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Living up to our responsibility


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. 

Within the Berndorf Group, the private foundation primarily promotes the innovative strength of the individual companies.

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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”

Foundation board member Sonja Zimmermann: “Since 2012, the Berndorf Private Foundation has been supporting various educational projects in Austria out of conviction. Our focus is on initiatives for fair opportunities and innovative ways of imparting knowledge in schools. 
Because we believe that every child deserves a fair chance, regardless of their level of education at home. And because we think that teaching can and must be much more than just memorizing “material”. 
Education is self-empowerment, and education is independence. We want to make a contribution to this.”

Aufsichtsratsvorsitzende Sonja Zimmermann
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 ( 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.

Forging new links and exchanging the best ideas is also the aim of the Schule im Aufbruch platform (, 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.

The MEGA Educational Foundation ( was founded by the B&C Private Foundation and the Berndorf Private Foundation in order to bundle and expand their previous commitment to non-profit education. MEGA supports innovative educational organizations in the areas of fairness of opportunity and business education as they grow. With money, know-how and notoriety. Every year, MEGA supports several projects in its growth plan as part of the Bildungsmillion. The aim is to further develop larger projects and to anchor them in the public system in cooperation with partners and administration in the long term. 

The Berndorf Private Foundation also assumes responsibility where it is necessary to support the weaker and to live a social attitude. When Georg Sporschill together with Ruth Zenkert in Romanian Transylvania the project "Elijah" (  2013, the foundation has supported their work from the start. At that time, only an hour's flight from Berndorf, Roma families had to live on 10 euros of social welfare in old, dilapidated farms. Since then, "Elijah" has brought structure back into people's everyday lives and made life in their villages more humane.

Berndorf Private Foundation promotes innovation capacity in the education sector in close collaboration with other foundations in Austria, as part of the Sinnbildungsstiftung foundation (


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.

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 (

The initiative provides school  mentors who listen to the children, spend time with them and broaden their horizons.

The Stadttheater Berndorf is a cultural building in the style of the turn of the century, which is otherwise only known from the Vienna Ringstrasse. Built by Arthur Krupp as a theater for the Berndorf metal workers and opened in 1899, it still adorns the view of the city today. The Berndorf Private Foundation supports cultural activities in the theater - such as the annual festival KLASSIK.KLANG (artistic direction: Kammersängerin Daniela Fally). The aim is to promote young regional talent and to enable them to perform together with experienced artists.

For enquiries about Berndorf Private Foundation’s other activities, please contact
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