The Berndorf Private Foundation supports non-profit projects both inside and outside the Berndorf Group, focusing on entrepreneurship, educational, social and cultural initiatives and institutions.
Boosting employee initiatives
Within the Berndorf Group, the foundation supports initiatives that are closely tied to the company’s core values. An example is the Berndorf AG-Sommerbären summer camp for children and teenagers, which was initiated by staff. Another of the foundation’s important tasks is to ensure the future of employee participation in the company’s success, an idea that was first realised over 30 years ago.
“Promising ideas should be given space to grow”
As foundation chair Sonja Zimmermann comments: “Our highest priority, with regard to all of the issues and projects the foundation supports, is taking responsible decisions regarding the use of the resources available to the Berndorf Private Foundation.” This includes not only engaging in long-term cooperations, but also making provision for cases of hardship. “We want to safeguard the flexibility that allows us to provide support spontaneously where it is most urgently needed. No one in the Berndorf family should be left behind – and at the same time, promising ideas are given space to develop and grow.”
Facilitating access to education
Outside the Group, Berndorf Private Foundation has made education a primary focus. The goal is to support initiatives that help to improve education opportunities for children and young people in Austria. The organisations and projects that are given funding by the foundation support both students and teaching staff.
Teach for Austria (www.teachforaustria.at) enables top graduates in all subjects to become “fellows” and teach for two years, with full-time responsibilities, at non-grammar secondary schools, cooperative, new and Viennese secondary schools, and polytechnic schools. Berndorf Private Foundation is a founding partner of the initiative, which aims to ensure that children from educationally disadvantaged families receive full attention in the classroom. All too often, after completing primary school children from such backgrounds can be up to three school years behind. With the support of Teach for Austria fellows, they are given a chance to catch up and to have the same opportunities as their peers.
Berndorf Private Foundation promotes innovation capacity in the education sector in close collaboration with other foundations in Austria, as part of the Sinnbildungsstiftung foundation (www.innovationsstiftung-bildung.at). Its goal is to link up the formal education system with educational programmes outside schools, in order to boost development opportunities for people of all age groups.
Forging new links and exchanging the best ideas is also the aim of the Schule im Aufbruch platform (www.schule-im-aufbruch.at), which is supported by Berndorf Private Foundation. Teachers share examples of how they have been able to uncover pupils’ latent talents in lessons, rather than looking for their mistakes. Schools are encouraged to embark on a new approach to teaching that nurtures children’s natural enthusiasm and creativity and supports the fulfilment of their potential.
One of Berndorf Private Foundation’s guiding principles is that school should not only be about transferring knowledge, but also about experiencing, understanding and developing social skills – and this is realised in projects by BigBrothers & BigSisters (www.bigbrothers-bigsisters.at). The initiative provides school mentors who listen to the children, spend time with them and broaden their horizons.
For enquiries about Berndorf Private Foundation’s other activities, please contact email@example.com
Commitment to business education: WU Vienna and Berndorf Private Foundation
Berndorf Private Foundation is supporting a new business education programme for young adults in Austria. The WU4Juniors programme was launched by Vienna University of Business and Economics (WU Vienna) in cooperation with the Berndorf Private Foundation and the Federation of Austrian Industries (IV). An advisory panel, including Berndorf AG Management Board Member Dietmar Müller, is providing input from industry. The initiative aims to help 16 to 19-year-olds gain an understanding of business and economics issues.
On the programme’s interactive online modules, participants quickly learn how they play a role as economic actors every day. The modules are made available free of charge, so that young people from low-income families can also have access to business know-how.
Learn more about the aims of WU4Juniors in its initial year, 2019, on the Berndorf AG website at www.berndorf.at/en/news_detail.php?v_id=174
For further information about WU4Juniors visit https://www.wu.ac.at/wu4juniors/ (German only)
Information about LearnPublic, WU Vienna’s open education platform, can be found at learnpublic.wu.ac.at/course-overview/ (German only)
The MEGA Educational Foundation (www.megabildung.at) was founded by the B&C Private Foundation and the Berndorf Private Foundation in order to bundle and expand their engagement in the non-profit education sector. Its aim is to realize projects faster and more efficient. This decision was the founders respond to the advice of experts as well as current studies, which show up a big need in the promotion of talents and economical education within the Austrian educational system.