Who We Fund

The Berghof Foundation maintains an annual grantmaking budget donated by the Zundel family and reserved to support state-of-the-art projects that complement our activities. Grants are awarded by our Board of Trustees through three distinct programmes based on the principles of strategic complementarity, innovation potential and partnering opportunities.

Projects funded should be complementary to the Strategic Vision of the Berghof Foundation. This means that we are looking for projects that share the normative basis of our approach and that excel through innovative methodologies. At the same time, strategic complementarity does not imply that projects should thematically cover the same topics our operational organisation is currently working on. More importantly, the skills, resources and knowledge of our grantees should be complementary to our in-house capabilities.

One of the main obstacles to innovation is a lack of openness to new ideas and a refusal to question one’s own assumptions. All new ideas have their origin in people’s minds, but it is the bringing together of people with different backgrounds and perspectives that adds the most value. By opening doors to people we do not know, with ideas we could not have thought of, grantmaking offers a unique opportunity to tap a valuable source of innovative potential. By emphasising the open architecture of its structure, grantmaking can make our organisation more dynamic and flexible.

Rather than mere recipients of funding, we see our grantees as partners with whom we share our vision. Consequently, we seek to create added value by fostering personal relationships among our grantees as well as between them and our staff. Whether through direct cooperation in project work or by maintaining regular personal contact with grantees during the implementation of their project, the contribution we make goes beyond the provision of finances. Thereby, we hope to establish mutually beneficial relationships that last beyond the timeframe of a particular project.