While we collect ideas throughout the year and even support several foundations all year long, the biggest fundings happen at year end. This year was fantastic, but als challenging for many of us in the comdivision group we made a huge step stone to transition the company for the future, had 2 weddings to celebrate but also some of us had loved ones pass away (sadly as I write this one more just uncovered leaving a family without there beloved mother for the holidays). Those of you who know me very personal, know for sure how deep in my heart some of the fundings are we do. I will use this post to tell you a bit about the different foundations we support and also why...
Let's start with the selection process in general...
- Project/foundation insights:
Every project/foundation we support is investigated by my wife and myself or colleagues, we don't just throw money at something, we sit down with the foundation and want to know how exactly our money is spend. How much goes towards fund management, operations etc. We often even limit fund usage to a specific project/use case we picked.
- Long term vision:
What is the aim of the foundation? Something I cite often is: "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.". Thus we look more in development / education projects then short term "feeds", not that there is a high need for short term solutions after a disaster etc. but those usually get a high level of attention and therefore are well equipped with funds.
- Size of the foundation:
Yes we tend to pick smaller foundations rather than big ones and the reason is simple, very often people are far more enthusiastic and not so much is lost in overhead. But it is not a fixed rule.
- Local impact:
While not for all, we always try to ensure that some of our funds are used for projects which have a direct impact on our local community.
Foundations we support:
- ident.africa e.V.
This is a foundation run by my long year friend Fred-Eric Essam, he knows what he talks about and how important it is to get access to education and to grow a local community. His life started in Cameroon and his family was not wealthy at all. Because he and his family invested in his education he got the chance to study in Luebeck germany which opened the door for his career. In 1998 he started in IBM germany and developed a career path for himself to be proud about. 2004 he funded ident.africa and for many years we supported his efforts to bring education, healthcare but also special support for women running their own businesses. We support this fundation for many years and it's fantastic to see how these projects have developed over the years. We were involved in school buildings, setup of training classes for women to become independent, support for a local bio gas system etc. We are not only proud to support the foundation continuously, but also that we can call Eric a friend of the family.
- Skate Aid
A foundation started by Titus Dittmann a local entrepreneur who started to bring skateboards into schools and later into shops by building a brand which nowadays has over 30 shops, large online distribution as well as several media channels. But he always remembers his roots where he learned how skateboarding can bring people together which started the Skate-Aid foundation. skate-aid stands for a holistic, self-determined approach to the support of young people in the context of youth aid, sport, culture and international understanding. The Mission: skare-aid empower kids! Since 2009, they use the pedagogical power of skateboarding in worldwide projects. It gives kids and teenagers orientation and identity-creating freedom in their orientation phase and helps them to develop into strong individuals on the basis of self-determination and intrinsic motivation. Thus, skate-aid provides sustainable socialization, prevention and peace work, where social injustices and difficult living conditions endanger young people and inhibit their development.
We focus to support to main initiatives: Skating instead of Ritalin and skate-aid@school.
- Refugee Help Suedviertel
We support the local refugee help in our very local community which operate several homes for refugees arriving in Muenster. Focus is to ease the arrival and to help them on the integration into the local community together with several other foundations, local church and city officials. We think it's not only important to support initiatives for education and to reduce the need for people to leave their home and come to germany, but also to help those who made the way. It's not easy to survive the way until you reach germany, then we are in need to help these people to integrate, something we expect for ourselves as well if we ever have to leave our homes because of war or other reasons.
- ViP Muenster
This foundation helps especially teenagers and young people who have become delinquents or other teenagers and young people who need support. The foundation actively supports victim-offender mediation process to help those taking actions to understand the impact they have on the victims life. But also specializes in providing trainings on anti-agression and other conflict-reduction methodologies for young people. We think that trying to reduce conflict potential and showing young people that there are other ways than agression and becoming a delinquent.
- "Moseskoerbchen" Muenster
Is a special initiative run to provide a special burial ground for stillborn children. It supports parents in this very sad period, as even if the child has not been born is often already part of the family and so it is important for families to have a place for mourning. There is no cost for the burial or the maintenance of this burial ground plus this initiatives takes personal care of the families after the burial. It is crucial to understand that these stillborn children are not just a medical incidence, they are humans and often it's not easy to let go. This is initiative is very deep to the heart of my wife and me.
Thanks to all the work done by these foundations many of which are run by volunteers, we hope that our funding will ensure the great work done by them. We look forward to the work we do with some of these foundations in 2020 and hope we can support them again next year. The world would not be the same without the work done by many foundations and volunteers out there. And it is important that they also get the financial support from companies, individuals and communities to continue their work.