s community partners now benefit from a seamless, fully integrated online workflow, saving both time and money.

Processing grants is complicated, with multiple stakeholders, criteria and layers of approval, “I wouldn’t say its seamless just yet,” says Veronica Hayden, Corporate Giving Representative at Xcel Energy “but definitely much better than what we were doing!” As partners in your philanthropy mission, CyberGrants is unconditionally invested in helping our customers realize incredible outcomes from the use of our software. We are committed to working with you on improvements big and small to ensure you achieve your goals and see the greatest impact possible.

We congratulate Xcel Energy, who for the seventh year in a row has been honored as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune Magazine, ranking among the most admired gas and electric companies in the country. In addition, Xcel Energy is the first major U.S. utility to announce a commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 80% (from 2005 levels) by 2030, with a vision of delivering 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. That announcement in late 2018 has prompted many other companies to commit to their own clean energy goals.

Previously published on the 3BL Media newsroom.

Image credit: Pixabay

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CyberGrants is focused on facilitating and maximizing the impact of charitable giving since 1999. The organization's sole focus is helping our customers streamline and automate the philanthropic process reducing the cost, time and effort of providing charity to those in need.

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